A version of this article appeared in this morning's California Catholic Daily.
On November 13 the Jesuit University of San Francisco’s School of Law will hold it’s Sixth Annual Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) Gala. This year’s honoree will be California Supreme Court Associate Justice Carlos Moreno. Justice Moreno’s major claim to fame, and the reason USF is honoring him, is that he was the sole California justice who voted to overturn the will of the people in the Proposition 8 case.
Since it’s inception in 2004, USF’s Law School has made a nearly annual practice of honoring activists who support the homosexual agenda. The first PILF Gala took place in 2004, and the first honoree was San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. At the time USF chose to honor him, Newsom had been in office barely 10 months. His sole notable “accomplishment” consisted in directing the County Clerk of the City and County of San Francisco begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples--an action declared illegal four months later by the California Supreme Court.
• In 2005, USF Law School chose to honor Ms. Maria Blanco. On March 14, 2007, Ms. Blanco, writing for the California Coalition for Civil Rights, sent a letter to Ms. Alice Kessler of Equality California, stating: "The California Coalition for Civil Rights strongly supports AB43 (which would have leaglized same-sex "marriage" in California) and we look forward to the legislature and the governor providing equality for all Californians." On January 24, 2006, Ms. Blanco was signatory to a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein, urging her to oppose the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. Among other things the letter said “As a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Alito would undermine reproductive rights and is likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
• In 2006, USF chose to honor Ms. Kate Kendall, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. From the NCLR website: “NCLR was lead counsel on behalf of same-sex couples, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition in the California marriage case, which sought to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in California.”
• In 2007, USF chose to honor Ms. Elizabeth Cabraser, of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. Ms. Cabraser was the lead attorney for an amici curaie brief filed on behalf of 40 legal institutions with the California Supreme Court. The brief recommended the Supreme Court overturn Proposition 8. Ms. Cabraser also donated $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign.
• In 2008, USF chose to honor Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and SF Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart. The USF website said they were honoring the two because “…Minter and Stewart successfully argued before the California Supreme Court this year that same-sex couples have the right to marry. "A Shepherd's Voice" covered the event.
• Now, in 2009, USF will honor Judge Moreno--the sole California justice who voted to invalidate the votes a majority of Californians by overturning Proposition 8.
While support for the destruction of marriage is apparently a prerequisite to being honored by USF’s Law School, a simple respect for the law, let alone Catholic teaching, is not.
• Mayor Newsom’s action was an illegal abuse of executive power by an elected official--and was found to be so by the court. At the time of Newsom‘s action, the nationally-syndicated columnist George Will wrote that Newsom “…ordered the wholesale issuance of marriage licenses in defiance of state law. He thereby became the most flamboyant scofflaw in an American elective office since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.” That USF’s Law School chose to honor Mayor Newsom following this blatantly illegal action shows a preference of the rule of men over the rule of law--so long as the men share their ideology.
• Nor was 2006 honoree Elizabeth Cabraser especially scrupulous in obeying the law. In 2000, Ms. Cabraser was fined $4,500 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for making unreported political donations in the amount of $20,000. When levying the fine, the commission noted: “Respondent Elizabeth Cabraser’s law firm, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bertstein, LLP is a sophisticated political contributor. Her firm has filed multiple major donor statements with the SOS, dating back to 1995. Furthermore, Respondent Elizabeth Cabraser was sent a notification letter, on November 3, 2000, by the Dede Alpert for Senate Committee, advising her of her obligation to file both major donor and late contribution campaign statements.” And in 2003, the California Fair Political Practices Commission had to fine Cabraser again, for three more violations. The commission noted her status as a repeat offender: “In aggravation, Respondent Elizabeth J. Cabraser has a prior enforcement history regarding the failure to file a semi-annual campaign statement…Notwithstanding the previous enforcement action, Respondent failed to comply with her semi-annual campaign statement filing requirements during calendar year 2002.” This time, the fine was in the amount of $12,000. None of this stopped the USF Law School from honoring her with its 2007 "Award For Public Interest Excellence."
• Justice Carlos Moreno, this years honoree, has attempted to justify his dissenting vote: "Someday at some point my dissent will be the majority view in California…" It apparently does not occur to Justice Moreno, or to the faculty and students at USF, that had he convinced just two other justices to share his view, it would have meant three persons denying the citizens of California the right to self-governjment.
In the same article, Justice Moreno also said: "Sometimes a principle, when extended beyond the current facts, can result in unintended consequences." That's a remarkably pedestrian observation for a senior judge; still, it would be nice if His Honor reflected on his own words, and considered the possible consequences a few judges overeruling millions of citizens.
As USF Professor of Philosophy Raymond Dennehy said: "Calling USF a Catholic school is like saying Hillary Clinton is a Carmelite nun."
For a rundown of USF's moral insanity, go here.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney