John Roberts will be the fourth Roman Catholic on the current Supreme Court, but only the 10th Catholic among the 109 justices who’ve served in the high court’s 215-year history. A few senators and a good many journalists have made much of it.
Earlier this week, in a span of minutes, three journalists asked me to respond to liberals, like Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), raising Judge Roberts’s religion as a confirmation issue. As if there were a Republican talking point in my hand, they each asked in similar words: "What’s the line on that?" Minutes before penning this column, a fourth prominent political reporter startled me further by asking: "What religion test clause? Where does that appear?"
Well, here, everyone jot this down. "The line" appears in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."