April 22, 2010

"There is an idea that there is more to judging than looking at sources of law, and Barack Obama has specifically emphasized that part of the judicial role."

That's me, quoted in the L.A. Times article "Why religion could affect Obama's court nomination/With the exit of John Paul Stevens, the court will be without a Protestant for the first time. Catholics dominate. Does it matter?"

50 comments:

Hagar said...

To say that the environment you grew up in does not affect your outlook on life, such as f. ex., the authority of the state and your duty to respect it, is fatuous.

Lem said...

Religion is the last thing in Obama's mind as he considers a supreme replacement.

Obama doesn't even attend service regularly.. that I know of.. somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

HDHouse said...

Or if you have no connection to life other than as that of an observer what connection could you have to a body of work that helps governs us.

mariner said...

I believe it does. Protestant Americans' distrust of Catholics is not simply religious bigotry.

Catholicism is hierarchical; parishoners are told what to believe and how to act, and taught to obey Church officials because they speak for God. Protestantism is based on individual freedom and accountability. Protestants are taught that each person has his own relationship with God, and that each person is accountable for his own choices.

The original American culture of self-reliance and distrust of government authority could never have developed in a Catholic milieu, so the United States could never have arisen from a Catholic culture.

Notice that as more Catholics have been appointed to the Court, the Court has been more and more friendly to bigger and bigger government. I believe these two trends are related.

Lem said...

An American Catholic..

Isn't that a contradiction ;)

ricpic said...

Whoever the Lawless One nominates will be a Catholic, Protestant or Jew in name only. In other words his nominee will be as lawless as he is.

Palladian said...

"Whoever the Lawless One nominates will be a Catholic, Protestant or Jew in name only. In other words his nominee will be as lawless as he is."

Exactly. Religious affiliation is simply a political affectation to the majority of these people .

This applies to politicians of all parties, by the way, though it's somewhat more acceptable to be genuinely religious in conservative circles.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Catholicism is hierarchical; parishoners are told what to believe and how to act, and taught to obey Church officials because they speak for God."

And this philosophy leads directly to child sexual abuse.

Which is why it's a horrid philosophy, and why Obama will probably nominate another Catholic.

Palladian said...

Oh shut up, Newham.

Just though I'd get that in before your inevitable torrent of intemperate, inflammatory, disingenuous blather.

Palladian said...

Adjuro ergo te, omnis immundissime spiritus, omne phantasma, omnis incursio satanæ, in nomini Jesu Christi!

Just thought I'd throw that in there in case this Catholicism thing really works. Maybe it will make Newham go away.

verification word: you won't believe it, so here's a screenshot...

!!!!!!!

[crosses self]

Lem said...

I take that last comment back..

The Anchoress is a good Catholic.

Her profession of faith was a revelation.

Scott said...

"That's me, quoted in the L.A. Times article"

Does that kind of thing still give you a tingle?

AllenS said...

I'd rather be governed by Word Verification.

WV: prear

Before ar, there was...

Paddy O. said...

"Catholicism is hierarchical; parishoners are told what to believe and how to act, and taught to obey Church officials because they speak for God. Protestantism is based on individual freedom and accountability. Protestants are taught that each person has his own relationship with God, and that each person is accountable for his own choices."

A nice, basic paper distinction that has very little bearing on what Protestants and Catholics actually think. I know, and have experienced, Protestant congregations that are rigidly hierarchical and in which the Pastor is essentially considered unerring, and I've known significant numbers of Catholics who do what they want to do, but consider themselves good Catholics if they go to Mass on occasion. Indeed, I'd go as far to say that the average dedicated Baptist is as or much more rigidly oriented by their pastor than any Catholic is led by their priest.

"somebody correct me if I'm wrong."
I don't think you're wrong about church attendance, but this is no longer as accurate a gauge on religious belief. They're almost 2 separate issues. Especially for presidents. I suspect Obama is not religious, but I also suspect Clinton wasn't either, nor Reagan. Carter was an example of why a lot of people don't go to church but can be still religious. Those kinds of men are leaders in a lot of churches, and there's a lot of religion but not a lot of real Christian spirituality in it.

Larry J said...

"There is an idea that there is more to judging than looking at sources of law, and Barack Obama has specifically emphasized that part of the judicial role."

The legal concept of judging outside of the sources of law is formally known as "making shit up." Obama definitely wants a nominee proficient in this skill.

buster said...

Mariner said:

"Notice that as more Catholics have been appointed to the Court, the Court has been more and more friendly to bigger and bigger government. I believe these two trends are related."

The Catholics on the Court are the conservatives: Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito. Are these the Justices responsible for the trend towards big government you complain about?

More generally, Althouse's demand to take religion into account because of the Catholic majority seems to assume that the Catholics were nominated *because* they are Catholics, and not because of their judicial philosophy. For most of its history the Court was dominated by Protestants. Were they chosen because they were Protestants? If so, was that a good thing?

Mariner's bloviations on the nature of Catholic culture display his ignorance of the matter.

rdkraus said...

Larry refers to the penumbra / emanation philosophy of law.

We're due for an athiest. How about Michael Newdow? He's interested and would make the Sup Ct really interesting, kinda like "Court Survivor, The Reality Show."

AllenS said...

Little known fact: when I was a kid my "nickname" was Buster.

MadisonMan said...

What the hell is taking so long?

Sloanasaurus said...

It doesn't matter. Today's lefty- catholics dismiss rules and statutes as much as the next lefty.

Today's Obama Democrats are all about spin and optics. There is no truth or ordinary langage. Everything is a masquarade for something else. A tax is now a fee, etc... The lefty judges behave the same way.

buster said...

@ Allen S:

Mine was too. Still is.

wv: tortley a persistent tortfeasor

Paddy O. said...

"Protestant" is meaningless anyhow.

Like a conservative Southern Baptist is going to have similar rulings as a liberal Presbyterian.

I would say there might be a distinction if we said Evangelical or Mainline Protestant. Any Protestant Obama would nominate would be in the latter category, and probably as actually religious as he is.

rollingdivision said...

Obama will nominate a person who will significantly move the court to the left. Which will require quite a leftist since the starting point is the extremely liberal Stevens. Obama will go for the grand slam leftist home run and nothing less.

mariner said...

It's worth noting that the left-of-center denominations are labelled "mainline", while the right-of-center denominations are labelled as to be the fringe.

Paddy O. said...

"For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

chuck b. said...

"Religion is a private matter."

Really? It is? It's private?

Huh!

Hagar said...

Althouse did not demand that religion be taken into account [when nominating jusices]; she just observed that religious differences do exist and have effects on one's personality, and so may color one's judgements.

Hagar said...

As in a wise Latina, who has lived that life.
You have to nominate somebody.

edutcher said...

Why do I get the feeling that The Zero will find it suddenly vital we have a Moslem on the Court?

With regard to mariner and some of the other resident Protestants here, it's nice to know that the sacrifice of all those damned Catholics at places like Molino Del Rey, Antietam, Little Big Horn, San Juan Hill, Chateau Thierry, and on 9/11 didn't mean a damned thing. We're still second-class citizens.

Sloanasaurus and Paddy O are right; as ricpic puts it, the nominee will only use his/her religion as a label.

buster said...

Hagar said:

"Althouse did not demand that religion be taken into account [when nominating jusices]; she just observed that religious differences do exist and have effects on one's personality, and so may color one's judgements."

Whatever. Don't know why she mentioned religion (Protestant vs. Catholic) as opposed to any other aspect of the Justice's lives.

mariner said...

edutcher,

Please spare us the "poor us" victimhood.

Catholics are such second-class citizens that most Supreme Court justices are Catholic.

Right.

Trooper York said...

You know he is going to name a Prod because he wants to divorce his wife and marry Ann Boylen.

Didn't you see the mini-series?

Trooper York said...

edutcher, don't sweat it buddy. It doesn't matter what these dirty Prods have to say we know they are going to burn in hell anyway.

Trooper York said...

I am sticking with my suggestion of Lynn Stewart. She is the perfect embodiment of his world view and will reflect the type of rulings that he would like to see.

It's a win-win for the Big O and makes up for the fact that he didn't give her a job in the Justice Department like the rest of her friends. Fair is fair.

Paddy O. said...

"You know he is going to name a Prod because he wants to divorce his wife and marry Ann Boylen."

:-D

danielle said...

isnt it perfectly clear that there is more to judging than looking at sources of law ? if it were just about looking at sources of law, (1) wouldnt all judged reach the same conclusions, and (2) couldnt we just to a word search over the set of existing law, and then we wouldnt need judges at all.

The professor comes off like this is just some liberal 'idea' in the mind of the president, and not a fact.

well, at least that article didnt regurgitate the empathy debate. actually, if one of the right-wingers had mentioned it, i wouldnt put it past the LA Times to cut it out.

rhhardin said...

I take the idea to be that the audience of Oprah ought to get a Supreme Court vote in what the law says.

If the idea is that words play their own tricks and you have to deal with it, or that the law has to be kept reasonably self-consistent in the face of that, that's okay, but doesn't argue for a Protestant point of view, or a woman's point of view.

Other than that, all there is is the claim, so far.

edutcher said...

mariner said...

edutcher,

Please spare us the "poor us" victimhood.

Catholics are such second-class citizens that most Supreme Court justices are Catholic.

Right.


No 'poor us', but just because you have a few pseudo Catholics doing well, either on the Court or as "America's Royal Family", doesn't mean the rest have been accepted. Yet Catholics believe in this country enough to go out and die for it in numbers beyond their proportion in society.

There are token blacks in government, as well - we even have one in the White House, but that doesn't mean black people have arrived, either. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of serious contenders for the Presidency who have been Catholic. Catholics have some power because of their numbers - all those years of popping out 14 kids to a family which the Protestants find so icky and lower clahs, but how many good Protestant parents want their son or daughter to marry one?

According to you, not many. The Protestants want the Catholics when they need a bricklayer or a cop - the same way they want the Jews if they need a lawyer or accountant - otherwise, they're not good enough. When that changes, then we will have arrived.

Trooper York said...

Hey that's not fair. Every time I want a snake handled I call in one of those dirty Prods.

Trooper York said...

Well except for a trouser snake.

rhhardin said...

Rush referenced the newspaper article at about 2:20 eastern.

Kirby Olson said...

A Muslim Imam who supports Sharia Law would probably be fast-tracked in the confirmation process. That's what I'd go for if I were BO.

madawaskan said...

Althouse who you should really rail against-are all the damn Episcopalians-

First column number of Justices, second column % of Justices, third column % of U.S. population,2000

Episcopalian..........35 32.4% 1.7%
Presbyterian......... 19 17.6% 2.8%
Catholic ..............11 10.2% 24.5%
Unitarian ..............10 9.3% 0.2%
Jewish....................7 6.4% 1.5%
Methodist..............5 4.6% 8.0%
Baptist.................. 3 2.7% 18.0%
Congregationalist. 2 1.9% 0.6%
Disciples of Christ 2 1.9% 0.3%
Lutheran.............. 1 0.9% 5.2%
Quaker................. 1 0.9% 0.1%
Huguenot............. 1 0.9%
"Protestant" not further defined 13 12.0% * 9.7%
Not a member of any church 1 0.9%

madawaskan said...

mariner-

You must be Episcopalian.

Trooper York said...

Hey weren't the Hugenots the guys who went to look for the Golden Fleece?

No wonder there are so few of them.

mariner said...

madawaskan,

Actually I'm a Huguenot.

;)

madawaskan said...

mariner-

LOL! You know literally I edited a comment that riffed on that-Huguenot-ha!

Do they even make Huguenots anymore?

[just joking]

Ann Althouse said...

chuck b. said...""Religion is a private matter." Really? It is? It's private? Huh!"

I don't particularly like the way I'm quoted there, but if you look you can see that I'm saying that many people think it shouldn't be talked about and that it's private. I didn't say that I thought that. I was trying to explain -- and I talked with Oliphant for some time -- that some people think religion should be kept out of the shared sphere of public discourse and also that many people think religion is internal to the individual's mind. But I think the latter is a reason to care what religion a judge is. Anyway, my thoughts on the subject are much more elaborate than what was used in that quote. I've talked in some detail about this on Bloggingheads. Check my most recent diavlog with Emily Bazelon.

madawaskan said...

So- any Catholics ahead of time are to be assumed significantly different in their thinking or unduly influenced-as opposed to any Protestant in advance.

Scalia and Sotomayor....influenced to think too much alike ; that's the conclusion you want people to draw when you fret about-too many Catholics.

madawaskan said...

What "affects thinking" more-being Black, Catholic, or homosexual?