As Last Protestant Leaves, Religion Seems Moot On Supreme Court


When Justice John Paul Stevens retires, there will be no Protestant left on the Supreme Court, notes Slate. Will President Obama be pressured to appoint one? Popular opinion once held that even one Catholic was too many on the court. Today there are six. But would anyone even notice if Obama appointed a seventh to replace Stevens? There once was an outright religious litmus test for Supreme Court appointees. Today religion is almost irrelevant in appointing new justices.

Slates says this raises a question: Are the days of caring about religious diversity on the high court behind us? Or is it merely that the days of talking about it openly are behind us? We generally don’t talk much about religion and the Supreme Court. We talk about the need for race and gender diversity on the court in brave, sweeping pronouncements: The court needs more women, we say, or more Asians, or more gay and disabled people. Because all those things will impact the law. But when it comes to talking about religious diversity, it happens in whispers, if at all.

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