Friday, April 29, 2005

Judges & Religion

That's the title of this post from Ramesh Ponnuru earlier this week.

It's such a good post (with links to even better posts from Prof. Bainbridge) that I'm going to reproduce it in full here, placing what I see as the key point in bold:
    Professor Bainbridge has been debating various libertarians (and the occasional liberal) about this topic. Everyone involved seems to share the premise that Senate Democrats are applying an abortion litmus test that excludes nominees who either think that Roe was a mistake, think that abortion is immoral, or think that it should be illegal--and are applying this test even to nominees who swear that as appeals-court judges they would adhere to Roe as a precedent. Everyone seems to agree that this test has the effect of ruling out traditionalist Christians--as Bainbridge puts it, it has a "disparate impact" on Catholics.

    Bainbridge, as I read him, is not saying that the Senate Democrats are motivated by any special hostility or "bigotry" toward Catholics. As long as Republicans avoid saying that--or, worse, saying that Democrats are against "people of faith" generally--I don't see what the problem is. The fact that the Democrats' litmus test excludes faithful Catholics and evangelicals is a reason to reconsider the wisdom of the test. And to say that the Democrats have a litmus test that excludes faithful Catholics and evangelicals strikes me as fair game, not least because it is true.
I don't know how one might disagree.

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