May 26th, 2009
08:29 PM ET

Religion on the Supreme Court

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/26/art.church.window.jpg]
Bill Schneider
CNN Political Correspondent

If Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed there will be six Catholics on the Supreme Court (Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor). Two Jews (Ginsburg and Breyer). And one Protestant. (Stevens).

Here's the breakdown in the overall U.S. population:

Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

Religion –- at least, religious affiliation - was once a hot issue in Supreme Court nominations. But no longer.
When John Kerry, also Catholic, ran for President in 2004, no one seemed to care except the Catholic Church – and they opposed him because he did not follow church teachings on abortion.

Gender and race? Those do matter. If Republicans appear to be treating Sotomayor unfairly, they could pay a terrible price at the polls.

Filed under: Religion • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court • William Schneider
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Blair

    It's a shame that even supreme court appointments are not above partaisan politics. I would hope that the most fair, balanced and knowledgable of the law would be appointed. Instead it seems like just one more tool to push (or destroy) a political agenda. The court should be above this pettiness.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  2. Cadum

    They already payed a huge price.
    Even if it's no longer a "hot issue", still there will a veiled influence on their decisions.

    May 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm |