Blogosphere Buzzes about Sotomayor’s Catholicism

Douglas Kmiec, professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University and a Catholic who famously endorsed President Obama during last year’s … Continued

Douglas Kmiec, professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University and a Catholic who famously endorsed President Obama during last year’s campaign despite Obama’s abortion rights position, takes on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Catholicism.

“Sooner or later the Catholic faith of Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be raised as an objection to her nomination and appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Kmiec writes on the National Catholic Reporter’s site. “One possible objection to Judge Sotomayor from the left will be her Catholic faith. There are already five Catholics on the court, it will be said. When the court upheld Congress’ limits on the partial-birth abortion ban, there were more than a few grumbles that it’s just those Catholics having their way.”

She would be the sixth Catholic justice–a stunning achievement for the faith. Boston Globe religion blogger Michael Paulson points out that while Catholics make up 23 percent of the U.S.population, they could end up holding 67 percent of the high court seats.

At Faith & Reason, religion blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman expects Sotomayor’s nomination to reignite the wars over “who is Catholic enough.”

First, it doesn’t appear that she goes to church all that much. One White House official told blogger Steve Waldman: “Judge Sotomayor…attends church for family celebrations and other important events.”

So much for that weekly Mass obligation thing.

And will the fact she is divorced cause orthodox Catholics to jump up and down? (Probably not..few orthodox American Catholics are that orthodox.) What about her few rulings having to do with abortion? Will they re-ignite the Communion issue? (You know…Catholic public officials who support abortion rights should not take Communion.) Somewhere, Washington D.C.-area bishops Donald Wuerl and Paul Loverde are lighting candles and praying this doesn’t land in their laps again.

  • Paganplace

    Those bishops who’ve been trying to set themselves to kingmaking over certain ‘Catholic’ issues, but not others, (just the ones that aren’t supported by the Right) ….didn’t seem to dread having this partisanship ‘dropped in their laps.’ Seemed plenty of dioceses ticked along just fine without staging stunts and going on television to tell Catholics how to vote. They could try that. It’ll be OK.I think a lot of people here should be happy with her, and some will be up in arms, cause she *has* made a ruling which supports the rights of *all* religions, even ones Catholics as a rule aren’t told to like, either. :) Seems like a good appointee, though. Excellent credentials and what seems to be a history of fair-mindedness, …I wouldn’t expect any less from President Obama, he knowing a thing or two about Constitutional law, himself.

  • usarownow

    Paganplace’s (there’s a believeable name)believes catholics are “…told to like…) some education should ensue for paganplace for this cheap remark.

  • CalSailor

    Let’s see…she doesn’t go to Mass weekly. She is divorced. We don’t know how she feels about the conservative Catholic Bishops who tried to restrict access to communion for those [virtually all Democratic] candidates who weren’t sufficiently “in line” in the last election.And this has to do with the Supreme Court…how???? I don’t expect that any of these three are going to come to the Court. What WILL come to the Court is the question of Roe v. Wade. That can be decided on the principle of stare decisis…which can be decided without any of the 5 [or 6] Justices who are RC having to put their Catholicism in jeopardy. If the bishops wish to punish them for that; it seems to me that it’s an issue between them and the confessional…not US law.Pr Chris