Thursday, April 26, 2007
I suppose it was inevitable that liberal opponents of the Supreme Court's decision would attempt to focus on the fact that the five Justices in the majority were Catholics. This column in the New York Times is an example, as was the post by Geoff Stone at the American Constitution Society Blog. A more sensible piece was written by Jan Crawford Greenburg.
This focus on the Justices' religion strikes me as a dangerous path to take. It creates religious dissension, and as a liberal strategy is as likely as unlikely to have the effects that the liberals desire. But a decision against abortion seems to cause people to lose perspective, and they will want to lash out.
As an originalist, I would also ask the liberals what they expect from their nonoriginalist philosophy? If judges are allowed to depart from the original meaning, then they will consider their policy views and people's religious views affect their policy views. This is not to say that that occurred in this case, only that a nonoriginalist judicial practice makes it more likely.