Supreme Court Justices, Religion, & Anti-Catholicism
See John Henry's post at The American Catholic: "Supreme Court Justices and Religion":
To ask some questions is to answer them, and via Commonweal, I see that UCLA history professor emeritus Joyce Appleby has penned a lovely exercise in anti-Catholicism entitled, Should Catholic Justices Recuse Selves On Certain Cases?
In response, David Gibson at Commonweal notes that he, as well as all of the Catholic Justices on the Court, would argue that the teachings of the Church have no bearing on their rulings. Nevertheless, Ms. Appleby apparently believes the Justices cannot be taken at their word on this matter. Catholic justices, it seems, can’t be trusted.
What interests me about this line of argument is that both Mr. Gibson and Ms. Appleby implicitly assume there is something wrong with religious beliefs influencing Justices. And I am curious about what that something is. For instance, Judge Sotomayor is famously on the record for saying that a judge’s background (i.e. gender, ethnicity, life experience) influences their decision-making, as is Justice Ginsberg if I am not mistaken. Yet there have been no calls for the recusal of female (or male) judges from gender discrimination cases.