1. Activists: Roe v. Wade reversal possible with Kennedy out. 

By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, June 29, 2018, Pg. A6

Pro-life and pro-choice activists agree that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court opens the door to rolling back the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that created a constitutional right to abortion.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said President Trump has a “crucial opportunity to restore respect for the life and the Constitution” with his second nomination to the Supreme Court in two years.

Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor with the Catholic Association, said there are a number of highly qualified jurists for the president to choose from.

“The President’s list of potential nominees are all exceptionally qualified and any one of them promise to respect the rule of law and defend the freedoms expressly set forth in the Constitution,” Ms. Picciotti-Bayer said in a statement. “President Trump’s judicial appointments have been stellar and we expect no less from his selection to fill this seat on the nation’s highest court.”


2. Supreme Court change may limit, not kill, abortion rights. 

By Mark Sherman, Associated Press, June 29, 2018, 2:05 AM

Is Roe v. Wade really in peril? The worst fears — and highest hopes — excited by the prospect of a new Supreme Court justice may well be overblown.

Democrats and liberal interest groups, gearing up for President Donald Trump’s choice for the seat opened up by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, are treating the moment as one of utmost danger for abortion rights in the United States.

More quietly, abortion opponents are confident the next justice will be a vote to uphold additional restrictions on abortion, if not to actually jettison the landmark Roe decision.

Just one member of the current court, Clarence Thomas, is on record in support of overturning the 45-year-old high court ruling.

Leonard Leo, a Trump adviser on judicial nominations, said liberal groups bring out the abortion issue every time a Republican president gets to make a Supreme Court nomination, including when Ronald Reagan nominated Kennedy in 1987.

“You see this over and over again and it’s the usual rank speculation,” Leo said.

Whatever Trump said during his campaign, Leo said abortion did not come up in the president’s interviews with prospective nominees when he chose Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.

“The president has never asked a prospective nominee about Roe v. Wade or abortion in any way shape or form. He’s never discussed the issue with me. Period,” Leo said.


3. Pope: Church must be in contact with people’s real problems. 

By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, June 29, 2018, 8:00 AM

Pope Francis, at Mass Friday with his newest cardinals, described being in contact with “real human dramas” and people’s “concrete existence” as integral to the Catholic church’s mission.

Francis celebrated the Mass in a sun-baked St. Peter’s Square, filled with some 30,000 faithful, to mark the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.

In his homily, he cautioned Christians against keeping their distance from “human misery,” and urged them to avoid “empty” forms of service and compassion for people.

Francis said the Catholic church must be “free from grand illusions that fail to sink their roots in the life of God’s faithful people.”

He urged Christians to avoid pretexts that keep them “far from real human dramas, which preserve us from contact with other people’s concrete existence and, in the end, from knowing the revolutionary power of God’s tender love.”


4. ‘Let’s Pray for the President’: Faith Leaders Urge Wisdom as Search Begins for Justice Kennedy’s Replacement. 

By Mark Martin, CBN News, June 28, 2018

Faith leaders are reacting to the announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he’s retiring after serving on the high court for three decades.

Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said TCA looks forward to seeing whom the president will appoint.

“Americans made it clear in the 2016 election that they deeply value the rule of law,” McGuire said in a statement. “One in five voters said that Supreme Court appointments was the single biggest issue in determining their vote and Trump won those voters handily.”

“President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would deliver the American people a justice who valued the Constitution and would serve and defend it, rather than run roughshod over it with ideology,” she continued. 

“He delivered on that promise with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch and by putting out a list of the most highly qualified constitutionalist judges,” McGuire said. 

“We look forward to seeing whom from the list will continue the project of restoring the rule of law to our nation as the next justice on the United States Supreme Court,” she concluded.


5. Pope to 14 new cardinals: Defend the dignity of the poor. 

By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, June 28, 2018, 2:57 PM

Pope Francis gave the Catholic Church 14 new cardinals Thursday, exhorting them to resist any temptation toward haughtiness and instead embrace “the greatest promotion” they can achieve: tending to those neglected or cast aside by society.

Among those receiving the cardinals’ biretta — a crimson-red square cap with three ridges — was his point man for helping Rome’s homeless and poor. Polish Monsignor Konrad Krajewski has handed out sleeping bags to those spending cold nights on the Italian capital’s streets and driven vans taking the poor on seaside daytrips arranged by the Vatican.

The choices of many of the new cardinals reflected Francis’ determination that the church be known for tireless attention to those on society’s margins. He also turned his attention to countries located far from the Vatican after centuries of European dominance of the ranks of cardinals, honoring churchmen from Peru, Madagascar and Japan, which has a tiny minority of Catholics.

With Thursday’s ceremony, there are now 226 cardinals worldwide, 74 of them named by Francis during his 5-year-old papacy.

Of that total, 125 cardinals are younger than 80 and can vote in a conclave for the next pope when the current pope dies or resigns: 59 of them appointed by Francis, 47 by Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, and 19 named by Pope John Paul II.

The new cardinals include Iraqi churchman Louis Raphael I Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans.

Sako told Francis that he welcomed the pope’s “special attention” to the “small flock who make up the Christians in the Middle East, in Pakistan and in other countries who are undergoing a difficult period due to the wars and sectarianism and where there are still martyrs.”


6. US Supreme Court declines city’s bid on abortion-notice law. 

By Associated Press, June 28, 2018, 8:10 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear from a Maryland city that wants pregnancy centers opposed to abortion to notify patients they don’t provide such services.

The Daily Record of Baltimore reports the high court declined Thursday to hear Baltimore’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that struck down a city ordinance requiring notification.

Baltimore’s 2009 ordinance required “limited-service pregnancy centers” to have signs posted in English and Spanish that said they didn’t provide abortion or birth-control services. The signs also had to say if the facility didn’t provide referrals for those services. The Archdiocese of Baltimore challenged the ordinance in 2010.


7. Judge temporarily blocks abortion reporting rule in Indiana. 

By Rick Callahan, Associated Press, June 28, 2018, 6:40 PM

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a new Indiana law’s requirement that medical providers report detailed patient information to the state if they treat women for complications arising from abortions.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young granted the preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. The order blocks the provision in a state law taking effect Sunday.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state on behalf of the Planned Parenthood affiliate on April 23, arguing that the reporting provision was unconstitutional and imposed “unique and burdensome obligations.” The lawsuit contends that many of the purported complications listed in the law are extremely rare for abortions and “are more likely to occur after other medical procedures.”