June 1, 2009

Catholics and the Supreme Court

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New York Times (May 30, 2009)

I'm willing to bet Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will make it to the Supreme Court. And when she does, the court will have six Catholics, two Jews and one lonely Protestant.

Does it matter? I don't think so.

President Bush wanted reliable conservative judges. He probably would have loved to stack the court with fundamentalist Christians who graduated from Regent University law school (founded by televangelist Pat Robertson) or some other ultra-conservative university. Many of the lawyers Bush appointed to the Justice Department were from Regent. But I doubt graduates of schools like Regent would qualify for the Supreme Court. (U.S. News & World Report ranks Regent University School of Law as a Tier 4 school, the lowest ranking within the law school category.) So he turned to conservative Catholics who graduated from great law schools.

Sonia Sotomayor was selected by a Democrat. She isn't a church-going Catholic and will more than likely be a bit left of center. From what I have read about her, she tends to be pro-business and a bit liberal on social issues. I think she will be a bit like a slightly liberal version of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

This is about the best appointment Republicans can expect to get from a Democratic president. I'm willing to bet Obama's next Supreme Court appointee will be a flaming liberal activist judge -- the left-wing equivalent of Chief Justice John Roberts -- who will drive Republicans crazy.

We'll see.

Here's another view from the Washington Post.

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