Witnessing Their Faith: Religious Influence on Supreme Court Justices and Their Opinions
by Jay Sekulow, a review from The New Republic Online by Noah Feldman.
"The confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito brings to five the number of Catholics on the Supreme Court of the United States. All Americans can be proud of this fact, or more precisely, proud of the fact that Alito's religious affiliation never became an issue during his confirmation process. It marks tremendous progress over a constitutional history in which the fear of Catholicism was a recurrent theme.
"Things were not always as they are now. The Sons of Liberty harbored a paranoid fantasy about a Catholic takeover of North America, spearheaded by a vanguard of invaders from Canada. Catholic immigration to the United States in the 1840s was met with a refusal to take the Protestant King James Version of the Bible out of the public schools or, alternatively, to provide government funding to separate Catholic schools; and the resulting controversy gave rise to such shocking events as the Philadelphia Bible riots of 1844, an extended pogrom during which nativists claiming that Catholics wanted the Bible out of the schools killed thirteen people and torched a Catholic church." Read the entire New Republic review.