Are Two Jews Too Many of the Supreme Court?
Though Jews make up only a minuscule percentage of the population of America they have two justices sitting on the highest court in the land. But it might not be all that bad because Breyer doesn’t really go to synagogue all that often or reportedly take his faith all that seriously.
Sounds like a pretty offensive opening paragraph, right? I agree.
But Salon has no problem asking the same question about the number of Catholics on the Supreme Court.
Are six Catholics too many for the Supreme Court?
If Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, six of the nine justices will be Roman Catholic. Two of the other three justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are Jewish. John Paul Stevens, at age 89 the oldest and longest-serving justice, would be the only Protestant left on the court. Should that worry us?
Now, Salon has an interesting answer to their question. Initially they say no it shouldn’t worry us. But the reason is priceless. We shouldn’t worry too much because…Sotomayor’s cool because she doesn’t go to Church all that often.
It might be really instructive for these five guys to be forced to hang out with a divorced Latina with no kids — a woman who, as the White House delicately put it, “was raised Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and special events.” Especially because the experience is likely to change Sotomayor as well — and make her an even more formidable counterweight to the male Catholic bloc.
There is nothing more likely to radicalize a “moderate” Catholic woman of even marginal religiosity than daily exposure to Catholic men who think women need to be protected from making money or from making bad and sad abortion choices. Sotomayor, the valedictorian of Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, may feel she’s been transported back in time. She will quickly get her fill of rigid , non-empathic, just-don’t-get-it, one-step-removed-from-Catholic-school, hold-out-your-hands-for-a-few-whacks-of-the-ruler decisions.
Sounds a wee bit anti-Catholic to me but what else can you expect from Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for a Free Choice.
And are you ready for the anti-Catholic conclusion. Although she said earlier in the column that we shouldn’t be worried about the number of Catholics on the bench, she pretty much takes it back here:
Enough, however, is enough. If we believe that diversity is a value on the court, then there can be no more Catholics — male or female, any ethnicity, I don’t care. Six is enough. No more Catholics till somebody else gets a turn. Maybe even a white Protestant male.
Wow. Now please just imagine for a second the uproar if this had been written about Jewish folks on the bench.