As the old saying goes, some of my best friends are Catholic and Jewish. Still, I find it weird that with the retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a country founded by Protestants whose population is today sixty percent Protestant, may very well be ruled by a Supreme Court without one. When other groups have at various times demanded rulers that "looked like America," I nodded and I'm still nodding today as a majority Protestant nation is about to lose its lone Protestant member on the Supreme Court.
There are limits of course to the notion that the Court should reflect America, exemplified by the singularly idiotic comment by Nebraska Republican Senator Roman Hruska who, in the course of defending President Nixon's nominee to the high court Clement Haynsworth, responded to accusations that Haynsworth was mediocre by saying "even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"
While mediocre people aren't entitled to proportionate representation on the Court, and though I'd never argue that the court should be made up exactly of five women, six Protestants, one African-American etc., it remains troubling that a political culture that champions diversity is on the verge of having a Supreme Court that doesn't share the religious views of nearly two-thirds of its population.
Mark Joseph is a producer, author and editor of Bullypulpit.com
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