Hand Grenades, Anyone?
Religion in the Court

Catholic Justice?

Five members of the United States Supreme Court voted to disallow partial-birth abortions.  Those five members were Catholics.  QED, the papacy has overtaken One First Street.

But what evidence is there that the jurisprudence of the five Catholics on the bench comports with Catholic doctrine?  The recent partial-birth abortion case is but one case.  Let's look at some departures from Catholic doctrine.

The Catholic Church has long recognized a just-wage doctrine.  Under the just-wage doctrine, employers should pay their employees not simply market wages, but just wages.  Appeals to the free market, under the just-wage doctrine, is to pray before a false god.  And arguing that "just wages" is but a synonym for "market wages" is sophistry.

As The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops noted in this letter asking for an increase in the federal minimum wage (emphasis added):

Work has a special place in Catholic social thought. Work is more than just a job; it is a reflection of human dignity and a way to contribute to the common good. Most importantly, it is the ordinary way people meet their material needs and community obligations. In Catholic teaching, the principle of a just wage is integral to our understanding of human work. Wages must be adequate for workers to provide for themselves and their families in dignity.

Although no case like Lochner v. New York (which held that the law must respect markets over "just" wages) has come before him, Justice Thomas has rationally been viewed as a Justice supportive of Lochner's rationale.  He was grilled on this very issue during the confirmation hearings.  (See page 6 of this document.)  If Justice Thomas jurisprudential pen is guided by Rome, why would he support free markets over just wages? 

And in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Justice Kennedy (a Catholic) voted to allow abortions. 

Justice Antonin Scalia is so much a fan of the death penalty that citations to specific cases would use up all the Internet's bandwidth.  Yet the Catholic Church has taken the position that the death penalty, as least as undertaken in America, is unjust.   Does anyone seriously think this has or will change Justice Scalia's viewpoint on the death penalty?  Of course not. 

Which is why the recent discussion about Catholicism and the partial-birth abortion opinion are lame.  If critics want to make the case that Catholic members of the Supreme Court are imposing their religion on us, they need to make a much stronger case.