Weigel's Open Letter to Sen. Leahy

is here in its entirety. He writes as "one Catholic to another":

Shortly after Judge Roberts’ nomination, President Bush was accused of “playing the Catholic card” in an opinion piece widely circulated in the blogosphere. “Playing the Catholic card” is, to be frank, either a vulgar appeal to ancient prejudices or code-language for “someone who can’t be trusted to take Planned Parenthood’s position on abortion.” In a news story chronicling Roberts’ work as deputy solicitor general, the Associated Press went out of its way to describe the nominee as a Catholic. Referring to Judge Roberts’ Catholicism in a news story in which that fact is wholly irrelevant is yet another example of barely disguised prejudice or warning-shot-by-code-language.

An overreaction? I think not. Consider what would have happened if, after nominating Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court, President Clinton had been accused of “playing the Jewish card”? Suppose the Associated Press had run a news story in these terms: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Jew, once wrote an ACLU legal brief on the constitutional status of Roe v. Wade”? There would have been outrage, and it would have been wholly justified. American civil society simply will not permit public displays of thinly veiled anti-Semitism. In your work before and during the Roberts confirmation hearings, perhaps you could challenge America to rid itself of vestigial anti-Catholicism — which, as historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr., once observed, is the most deeply rooted prejudice in the history of the United States.

There's more, RTWT.