Everyone is all for free speech, until they don’t like what they’re hearing. Despite the fact that he hasn’t violated any election laws, some people are upset that Judge Paul Panepinto, a candidate for Commonwealth Court who comes highly-recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association, has described himself as a pro-life Roman Catholic. (I’m not sure if they’re more upset about his religious affiliation or his anti-abortion views, although to some people they’re indistinguishable.)
Just check out a few of the comments to the article posted on philly.com this morning.
I’m intrigued, although not surprised, that this is even considered an important enough issue to hype on page one of the Local Section at the Inquirer. Must be a slow news day.
I have to admit that I’d be a little annoyed myself if, say, a candidate for public office touted her abortion rights credentials in campaign material. It’s happened before, of course, although generally not in the judicial context.
But as long as the candidate is qualified, has a solid track record and promises (as Panepinto does) to uphold the law, even as flawed and universally criticized a precedent as the one on abortion, I support his right to define himself by whatever parameters he deems important. To Panepinto, a devotion to the unborn is obviously an important aspect of his character.
So if the voters don’t like it, they don’t need to elect him.
That’s what I call being pro-choice.