The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

SCOTUS: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews?

Imagine for a minute there were two sitting justices on the SCOTUS who were Mormon by religious affiliation. The only Protestant on the Supreme Court was retiring and the POTUS nominated yet another Mormon to the bench. How would you feel? Would you feel like somehow though the various Protestant denominations (Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Evangelicals) comprise a majority of religious adherents in the US that you had no representation? Would you wonder why a US religion registering around 2% was getting a third justice while your religion had no representation? Would you protest or accuse the POTUS of being a religious bigot? (SCOTUS religious stats here)

Yet in the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Justice Stevens, Obama has done just this with one twist: substitute Jewish for Mormon and, Bingo! Actually, if anything I'm being generous because there are more Mormons than Jews in the US and there have historically been 7 Jews on the SCOTUS while representing Mormons there have been fewer: lets see there has been--hmm, let me think a moment--oh yeah! There hasn't EVER been a Mormon on the SCOTUS!

I use the example of the Mormon faith because I am one and it is the religion I am most familiar with, yet Mormons are hardly unique in their lament. Consider Baptists: they comprise nearly 20% of the population so roughly they should have a couple of Justices on the SCOTUS. Baptists have none. Conversely, Catholics are currently way over-represented comprising 6 of 9 SCOTUS seats (Sotomayor, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Roberts) while representing a mere 25% of the population.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not here to stir up religious fervor. I'm not here to mandate proportional religious equality on the SCOTUS. Indeed I have a deep respect for religions and am proud to have close family ties to members of Jewish, Mormon, Protestant, and Muslim faiths; and while there just aren't a bunch of Catholics in the family, I have numerous Catholic friends and people I admire.

What I am saying is that the POTUS should use more judgement in balancing out the deep diversity of religions and certainly the nomination of a third Jew to balance out six Catholics is about as skewed religiously as you can get. Those nine justices combined would represent only 26% of the US citizenry.

I vehemently oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to the SCOTUS. Being the third Jew and having zero hours experience being a judge are just the writing on the wall of mene mene tekel upharsin: that Kagan fails to defend the Constitution as the citizenry adopted it. Show me where in these hearings has Kagan declared Obamacare unconstitutional because it mandates the purchase of a product (health insurance), something that has never been required of the citizenry before. And then show me where in Article 1, Section 8--the list of specific authorities granted the Federal Government--does it talk about health care? The nomination of unconstitutional Kagan must be stopped, by filibuster if necessary.

++++ Update 7/10

I wasn't the lone voice lamenting the cause of a another Jew being nominated. Consider this story from late June (h/t CNS news) in an interview with the Rabbinical Alliance of America:

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the alliance, told on Thursday that "a great deal has been made about the fact that she would be the second Jewish woman on the court, and we want to signal to people across the country that we take no pride in this.”

Levin said most people are happy when "one of their own" is nominated to such a high position. But, he added, "We feel that Elena Kagan turns traditional Judaism on its head--from a concept of a nation of priests and holy people, she is turning it into, ‘Let’s homosexualize every segment of society. And by the way, partial-birth babies
have no right to be delivered.’"

“What exactly was Obama thinking, President Obama thinking, when he nominated Kagan? Because eventually, down the road, someone--or some group--is going to ‘take the hit’ for the crazy decisions that Kagan is bound to make. So we would have much preferred if President Obama had given this ‘distinction’ to another minority group, instead of singling out the Jews.”

"We’re waiting for the more courageous, decent senators--whether it’s a (Sen.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or a (Sen.) Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) or a (Sen.) Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)--we’re looking for them to stand up and filibuster this embarrassing endangerment of a nomination,” Levin said.

You know, when considering Harry Reid's political views as Mormons are supposed to be similarly anti-abortion, strong supporters of traditional marriage, and against Socialism, I can see exactly where the Rabbinical Alliance of America is coming from.

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