LA Times’ Oliphant discusses SCOTUS and religion

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2010

A few weeks ago, I noted that with the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court of the United States would no longer have a Protestant Christian as a member. Now James Oliphant, writing for the LA Times discusses the same.

He reports that many observers dismiss the importance of religious diversity. And he quotes one of the few Justices who discuss the matter

Scalia, one of the few justices who have spoken about the role of Catholicism in their deliberations, has done so largely as a means of reconciling his faith with his votes to uphold death sentences. He has said that any Catholic judge who believes the death penalty is immoral should resign.

But he has emphasized that his faith has had little effect on how he views his role as a judge.

“I am hard-pressed to tell you of a single opinion of mine that would have come out differently if I were not Catholic,” he said in a 2007 speech.

How very odd. I could probably identify dozens in which Scalia’s faith-system dictated his position.

johnathan

April 22nd, 2010

A point raised by the LA Times article was all five justices composing the current conservative wing of the Supreme Court — Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas — are Catholic. As a recovering Catholic, I found this to be of most interest.

John Doucette

April 23rd, 2010

To think that when John F. Kennedy was running for president there was a big political to do about how much his administration would be under the influence of Rome. Now we have a Supreme Court whose majority is Catholic and nobody bats an eye. Justice Scalia’s remarks are a bit facetious. If he wasn’t Catholic, he would have a whole different mindset as he would have grown and matured with a whole different belief system. This should concern people.

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