Monday, October 31, 2005

Samuel Alito, Jr. nominated to the Supreme Court

If confirmed, Alito would be the 11th Catholic in U.S. history to sit on the Supreme Court and would become the fifth Catholic justice on the current court, forming for the first time a majority of Catholics on the nine-member court.

Other Catholics currently on the nation's highest bench are recently appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Past Catholics on the Supreme Court included two other chief justices, Roger Taney, 1836-64, and Edward White, a justice from 1894 to 1910 and chief justice, 1910-21. Other former Catholic justices were Joseph McKenna, Pierce Butler, Frank Murphy and William Brennan Jr.

Read the complete article Alito would be fifth Catholic on Supreme Court from Catholic News Service.

Not that having a majority of Catholics on the Court makes a difference, given that Kennedy isn't exactly of the same juridical temperment as Scalia or Thomas. We have ourselves a nice 'cross-section' of the Catholic Church in the US.

One of the great questions of Bush's presidency will be why he didn't go with Alito in the first place instead of enduring the debacle of Harriet Miers. Those out there who think that Mier was was a ploy need to realize that Bush has been on thin ice with the conservative base for a long time. As a colleague of mine summed up in his blog this last summer, the Republican Party is composed of several parts with goals that are somewhat counter to each other. Judicial nominations were a big reason why libertarian types voted Bush. If Bush wants to play games with those people, the mid-term elections are already looking to be a bloodbath for the Republicans unless they turn things around sooner rather than later.

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