Friday, February 27, 2015
Professor Charles E. Rice, pro-life champion and long-time professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, died on Wednesday. Here is a link to a book review I did of one of Charlie’s most recent books. I wrote in that review--
"Charlie Rice is one of a kind. He has had a distinguished academic career, mostly at Notre Dame Law School; he is now Professor Emeritus of Law at Notre Dame. He has been a beloved teacher and mentor to thousands of Notre Dame students since he joined the law faculty there in 1969. He has authored many scholarly books and articles. He was the long-time co-editor of the American Journal of Jurisprudence, perhaps the leading scholarly journal devoted to the natural law. He has been active in the political arena. He co-founded the New York Conservative Party and has served as a consultant to various government agencies. He has also been an activist, particularly on pro-life issues.
This service on behalf of the pro-life cause has taken many forms. Perhaps the most important has been his effort to clearly articulate and defend the teachings of the Catholic Church on pro-life issues. He has done so in scholarly books. But perhaps equally important have been his efforts to defend Church teaching on issues such as contraception, abortion, assisted suicide, and the death penalty in more popular venues. He has written innumerable short essays and delivered countless speeches throughout the country on these topics."
Charlie was a loyal son of the Church who will be missed terribly by those who knew him.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The Washington & Lee Law Review just published the papers from the “Roe at 40″ conference held at W & L on November 7, 2013. Much of the funding for this conference came from University Faculty for Life (UFL). The conference was largely made possible through the efforts of Sam Calhoun (who is a member of the W & L faculty and a member of the UFL Board). The hospitality of everyone at W & L was extraordinary. One of the W & L law review hosts was Lara Gass who was tragically killed in a car accident a few months after the Symposium. The law review issue is dedicated to Ms. Gass and also contains a tribute to her.
The papers are available here, http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/wlulr/
The conference included speakers from varying perspectives. I strongly encourage people to take a look at the conference papers.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Mark Latkovic (the distinguished moral theologian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary) has a new blog that should be of interest to readers of MOJ. Here is a link to a recent post marking the 50th anniversary of Germain Grisez's book "Contraception and the Natural Law." http://mlatkovic.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/germain-grisezs-contraception-and-the-natural-law-at-fifty/
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
As expected, the Court agreed to consider HHS mandate cases. The Court agreed to review the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases. http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/112613zr_ed9g.pdf
Monday, November 11, 2013
On November 7-8, 2013, Washington & Lee University School of Law hosted a conference marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The conference, Roe at 40: The Controversy Continues,http://law.wlu.edu/lawcenter/page.asp?pageid=1620 , was largely organized by Sam Calhoun. The conference was co-sponsored by University Faculty for Life, ACLU of Virginia, Virginia NOW, the Frances Lewis Law Center, the Washington and Lee Law Review, and the Provost’s Office of Washington and Lee University.
The conference was unusual in that a variety of perspectives on abortion were included. The speakers were (in order of appearance): Clarke Forsythe, David Garrow, Sam Calhoun, Mary Zeigler, Richard Myers, Priscilla Smith, Tom Molony, Caroline Mala Corbin, Teresa Collett, Kathy Greenier, Randy Beck, Caitlin Borgman, Michael Paulsen, Maya Manian, Lynne Marie Kohm, Robin Wilson/Ryan Hrobak, and James Mahon. The papers from the conference will be published by the Washington and Lee Law Review.
The conference was quite interesting. I know all of the attendees greatly appreciated the hospitality of Sam Calhoun and everyone at Washington and Lee. The inclusion of diverse perspectives led to some contentious exchanges. I thought one of the fascinating aspects of the conference was the efforts of the supporters of abortion rights to deal with the issue of sex-selection abortion. One response, which revealed how extreme the law is in this country, was that the state can’t ever second guess a woman’s reason to have an abortion at any time during pregnancy. Another response indicated that these abortions didn’t really constitute sex discrimination against girls because until birth these were only potential girls.
This issue–sex-selection abortion–reveals (as do abortions for reason of disability) that the most important principle for supporters of abortion rights is not equality. The governing principle is the autonomous power to make life and death decisons about another human life.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I just read an advance copy of Clarke Forsythe's excellent new book on Roe v. Wade. Here is the Amazon link. http://www.amazon.com/Abuse-Discretion-Inside-Story-Wade/dp/1594036926 Clarke is Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life and has been a leader in the pro-life fight for nearly three decades.
Here is a description of the book from Amazon:
"Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight
of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton,
Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes
deliberations that went into the Supreme Court's abortion decisions and how the
mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today
in legislation, politics, and public health.
The first half of the book
looks at the mistakes made by the Justices, based on the case files, the oral
arguments, and the Justices’ papers. The second half of the book critically
examines the unintended consequences of the abortion decisions in law, politics,
and women’s health.
Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial
after almost 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous
presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a
sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing
such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973?
Answering those questions is the aim of this book. The controversy over
the abortion decisions has hardly subsided, and the reasons why are to be found
in the Justices’ deliberations in 1971-1972 that resulted in the unprecedented
decision they issued."
Sunday, August 4, 2013
The most recent issue of the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (Spring 2013) is devoted to critiques of the new natural law theory (NNLT). The issue contains articles by Father Kevin Flannery SJ, Steven Long, and John Goyette and shorter essays by Fulvio Di Blasi, Matthew O'Brien, Michael Pakaluk, and Edward Feser. Many of the pieces focus on the NNLT's understanding of intention, an issue that has been featured in earlier discussions on Mirror of Justice of issues such as craniotomy and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Dr. Edmund Pellegrino died yesterday at the age of 92. He was a giant and his passing is a great loss. I had the privilege of introducing him several years ago when he received an award from University Faculty for Life and that was a daunting task. Dr. Pellegrino seemed to have enough accomplishments to fill several careers. Among other things, he served as the Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics and was a former President of Catholic University. He authored dozens of books and over 600 articles. His work always emphasized the interpersonal relationship between physician and patient and the importance of the virtues. He emphasized fidelity, trust, benevolence, truth-telling, intellectual honesty, humility, courage, and the suppression of self-interest. In a speech of his, he mentioned that the most effective teachers are the ones who lead by example. By all accounts, Dr. Pellegrino's inspiring example has influenced countless young doctors to understand their obligations to their patients and to understand the importance of doctors who work for the true good of their patients. He was also noted for his humility and for his warm human qualities.
Please say a prayer for this great man.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Here is a link to the welcome decision by the Indiana Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the state's voucher program. http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/03261301bd.pdf
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Rick's recent posts remind me of a a conference held in the fall of 2006 at Ave Maria School of Law on "Pope John Paul II and the Law." The Ave Maria Law Review later published the papers by (in order of appearance) George Weigel, Father Robert Araujo SJ, Father Kevin Flannery SJ, Jane Adolphe, Ed Peters, Gerry Bradley, Richard Myers, James Eyster, and Howard Bromberg. For links to the articles, see here and here