Back in March of 2009, a bill aimed exclusively at the Catholic Church, was introduced to the Connecticut State Legislature. Wikipedia picks it up from there:
On March 10, 2009, the bill was tabled.
Senator McDonald and Representative Lawlor claimed that the bill was proposed as a response to the 2006 fraud case in which Rev. Michael Jude Fay, a priest from the Diocese of Bridgeport, was accused of stealing $1.4 million from his parish. However, since Raised Bill 1098 explicitly referred only to the Roman Catholic Church, and would require the creation of administrative corporate boards of lay people as heads of parishes, replacing the Church's normal oversight by priests and bishops, many recognized that the bill was probably raised largely to antagonize and harass the church, which had opposed certain legislative initiatives of McDonald and Lawlor. On March 11, 2009, a scheduled protest by 3500 marchers became a celebration following the news that the bill had been tabled. As the public outcry rose, McDonald and Lawlor issued several conflicting and inconsistent statements regarding the origins of the bill. At times they blamed each other, and at other times they said it was drafted by unnamed constituent(s). At a public hearing on the bill, experts such as then dean of Boston College Law School John Garvey and others said that Bill 1098 was the most obviously unconstitutional bill they had ever seen.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the bill "would force the Church to alter its structure in violation of its own religious principles." One of the sponsors of the Bill, Andrew J. McDonald, stated that the effort was an "attempt to create a forum for a group of concerned Catholic constituents to discuss their legislative proposals regarding parish corporate finances." Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori described it as "unconstitutional," as a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has opened an investigation to "determine its intent and its possible violation of the constitution."
Thankfully, the bill went nowhere though not, apparently, without a fight.
In news only beginning to surface now (I wonder why), Andrew McDonald, one of the bill's sponsors, has been nominated to the Connecticut Supreme Court by the Governor of the state:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has nominated former State Senator Andrew J. McDonald to one of two vacancies in the Connecticut Supreme Court.
A former partner at the Stamford office of Pullman & Comley, McDonald has known and worked closely with Malloy over the past 20 years, first as Stamford corporation counsel for three and a half years when Malloy was mayor, and for the past two years, as Malloy's top legal counsel.
At a press conference Thursday in the Old Judiciary room at the capitol, Malloy's remarks were brief but unstinting: "In my estimation, Andrew possesses a unique ability to understand, research, analyze, and evaluate legal issues. These are skills that have served him well previously, and I'm sure those same skills will allow him to be a great jurist on the Connecticut Supreme Court. Malloy praised McDonald's ability as a listener, adding, "he sometimes even listens to me."
Standard fare from a Governor looking to appoint someone from the same party to State's Supreme Court. But then the plot thickens:
Malloy described McDonald as "highly principled and ethical." A lawyer himself, Malloy cited the 2008 Connecticut landmark case of Kerrigan v. State, which guarantees marriage equality in the state. He noted, "It was my pleasure to perform the marriage of Andrew and Charles [Gray] while I was the mayor of Stamford. It was equally my pleasure to know that Andrew, when confirmed by the General Assembly, will be the first openly gay appellate jurist to serve in Connecticut's history."
Let there be little doubt as to what this appointment is about and what it might mean to faithful Catholics or anyone seriously concerned about religious liberty.
And this is only a harbinger.
Fr. Z. sheds light on the strategy being deployed and not just in Connecticut:
Liberals work to warp society and to undermine the Catholic Church from within and without, through creeping incrementalism.
They introduce some odd ball scheme, it gets shot down. They have bumped the paradgim a little bit toward their goal. They introduce it again. It gets shot down again. They bumped the paradigm. They introduce it again, and again, and again…. Then it passes.
Or they place people in judicial positions where they can ensure the agenda is moved forward.
The threat to liberty is real and present.
Sooner or later, we'll each have to choose which side to defend, which side to align ourselves with.
I think it best to choose now.
While we're able.