This from the American Papist website:
Former Laetare Medalist Judge John T. Noonan to deliver address at Notre Dame’s Commencement in lieu of Mary Ann Glendon
And way down at the bottom, as an "afterthought" conclusion:
Judge John T. Noonan Jr., the 1984 recipient of the Laetare Medal, has accepted an invitation to deliver an address in the spirit of the award at Notre Dame’s 164th University Commencement Ceremony on May 17. His speech will be in lieu of awarding the medal this year.
“In thinking about who could bring a compelling voice, a passion for dialogue, great intellectual stature, and a deep commitment to Catholic values to the speaking role of the Laetare Medalist – especially in these unusual circumstances – it quickly became clear that an ideal choice is Judge Noonan,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame. “This commencement ceremony, more than anything else, is a celebration of our students and their families. Judge Noonan will join with President Obama and other speakers in that celebration, sending them from our campus and into the world with sound advice and affirmation.
“Since Judge Noonan is a previous winner of the Laetare Medal, we have decided, upon reflection, to not award the medal this year.”
"Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, was selected as the 2009 Laetare Medalist but declined the honor."
AND FROM COMMONWEAL...
“Since Judge Noonan is a previous winner of the Laetare Medal, we have decided, upon reflection, to not award the medal this year.” Noonan was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.
In addition to his service on the federal bench, Noonan has been a consultant for the Presidential Commission on Population, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Law Institute.
Noonan has served as a consultant for several agencies in the Catholic Church, including Pope Paul VI’s Commission on Problems of the Family, and the U.S. Catholic Conference’s committees on moral values, law and public policy, law and life issues, and social development and world peace. He also has been a governor of the Canon Law Society of America, and director of the National Right to Life Committee.
Commentary pro and con can be found on the above websites. Also, the HVCL and LifeNet suggest you read this analysis of Judge Noonan's abortion position Noonan and Catholic Perspectives, which seems to be no exceptions opposition. You can also read a review of one of Judge Noonan's books, The Lustre of Our Country, The American Experience of Religious Freedom, here - http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/7099.php
With prayer protests planned near campus and heavy hitters on the podium, commencement should be more than interesting. Principle has already trumped prestige in the broad outpouring of pro-life sentiment. Will President Obama's appearance charm or harm? No matter. The honor bestowed on him at this juncture in his political career will be forever tainted with the blood of the unborn.