CNN Says a Justice's Religion Doesn't Matter - Questions Catholic Representation on the Supreme Court

Patrick Hauf | July 10, 2018
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CNN published an article Tuesday titled, “Why do Catholics hold a strong majority on the Supreme Court?”

The article, written by Z. Byron Wolf, fails to come to a clear conclusion, while making false assumptions and contradictory statements.

Wolf begins by noting the strong representation of Catholics on the Supreme Court, stating that if President Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh is approved by the Senate, the Supreme Court will keep its two-thirds Catholic majority. That includes Justice Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic, but keeps his current faith-life private. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan are the only non-Catholics, all three of which are Jewish. The retiring Justice Kennedy and late Justice Scalia were also Catholic judges.

So why does this matter? Well, Wolf says it's irrelevant. But despite writing that a “justice's religion does not, nor should it, matter,” he says he's curious how "Catholic and Jewish justices have found such success,” as if there was some sort of conspiracy.

Just to be clear, to this CNN digital director, a justice’s religion does not matter, but it’s worth writing an entire article about.

Wolf goes on to cite certain demographics showing that Catholicism in America is declining yet its overrepresentation on the highest court remains.

Here, all of a sudden, a justice’s religion apparently does matter.

“[T]here is a perception that male Catholics on the court are more likely to vote against abortion and perhaps that plays a role among conservatives looking to chip away at Roe,” Wolf writes.

This perception is likely a reaction to the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, which states that human life must be “protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

However, Catholic teachings are irrelevant to the decisions of judges, whose jobs are to interpret the Constitution, not to rule on their personal opinions — a fact Wolf fails to understand.

“Judicial nominees these days are loath to answer how they'd vote on cases or how they feel generally about issues, especially abortion,” Wolf writes.

But why would they make public how they “feel” about abortion, when those feelings are supposed to be irrelevant to their decision-making as judges?

Someone, anyone, please buy the book “Law for Dummies” and give it to this CNN employee.

(Cover Photo: Flickr - Phil Roeder)