court tip

More lunch time reading …. looks like the Washington Post has just figured out that Alito's nomination means a Catholic majority on the Supreme Court (Court Could Tip to Catholic Majority)

If Samuel A. Alito Jr. is confirmed to the Supreme Court, a majority of its nine justices for the first time will be Roman Catholics -- a fact that, depending on whom you ask, marks the acceptance of a once-persecuted minority, reflects the importance of conservative Catholics to the Republican Party or means practically nothing.
Some highlights:
*to many, what's interesting about this is that it's a non-issue compared to past outright anti-Catholicism in our nation's history
*the striking fact is that they are all five REPUBLICANS. Back in the day when there was the "Catholic seat" on the court, it went to a Democrat. (That shift says a lot I think about our nation and our church).
*5 Catholic justices also says a lot about the success of the Catholic school system (although I don't know if any of them went to Catholic school). Not only was an immigrant population mainstreamed. They were well educated and taught to value education.

Of course, they're all men. No conclusions to this post. Just amusing that it took a week for this article to be written.


Lorem ipsum said...

Consider: JFK was looked upon with suspicion because he was Catholic (fears that he would do the Pope's bidding in the US government). Then, forty-plus years later, Kerry (another JFK), a Catholic, was looked upon with suspicion because he wasn't religious ENOUGH.

Catholics on SCOTUS? Shocking. See: Kerry.

Lisa said...

This whole new recent interpretation of the significance of Catholic identity in public life is intriguing and troubling on a number of fronts.

I recall my recent surprise to "learn" (perhaps I had heard it previously but forgotten) that Clarence Thomas identifies as Catholic. That said, I would like to encourage the analysis to consider the possible significance of a hypothetical Scalia-Thomas-Alito expression of Catholicity in public service given the resurgence or re-emergence of a particularly narrow non-inclusive expression of Catholicism within the United States (Author's note: I am not referring here to a sincere traditionalism but rather an interpretation of Catholicism in its efforts to be faithful actually misconstrues, narrowly construes, or only partially embraces elements of Catholic teaching).

I don't propose to know that such a block could be made in terms of theological or moral perspectives, but I pose it as food for thought.


Richard said...

The sad thing to me is the way the Democratic party has imploded and given up, or outright abandoned its core constituency. Being a Catholic politician (or Judge) in today's world of reactive politics cum pollstering, no longer describes one's values and expression of faith, it seems to simply be an empty resume item. How can we work for justice that springs from faith when our "Catholic" leaders are Catholic in name alone?

Joe said...

As far as the Catholic schools go, they can claim credit for Roberts, Scalia and Thomas, but Alito (and as far as I know, Kennedy) never attended Catholic school. I was thinking of doing a post on Alito as a "public school Catholic," one who not only attended public schools K-12 but sent his kids to public schools also. I haven't heard any Catholic commentator make an issue of this, which suggests that the old saw about parents who didn't send their kids to parochial school being "bad Catholics" is dying. As another public school Catholic (albeit one who has since attended two Catholic universities), I'm glad one of our number possibly ascend to the Court, even if I disagree with much of his jurisprudence.

Lisa said...

Really thoughtprovoking posts! I am especially in Joe's point about non-Catholic school Catholics and would love to hear more of that analysis.