Spanish Catholic justice fends off calls to recuse himself in abortion case

Madrid, Spain, Aug 20, 2012 / 04:06 pm (CNA).- Justice Andres Ollero of Spain's Constitutional Court, who will write the ruling on a case challenging the country's 2010 abortion law, has warded off calls to recuse himself because he is Catholic.

“It makes no sense to think that the justices come to the (court) with preconceived prescriptions,” Justice Ollero said in an Aug. 16 article published by the ABC newspaper.

Justice Ollero underscored that as a judge, he has taken an oath to carry out his office “respecting a strict constitutional-juridical methodology, which differs from that of moral controversies or political debates.”

He said it would be an “insult” to claim that justices who are believers are incapable of finding rational arguments to establish the unconstitutionality of a law.

Because of its defense of basic human values, Catholicism is “a very reasonable religion,” he added.  To discredit those who have a different opinion by claiming they have “pre-constitutional ideas” is “political irrationality.”

Ollero said the justice who writes the upcoming ruling on abortion only has one vote and is speaking for the majority on the court.  

“If his arguments do not convince the majority, he should chose to either make the corrections that do reflect the opinion of the majority, or not write the opinion, which would then be passed on to another justice without any problem.”

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