1. Kavanaugh for the Court, Trump’s second nominee will be an intellectual leader on the bench. 

By The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2018, Pg. A14, Editorial

President Trump kept everyone guessing to the end about his Supreme Court selection Monday, but in nominating Brett Kavanaugh he also kept his promise to select a Justice “who will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written.” Judge Kavanaugh has an exemplary record that suggests he will help to restore the Supreme Court to its proper, more modest role in American politics and society.

Mr. Trump stressed the 53-year-old Judge Kavanaugh’s legal credentials Monday evening, and well he should. In 12 years on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, he has written more than 300 opinions that span nearly every significant constitutional issue including the separation of powers and federalism. The Supreme Court has adopted the logic of 11 of his opinions in whole or part. He has the experience and intellect to be a leader on the Court, not merely a predictable vote on this or that issue.

Judge Kavanaugh’s First Amendment jurisprudence also reflects a deep respect for the free exercise of religion and speech. In Priests for Life v. HHS, he concluded the Obama Administration’s rule requiring religious organizations to file forms facilitating contraception by third parties substantially burdened their exercise of religion since they had to act contrary to their sincere beliefs. He also extended speech rights to nonprofits’ political expenditures (Emily’s List v. FEC), which teed up the Supreme Court’s landmark SpeechNow and Citizens United rulings.

We firmly believe that liberals have much less to fear from a conservative majority than they imagine. A genuinely conservative Court might even help progressives by liberating them to focus once again on the core task of self-government—persuading their fellow Americans through elections, not judicial fiat.


2. Schumer: Nominee must divulge personal beliefs on abortion. 

By Stephen Dinan and Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, July 10, 2018, Pg. A1

Saying the country was burned by past nominees, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer insisted Monday that President Trump’s Supreme Court pick must detail his personal views on abortion in order to win confirmation.

Mr. Schumer said lawmakers should reject vague assurances from Judge Kavanaugh and insist he detail his personal thoughts on abortion. He said the country was burned by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s first pick.

“At this critical juncture, with so many rights at stake, senators and the American people should expect an affirmative statement of support,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.

Democrats have offered myriad reasons why they wouldn’t vote for anyone Mr. Trump nominated.

He said general promises to respect precedent are no longer enough of a guarantee that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a national right to abortion will survive.

Mr. Schumer said too many recent nominees have said they would respect precedent only to overturn past decisions once on the high court.

“When they say they’ll obey settled law, we can’t believe it,” Mr. Schumer said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who will oversee the confirmation process, said that was an unfair standard. He pointed instead to iconic liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who during her 1993 confirmation process refused to give any hints about her leanings, saying it would inappropriate.

“I expect any nominee to likewise follow the Ginsburg standard,” Mr. Grassley said.


3. Catholics don’t see sweeping legal change with Trump’s SCOTUS pick. 

By Christopher White, Crux, July 10, 2018

Despite the fact that a new member of the Supreme Court could shape judicial precedent for decades to come, a number of Catholic legal experts say that with Monday’s pick of Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, expectations of sweeping and immediate legal change on neuralgic issues such as abortion and gay marriage are premature.

Although Kavanaugh’s appointment is expected to tilt the Court in a more conservative direction, according to Marc DeGirolami, a professor of law and associate director of the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University, pro-lifers hoping for an eventual reversal of Roe v. Wade shouldn’t get their hopes up.

Michael Moreland, University Professor of Law and Religion and Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University echoed those sentiments, adding, “the Supreme Court often doesn’t want to take on bigger issues than are necessary to resolve the case in front of them.”

Instead, both said that on issues such as abortion, Kavanaugh would likely be open to ruling in favor of challenges to existing law that could slowly chip away at current laws, rather than completely overturning it.

Surveying those changes, legal scholar and president of the Catholic University of America, John Garvey, told Crux that “there are a number of issues that have opening up between the Church and where the culture is going and a lot of people are hoping future rulings [by the court] will change that.”

Although many Catholics view this as a turning point for the Court on issues related to matters of human life and religious liberty, Garvey told Crux that those on “both sides” of the abortion issue have, perhaps, put too much faith in the role of the court to deliver the “right outcome” of certain cases, while neglecting other areas of government or cultural influence.

Garvey is quick to note that that he favors “a strong commitment to the text of the Constitution,” yet at the same time he cautions against an overly active judiciary.

“That’s not the business of the court,” said Garvey, “and it’s bad for the democratic process.”


4. English bishops call on UK government to issue annual religious freedom report. 

By Charles Collins, Crux, July 10, 2018

Britain should follow the example of the U.S. State Department and publish an annual report on religious freedom, according to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

In a submission to the House of Commons Inquiry Promoting Human Rights Around the World, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said “strong religious literacy of ministers, ambassadors and diplomats is one of the most important requirements for effectively promoting freedom of religion or belief.”

The bishops said the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office – which serves the same function as the U.S. State Department – should consider publishing something similar to the annual International Religious Freedom Report.


5. National Pro-Life Leaders: Trump ‘Has Followed Through on His Promise’.

By Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart, July 9, 2018

National pro-life leaders are praising President Donald Trump for keeping his “promise” to them in his choice of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“In nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice, President Trump has once again delivered on his promise to send a fair and independent constitutionalist judge to our nation’s highest court,” said Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association.

“The American people want another great Justice like Neil Gorsuch; in Judge Kavanaugh, they have gotten him,” McGuire added. “The Senate should swiftly confirm him.”


6. After Cardinal Farrell’s Marriage-Preparation Remarks, Some Catholics Ask for Clarity, Priests, theologians and lay pastoral workers respond to comments suggesting priests lack experience to offer programs for engaged couples. 

By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, July 9, 2018

Priests, theologians and lay pastoral workers have responded to recent comments from a senior Vatican official that suggested that priests lack the necessary experience to offer marriage preparation programs for engaged couples.

In a recent interview with the Irish Catholic magazine Intercom, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said that“priests are not the best people to train others for marriage.”

“They have no credibility; they have never lived the experience; they may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day … they don’t have the experience,” the cardinal added.

The comments echoed remarks the cardinal made in September 2017, when he said that priests had “no credibility when it comes to living the reality of marriage.”

Edmund Adamus served for nearly 15 years as the director for marriage and family life for the Archdiocese of Westminster in England before becoming schools’ commissioner for the English Diocese of Portsmouth. Adamus told CNA that Cardinal Farrell’s remarks do not reflect his experience in marriage preparation.

These sentiments were echoed by Dominican Father Thomas Petri, vice president and academic dean of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.


7. Pope heading to Panama Jan. 23-27 for World Youth Day. 

By Associated Press, July 9, 2018, 2:35 PM

Pope Francis will travel to Panama in January to participate in the Catholic Church’s big youth rally, the Vatican confirmed Monday.

The Jan. 23-27 trip, which was expected, will be Francis’ third World Youth Day. He attended the event in Brazil in 2013, months after his election, and in Poland in 2016.

A brief statement from the Vatican said the pope had accepted an invitation from the Panamanian government and Catholic bishops to visit.