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  • Hitch is Unimpressed

    Posted by James R. Rummel on October 12th, 2005 (All posts by )

    I haven’t written anything about the Harriet Miers nomination because I really don’t have an opinion. The reason why I don’t have an opinion is due to the fact that I don’t know anything about Miers or the issues at hand to form one.

    A glance at the blogosphere would seem to indicate that this is extremely rare, a pundit who refuses to bloviate simply because he knows enough to realize that he doesn’t know enough. But that’s what sets the Chicago Boyz apart, and I’m not about to buck that trend.

    Christopher Hitchens, it would appear, has been paying closer attention. He wonders why we can’t just stop pretending that there’s no “religious test” for the Supreme Court.

    What in God’s name—you should forgive the expression—is all this about there being “no religious test” for appointments to high public office? Most particularly in the case of the U.S. Supreme Court, there is the most blatant religious test imaginable. You may not even be considered for the bench unless you have a religion of some kind. Surely no adherent of any version of “originalism” can possibly argue that the Framers of the Constitution intended a spoils system to be awarded among competing clerical sects.

    Read the whole thing.

     

    One Response to “Hitch is Unimpressed”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      Actually, there was a kind of religious balancing commonly practiced in the 19th century when it came to elections and appointments of all kinds. Elected executives were often quite careful to have members of their administration from religious groups not their own. Protestants would go out of their way to include a couple of Catholics and vice versa. It wasn’t something much talked about but most people knew the religious affiliation of all the major political figures and appointees of their day.

      The disappearance of religion from public discourse was a distinctly mid-20th century phenomenon most likely driven by they rise of a carefully secular mass media.