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 beliefnet.com 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.