Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Papacy and the Supreme Court

With all the meaningless trivia and objections being thrown around about Sotomayor's nomination, is anybody else as shocked as I am that, if she is appointed, there will be six Catholics on the Supreme Court, along with two Jewish judges and only one protestant (John Paul Stevens).

I don't think there's a lot to take from that fact. I suppose you could perhaps argue that Alito's/Thomas's/Scalia's/Roberts' stance on abortion and Roe v. Wade may have something to do with their religion, but that's not necessarily automatic, and certainly Sotomayor's stance on the issue and her religion are probably not in complete agreement. Still, for a country that's had exactly one Catholic president ever and has a rich anti-Catholic (along w/anti-Irish, anti-Italian, and anti-Spanish/anti-Hispanic) legacy at various periods through its history, that there are six Catholics strikes me as rather remarkable.

(And to be clear about two things: A) I'm not pretending this is any deep analysis or mind-blowing observation; and B) I really don't think this should be used as a platform to say, "oh my God! We need more Protestants/atheists/polytheists/whatever!" That is, not unless we feel the Supreme Court needs more casseroles and jello salads, in which case a Protestant or two are definitely needed).