A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

We're Taking Over

Not really, but Roberts Would Be Fourth Catholic on Court.

If John Roberts is confirmed, he will be the fourth Roman Catholic on the Supreme Court, an all-time high that is focusing attention on how faith might influence law on the high court.

From abortion to capital punishment to physician-assisted suicide, the upcoming term offers plenty of issues in which the Catholic church has strong interest. But history shows a justice's religion does not provide a roadmap for rulings.

Abortion, the main religious matter swirling around Roberts' nomination, provides a telling example. The Catholic church's policy is that abortion is wrong in every instance.

Two of the Catholics on the current court —Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — are abortion foes. Scalia, whose son Paul is a priest, and Thomas are sometimes seen walking together to the court after attending Mass on holy days of obligation.

But the third Catholic —Anthony Kennedy — voted with the majority in a 5-4 ruling in 1992 reaffirming the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, despite some apparent inner turmoil. The late Justice Harry Blackmun said Kennedy worried "about the attention he would get as a Roman Catholic reaffirming Roe."
Kennedy might as well call himself a liberal. He's unreliable as a Conservative.

And oh no, Scalia and Thomas are "sometimes seen walking together to the court after attending Mass on holy days of obligaton." Must be a conspiracy! How dare they go to Mass!

And really, these days one cannot rely on people who say they are Catholics to really be Catholics. Look at John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Tom Daschle. They do not represent true Church teachings.

Why don't we ever see articles declaring "So-and-so Fourth Secularist on Court"?