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Windows and Doors


Third Jew Will Create Protestant-Free SCOTUS Where Gender Trumps Faith

posted by Brad Hirschfield

If confirmed, Elena Kagan will usher in a new era in the history of the United States Supreme Court, both in terms if inclusion and exclusion. It will be the first time in history that three women have served on the court, and the first time ever that the court will be protestant-free. If confirmed, Kagen will be the third Jew to join six Catholic Justices.
Generally speaking, the religious background and/or affiliation of Supreme Court Justices ought to be completely irrelevant, but in this case it may be otherwise. In this case, the decision to create a Protestant-Free Supreme Court may violate the President’s own principles. And if it doesn’t, then it sends a clear message about the relative unimportance of religion, at least when compared to gender identity.
President Obama has made it clear that personal life experience and the awarenesses it creates are factors in determining who is best suited to serve as a Justice. Comments made by Justice Sotomayor about the value of her experiences as a Latina, comments defended by the President, made that abundantly clear.
The idea that Justices interpret the law in some abstract way, and read as if uninfluenced by all their previous experiences is inane. What does it mean to read anything independent of all that we as readers have come to know and experience? There is no such thing.


Since there is no such thing as reading the law independent of the reader’s experience, both the President and Justice Sotomayor were probably wise to admit what we all already know, and should have admitted all along. But if life experience matters, then a Protestant-free court is not so unimportant after all. Unless of course, religion is simply one of those things that doesn’t matter, but gender is.
Why is it that gender experience is relevant, but religious experience is not? Why is it that a court with which more American can identify in terms of gender is important, but one with which they can identify in terms of faith, is not?
If it is time for conservatives to give up naïve notions of Judicial neutrality and the idea that the constitution simply says what it says, then it is also time for liberals to give up the tendentious claim that they are the inclusive ones. In fact, people of all stripes tend to include what they like and exclude what they do not, and the sooner we are all honest about that, the healthier the process of appointing and confirming judges will be.
In fact, the sooner we all stop hiding behind claims of what a text says, why we are doing things for the greater good, etc. and admit that each of us advocates for that which strikes us as good and right, our whole world we be a great deal healthier and safer.



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pagansister

posted May 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm


The qualifications are the primary reason a person should be nominated for SCOTUS. The faith/religion of the person is of no consequence. The fact that Kagan happens to be a woman and Jewish is just the way things turned out in this case. However, having said all that…I’m thrilled that another woman will be on the high court. Bothers me not that there will be no Protestants on the court makes no difference one way or the other.



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Cully

posted May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm


I’m in agreement with our sister… and IMHO, the most important thing any of us can do is to understand that to read anything independent of all that we as readers have come to know and experience means to read and ask, “Is that true?” No one can do that when they live their lives believing everything on blind faith.



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Steve Sandberg

posted May 12, 2010 at 8:24 am


Protestants may currently be blanked on the Supreme Court but I dare say they are not yet an endangered species among America’s corporate CEOs and boards of directors, which is where most of the real power in the country resides.
The next opportunity for a new Protestant justice is probably represented by Ginsburg. Scalia seems more spry, unfortunately.



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posted May 12, 2010 at 9:17 am


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Sean Rhoades

posted May 12, 2010 at 11:52 am


Behold not everybody’s beauty: and tarry not among women. For from garments cometh a moth, and from a woman the iniquity of a man. For better is the iniquity of a man, than a woman doing a good turn, and a woman bringing shame and reproach.
Sirach 42:12-14 DRB
The sadness of the heart is every plague: and the wickedness of a woman is all evil. And a man will choose any plague, but the plague of the heart: And any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman: And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate him: And any revenge, but the revenge of enemies. There is no head worse than the head of a serpent: And there is no anger above the anger of a woman. It will be more agreeable to abide with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman. The wickedness of a woman changeth her face: and she darkeneth her countenance as a bear: and sheweth it like sackcloth. In the midst of her neighbours, Her husband groaned, and hearing he sighed a little. All malice is short to the malice of a woman, let the lot of sinners fall upon her. As the climbing of a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a wife full of tongue to a quiet man. Look not upon a woman’s beauty, and desire not a woman for beauty. A woman’s anger, and impudence, and confusion is great. A woman, if she have superiority, is contrary to her husband. A wicked woman abateth the courage, and maketh a heavy countenance, and a wounded heart. Feeble hands, and disjointed knees, a woman that doth not make her husband happy. From the woman came the beginning of sin, and by her we all die. Give no issue to thy water, no, not a little: nor to a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad. If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies. Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.
Sirach 25:17-36 DRB
Every beast loveth its like: so also every man him that is nearest to himself. All flesh shall consort with the like to itself, and every man shall associate himself to his like. If the wolf shall at any time have fellowship with the lamb, so the sinner with the just. What fellowship hath a holy man with a dog, or what part hath the rich with the poor? The wild ass is the lion’s prey in the desert: so also the poor are devoured by the rich. And as humility is an abomination to the proud: so also the rich man abhorreth the poor.
Sirach 13:19-24 DRB



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Bonnie

posted May 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm


Agree wholeheartedly with pagansister’s input. We are making inroads into former male bastions slowly, but surely. As for the lack of protestant representation on the SCOTUS, all I can say is ‘huh?’ This is the United States that must ensure the separation of church and state in order provide equitable jurisprudence to all its citizens. Will it affect some of her decisions if she is nominated? Only insofar as how Judaic principles govern daily life, and they are not as far removed from the Constitution as may be considered.



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Effinie

posted May 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm


I believe Sean Rhoades is a woman hater. That commentary he posted is hateful toward women. Or maybe he’s only a self-loathing misogynist.



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W Price

posted May 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm


Increase the court size to 13. Appoint 4 Athiests (maybe a Randian or two). Finally have some real balance. Ours is also a ‘belief’.



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Jack

posted May 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm


I’m a disgrunted protestant. I don’t want to be politically correct anymore. I feel like raising an army and overthrowing the government in the spirit of Plato’s Republic and the writings of J. Arnold Toynbee who said the average age of civilizations last only 200 years.



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Steve Sandberg

posted May 13, 2010 at 8:13 am


Relax, Jack. Remember, it is still the Protestants who are appointing the Jews. When the Jews start appointing the Protestants, then you can worry. :-)



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Brenda, Chicago

posted May 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm


Sounds like you are for affirmative action now that it would behoove you.



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Jennifer

posted May 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm


Protestants have been leading the court for all of our history. What’s wrong with having a different perspective for a while? I’m sure Protestants are not gone forever.



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