Kmiec to go to Malta for Obama

by Dennis Coday

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This just in from Catholic News Service:

tWASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama July 2 nominated law professor Douglas Kmiec to be ambassador to the Republic of Malta.

tThe president announced Kmiec's nomination along with nominees for ambassador posts in Mongolia, Burkina Faso, Swaziland and the Netherlands.

Nominations for ambassador have to be confirmed by the Senate.

A professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Kmiec often writes on religion in the public square.

Kmiec originally supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, during the primaries in the 2008 presidential race. When Romney dropped out of the race, Kmiec switched his support to Obama and wrote a book explaining how a pro-life Catholic could back the Illinois Democrat despite his support for keeping abortion legal.

The professor has talked about his experience of being denied holy Communion in April 2008 after expressing his support for Obama. "To be separated from the body of Christ is a faith torture. I don't wish that on anyone," he said.

Kmiec was dean and St. Thomas More professor at Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington from 2001-03.

Earlier he served for almost two decades as a professor of law and director of the Center on Law and Government at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he founded the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.

Nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate, he served as the assistant attorney general and head of the Office of Legal Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, 1988-89. From 1985-87, he was the deputy assistant attorney general in that office.

A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Southern California's Law School, Kmiec has written several books on the U.S. Constitution and a legal treatise on the law of property.

Fay Hartog-Levin, Obama's nominee as ambassador to the Netherlands, is a senior consultant at the Res Publica Group, a Chicago-based public affairs and media relations firm. She is a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law.

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