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Five Catholics on the Supreme Court

Is this diversity or domination by the papacy?

by Michael H. Thomson
November 2, 2005

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Five Catholics on the Supreme Court
In my article on Harriet Miers, I said there was nothing wrong with the court having an evangelical Christian church lady to add to its diversity. Little did I know that once the Miers nomination was sadly withdrawn, our president, George W. Bush, would make a future nomination that would end diversity on the court, as we know it.
With the nomination of Samuel Alito and his most probable confirmation, the United States Supreme Court will be packed with Roman Catholics. The five justices – which include Chief Justice John Roberts – will give Roman Catholics a 5-4 majority on the court.  This is very disturbing considering that Roman Catholics represent less than a quarter of this country's religious population.
In 2004, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created a task force to deal with recalcitrant Roman Catholic politicians. This task force is led by Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick who runs herd over 150 Catholics in the U.S. Congress. If the Roman Catholic Church, which is always synonymous with Rome and the Pope, is committed to disciplining and pushing its agenda with elected Roman Catholic officials, does it stop pushing its agenda with Roman Catholic judges?
Right wing conservatives in the Republican Party are jubilant with the Alito nomination because of his stance on the omnipresent litmus test for potential justices: Roe vs. Wade.  If Roe vs. Wade were to be overturned – which it might – Roman Catholic influence on the court will still be present for many years. Pressure on these judges from the Vatican will be constant. As I've always said, there are other issues facing the court other than Roe vs. Wade. With a Catholic majority on the court, some future decisions of that body may be filtered through a papal prism. Let's look at the Roman Catholic Church and some of its issues.
The Child Sex Abuse Scandal - The Roman Catholic Church has been in the news over the past few years because of the scandal of pedophile priests. Several Bishops - notably former Boston Archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law have deliberately hidden pedophile priests from the long arm of justice. The Roman Catholic Church has paid out over one billion dollars in settlements to the victims of these criminal priests. Many of these cases are still pending. Some might even reach the Supreme Court. A court soon to be dominated by a Roman Catholic majority.
Immigration – At a time when this country is drowning from an influx of illegal aliens, the Roman Catholic Church has launched an initiative entitled Justice For Immigrants  that among other things proposes legislation that would grant amnesty to the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in this country. With attendance down, illegal immigrants filling the pews are a welcome addition to the church. Some extreme Roman Catholic groups aid and abet illegal immigrants who enter the country. Undoubtedly, many of these illegal immigration issues will arrive at the door of a Roman Catholic dominated U.S. Supreme Court.
Contraception – Although many Roman Catholics practice contraception in their family planning decisions, the Roman Catholic Church and its pope are foursquare against any kind of contraception. There have been efforts in the past by the Church to legislate against  legal efforts that would promote contraception – even for the prevention of AIDS. Will these issues ever appear at the steps of a predominantly Roman Catholic U.S. Supreme Court? In 1968, Pope Paul VI reemphasized that it is wrong to use contraception to prevent new humans from coming into existence. The Church has been stalwart in this position even in countries that are struggling with overpopulation.
The Death Penalty – Death penalty issues always come before the Supreme Court. The Pope and his bishops are opposed to the death penalty. The last pope even made personal appeals to certain American politicians to stay executions.  Will five Roman Catholic U.S. Supreme Court justices go against their pope?
Gays – While the Roman Catholic Church has an official position against homosexuality, in practice this is much different.  It is estimated that as many as thirty percent of Roman Catholic priests may be gay. Even more, including many bishops may be homosexually oriented. When gay issues reach the Supreme Court, what kind of subtle pressures may be expected from certain bishops and archbishops on Roman Catholic justices?
So how Roman Catholic are the justices who now comprise a majority on the court?
Clarence Thomas – Justice Thomas was raised a Catholic and after a period, left the Church and became an Episcopalian. Recently after much soul-searching, Clarence Thomas has returned to the Roman Catholic Church.
Anthony M. Kennedy – is described as being a "devout" adherent to the Catholic faith.
John Roberts – The new chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court attended Catholic schools and is a life long Catholic.  His wife is a trustee of the Roman Catholic college, Holy Cross.
Antonin Scalia – Justice Scalia attended Catholic high school and graduated from Catholic, Georgetown University. Justice Scalia is a devout practicing Roman Catholic.
Samuel Alito – Raised in a strong Italian Roman Catholic family, Alito like Justice Thomas briefly left the Church but has rejoined it. His 90-year-old mother was recently asked about his views on abortion.  She said, "He is against abortion," Rose Alito continued, "We both are." She said her son "still carries his Roman Catholic values with him. He is a very ordinary person, very conservative."
As I said in my Harriet Miers piece, I am a proponent of diversity. I thought George Bush was as well. In his recent court appointee decisions, he has packed the court with adherents of a religion that controls and manipulates politicians, not just in the United States, but also all over the world. The Roman Catholic Church is truly a "one world" organization. Sixteen percent of its priests in the United States were born outside of the United States. Thirty percent of its newly ordained priests were born outside the United States – most from the third world.

Diversity is great. Dominance - particularly of our court system - can be disastrous!

Additional Reading: Should The U.S. Deport Cardinal Roger M. Mahoney?

Comments (9)

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larry slay from brewton al writes:
November 2, 2005
Mike, you really put me into some deep thinking on this article. I pulled out my oldest, most worn Bible, among other versions I have, and searched the scriptures. This is what I found, Rome never died.

It is only a matter of time before the Roman Empire will rise again. What better place for Rome to plant it's seeds than the USA.

Rick Wilson from Brewton, AL writes:
November 3, 2005

You've made an interesting observation and pissed off half the world while doing it. No wonder you are my hero!

There are several ways to control a country likes ours. You can effect its economics, like China. Or, you can effect it judiciously, like people with their own agendas do who get elected to public office, or worse yet, get nominated for life.

There is no part of our daily lives that is not touched by the Supreme Court. These seven people rule our existance, even to some degree, dominating it. Positions should not be taken lightly which is why we question their politics and beliefs so carefully.

I am Episcopalian, Catholic-Lite as they say, and pro-life. I do not, however, consent to one group, be they black, white, protestant, catholic, jewish or otherwise, replacing their belief system with the majority of the country. It is not the way our fore fathers envisioned our nation that we stole from the Indians (another subject for you at Thanksgiving).

I want a real wack job in there. Someone who can shake things up. A person with a personality, who can laugh out loud at some of the BS that comes before the court. They don't have to know the law, just use common sense in their interpretations.

Oh what the hell, I'll do it. I can sit their and be just as big a blow hard as any of them. The difference is I would look at some of these idiots and tell it like it is.

Let's look at my qualifications. I like the death penalty for murdering morons but want to protect the unborn, a quandry for Teddy K.

I don't have a problem torturing people who can behead their hostages on national TV and convince kids and women to blow themselves up for Allah while they hide in the mountains. Make them sleep with a pig and feel unclean. That's awful.

If you sell drugs, rape, or even speak dirty to a child then you will feel my wrath.

People who dodge child support and taxes aren't paying their way. Take all their stuff.

Likewise for anyone who can work but chooses to sit on their ass and draw wellfare. That's fraud and should be punished.

People who fought in wars for our freedom should be given a break.

People that make more than the President of the US and then steal more from shareholders shouldn't get any break---ever.

Men who hit women get to sleep in prison with Hung Henry and really feel what its really like to be a woman.

Don't even think of coming before me if your defending an attorney for anything. Lawyers who can't obey the laws they helped make are at the top of my banish to Hell list. They are the reason we have to have libraries for all the laws and interpretations thereof.

I'd be a hard sell but worth it, don't you think.

Along time ago Moses came down from the mountain with ten rules to live by. Appropriatly, these were carved in stone, as they are in the back of the Supreme Court, which curiously, doesn't want them displayed in or on any other government building. Morons, morons, morons.

The simple fact is we just need to do your best to live by these ten little rules and everything will work out. It isn't easy but you can at least carry these laws around on your key chain for quick reference.

Keep the peace brother.

Your ranting and raving Republican friend,


WealeyWes from America writes:
November 18, 2005

Why should one not opposse Catholics, why should one not be concerened about a majority Papist Supreme Court? Why must i be equated with tha Klan?...Because of Nativism? ...Why should tha Klan get all tha glory? When asked pre-jfk (as if Kennedy disproved anything), beliefs like ~ can a Catholic still be inta American constitutional law and be a Catholic? They are obviously NOT good Catholics....So we have 6-7 Bad Catholics?

paul from us writes:
December 1, 2005
The Catholic Church gets the final say. The Vatican states that all oaths, contracts, laws and obligations are void when in comflict with the Church. Politicians, Judges, Lawmakers and private citizans can suffer the threat of Excommunication and eternal damnation when failing to obay the edicts of the Church. Will this have a affect on the Supreme Court? History shows us that religion has had a serious effect on almost every nation. People have been tourtured and put to death for not saying the mass in Latin, for printing the Bible in there own langue or for proposing scientific theory. Today the Catholic Church still reserves the right to use corporeal punishment, fines, threats and political influence when ever it sees fit. Historically It has deposed Kings, brought down goverments, invaded nations, put entire populations under the threat of Excommunication, interfered with national policies, and condemmend individuals. The Catholic Judges of the United Sates Supreme Court might all be good people, loyal and true Americans, fair, honest and trustworthy, but as Catholics there first allegiance is to Roam.

Rick Wilson from Brewton, AL writes:
December 1, 2005

This is your mind on drugs man. Sober up and try that paragraph again.

Have a nice day.


charles from spain writes:
January 12, 2006
Dear Sir:

Knowledge about Spainish countries will eventually lead one to Rome. Look for a moment at Spain: Four constitutions, a dictator, a king or two and five or six presidents, all in about 100 years. With a loaded bench on the supreme court all Rome will have to do is place a man in the Whitehouse and we too will soon be having kings, dictators and constitutions!

pete from ft lauderdale, fl writes:
January 31, 2006
Please advise your readers that there are 9 (nine) Supreme Court Justices.

I just wanted to say that there are 60 million Catholics living in America. Thats more than 20% of the entire population! Only a true idealogue would describe such a huge segment as extreme. People that political are not even being honest with themselves. I think a government should represent the majority and let local people decide for themselves. I feel that when local people decide, you can move to a community which suits you best instead of being stuck with intolerant, one size fits all laws. I think Catholic Justices can preside and maintain their personal positions by returning the decisions on matters like abortion, gay rights, etc.. to local people on a local level. This is what you should expect and I think its reasonable. I do agree that Rome lives today, but I must say,t I never understood the animosity toward Romans for an early experiment with a representatrive government. Everyone alive today benefits from early Roman advances in transportation, government, education, art and medicine. Just as the world benefits today from America. As far as dictators... Two things you will never find in a dictatorship: 1. God 2. Guns. Fight with everything to keep them. Without God, you have no rights. Without a gun, theres nothing you can do...if you dont seek out and kill dictators, youre prepared for one... and you deserve one!

Doug J from New Orleans writes:
June 29, 2010
It's interesting how you note the Catholic dominance on the Supreme Court at this time (first time in history, I might add, since most of the time Presidents would make sure there was one Catholic and one Jew on the SC in the not-too-distant past). Your statistical note that Catholics make up a little under one fourth of our population infers Catholics should make up under one fourth of the SC.

Using your same mathematical theorem then, there should have been eleven Catholic presidents by now, statistically speaking.

To equate what a leader does to what followers do would be the same as saying you are the president of the (fill in the name of your least favorite president) club just because they were the leader of our country.

As I said earlier, your blog is interesting, even if misguided.

janice from n.c. writes:
August 7, 2010
I agree with Pete. Also the Catholic Church under the direction of the Holy Spirit put the New Testament together choosing from hundreds of books which to include and which not to include.

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