Yesterday evening, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor presented the Sandra Day O’Connor Medal of Honor to Third U.S. Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry at Seton Hall University School of Law. The award is sponsored by three student clubs — the Seton Hall Women’s Law Forum, the Seton Hall Law Review, and the Seton Hall Legislative Bureau — to honor women who have “distinguished themselves in the fields of law and public service.”
In 2000, Barry authored the Third U.S. Circuit Court’s opinion striking down a New Jersey ban on partial-birth abortion because “a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion would be impermissibly chilled.”
Past recipients of the award include pro-abortion Judge Judith Kaye, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.
Although Seton Hall demanded that students present Whitman’s 1998 award off-campus because of her support for abortion rights, the award to Barry will be presented at the law school.
The Archdiocese of Newark, which owns Seton Hall University, issued a statement: “Catholic teaching recognizes that every life is sacred and deserving of protection under the law. Catholic institutions of higher learning have a choice in whom they honor. It would be inappropriate and inconsistent for the Archdiocese to endorse the selection for special recognition of anyone who undermines the assurance of legal protections for the unborn.”
Archbishop John Myers
Msgr. Robert Sheeran
Dean Patrick Hobbs
(This update courtesy of the Cardinal Newman Society.)