Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Catholics on the Court

A double standard from the left? Say it ain't so!

How different from just a few years ago. Back when the nominee was Sam Alito, talk was about the "fifth Catholic" on the bench. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, complained that "with Alito, the majority of the Court would be Roman Catholics."

Before that it was John Roberts. In the run-up to his confirmation, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece headlined "Wife of Nominee Holds Strong Antiabortion Views." Though the article conceded that a "spouse's views normally are not considered relevant in weighing someone's job suitability," plainly these were not normal times. Mrs. Roberts, the paper pointed out, had worked for a group called "Feminists for Life," and was characterized as an "extremely, extremely devout Catholic"...

It's possible, of course, that Democrats and their allies in the media and activist community no longer regard Catholics with the suspicion they did back when President George W. Bush's nominees were up for consideration. More likely, the relatively soft reaction to Ms. Sotomayor's Catholicism is because of a calculation that when it comes to hot-button issues such as abortion or gay marriage, she doesn't really believe what her church teaches.

Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, says the Sotomayor hearings highlight a glaring double standard about how the Catholicism of judicial nominees is treated -- and the great irony this treatment exposes...

"Yet here's the irony. The same people who feel no compunction in trying to use the Catholicism of an Alito or Pryor to raise suspicions about their suitability then cry foul when anyone demands to know the basis of the moral convictions and personal feelings of someone that a liberal Democratic president is trying to place on the Supreme Court."

I shall grow old waiting for consistency from the left.


MiaZagora said...

I think it's "different" because I think Sotomayor is pro-choice or a nominal Catholic? I don't know this for sure. It seems as long as you don't let your personal faith actually affect the way you live life, then you're considered to be okay in Democrat Land.

Ellen K said...

Sotomayor would be known in Catholic circles as a "Cafeteria Catholic"-one that picks and chooses her alignment based on personal agendas rather than adherence to Church dogma. This isn't unusual in the US, but it also makes people wonder if she adheres to Catholicism for entrenchment in the Hispanic community while ignoring the precepts of the Right to Life mantle.

maxutils said...

Why is this a left/right issue? From her nomination, you know I was against having another catholic on the court. As I was with both of the last two Bush appointees.

I think the most useful,and heretofore unused litmus test should be, "Have you ever read the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution?"