Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Not a Religious Test


If Bill Clinton had nominated the Rev. Robert Drinan, S.J., to the Supreme Court there would have been less concern about his Catholicism than there has been expressed about Roberts’. This would hold true even if Drinan spent most of his confirmation hearings talking about such Catholic themes as “preferential option for the poor” and the “just war” tradition. The reason is that Drinan is not plausibly a candidate to overturn Roe. We would probably hear just as much church-state saber rattling about Roberts, too, if he were an evangelical Protestant, say, a member of some notably “conservative” northern Virginia mega-church. For that matter, if Catholic Roberts would simply say, now, that he will not overturn Roe, the liberal guns would fall silent. No more “religious” test.

Funny how civil libertarians just love to inject religion into politics.


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