Monday, December 12, 2005

Unitarian Universalist Association Opposes Alito Confirmation as Threat to Civil Liberties

Well this is pretty sad comment on the UUA and the reason pretty thin considering I don't believe they've ever opposed a nomination in the history of the Republic. (Correct me if wrong here someone.)

All of that history of not expressing opinions, including slavery, and all the UUA can say is this,
Washington Office for Advocacy Director Rob Keithan said:

"The decision to take a position on a judicial nominee is not one the UUA takes up lightly. The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. is significantly different from that of Chief Justice John Roberts or Harriet Miers, in that he has an extensive judicial record that clearly reveals his judicial philosophy on a wide range of issues. After extensive research, Unitarian Universalist Association staff agreed that Judge Alito's rulings revealed a pattern of views that were outside the mainstream and hostile to established precedent favoring civil liberties."
Member deserve some details on Alito's record to warrent this exceptional act.

2 comments:

Steve Caldwell said...

Bill wrote:
-snip-
"Well this is pretty sad comment on the UUA and the reason pretty thin considering I don't believe they've ever opposed a nomination in the history of the Republic. (Correct me if wrong here someone.)"

You are right that this is new ground for our association of congregations.

In 2004, a General Assembly Statement of Conscience vote based on inputs from our member congregations authorized our association to " ... oppose nominees to the federal appeals courts or the Supreme Court whose records demonstrate insensitivity to the protection of civil liberties."

Details about this can be found on the UUA Washington Office web page here:

http://www.uua.org/uuawo/new/article.php?list=type&type=104

The 2004 Statement of Conscience can be found online here:

Civil Liberties (2004 Statement of Conscience)
http://www.uua.org/actions/civil-liberties/04civil-liberties.html

The reason that the UUA has not oppossed judicial nominations in the past was they didn't have to authority to do so. We (that is, the member congregations of the UUA) didn't give them the authority to do so until 2004.

I certainly wouldn't want the UUA to take this sort of action without congregational endorsement through the General Assembly business process.

The UUA statement on Judge Alito's nomination to the US Supreme Court contains the following "conscience" clause:

"Please note that the positions taken by the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly and advocated by UUA staff represent the views of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations as a whole, as adopted by representatives of congregations. They do not represent, and are not portrayed as representing, the views of individual Unitarian Universalists or particular congregations.

Bill Baar said...

The Methodists have their Bishops ruling against the War. The Catholics have a Pople.

We UU's are stuck with the authoritarianism of the positions advocated by the "staff".

Sounds like the folks who fix the printer jams.

If we're going to be an authoritarian church mixing it in politics, we at least out to give the potentates appropriate titles.