Much like Joseph Stalin, Sonia Sotomayor says she is hostile to the Church because of her early experiences as a Catholic.

The high court, as it has been for many years, is narrowly split along ideological lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy the powerful swing vote, lately found mostly in the conservative camp. Six of the court’s members are Catholics: Chief Justice John Roberts, Kennedy, Sotomayor — who was appointed by Obama in 2009 as the first-ever Hispanic Supreme Court justice — and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

But none of her fellow Catholic justices have ever made public the kind of bitterness toward the institutional Church found in Sotomayor’s just-published New York Times No. 1 bestseller “My Beloved World.” According to The New York Times, Sotomayor says she modeled the book “after President Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father,’” another bestseller.

The main source of the hostility is that as a child, her local Irish priest, a Father Dolan, failed to pay a visit to her grief-stricken Puerto Rican mother after the death of Sotomayor’s alcoholic father. “His refusal,” Sotomayor writes, “enraged me, all the more so because of the reason: my mother didn’t go to church on Sunday.”

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Editor’s  note: If Sotomayor wrote this about a Jewish rabbi she would instantly be labeled an anti-Semite. Sounds like a simple case of anti-Irish, Puerto Rican racism to me. Based on the admissions contained in her book, Sotomayor should recuse herself from all HHS Mandate deliberations. But she won’t.

Sonia Sotomayor, Catholicism and the Court

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Anti-Catholicism remains a part of the culture, particularly among the elite legal class, and even more so in an age when Catholic norms are so at odds with the reigning secularism.

The presence of anti-Catholic bias is not a theoretical concern. At the state level, there are dozens of so-called Blaine amendments, a holdover from the days when Catholics were seen as a threat to American democracy. These laws, in essence, prohibit public support for Catholic schools and have proven difficult to overturn, even in a supposedly more tolerant era.

And when the Supreme Court recently upheld portions of state-level restrictions on partial-birth abortion, some openly speculated that the decision was the result not of constitutional principle, but Catholic dogma. In fact, a law professor at the University of Chicago criticized the Catholic justices for failing “to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality.”

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Sotomayor reportedly only “minimally” Catholic

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There are indications that Judge Sotomayor is more like the majority of American Catholics: those who were raised in the faith and shaped by its values, but who do not attend Mass regularly and are not particularly active in religious life. Like many Americans, Judge Sotomayor may be what religion scholars call a “cultural Catholic” — a category that could say something about her political and social attitudes.

Interviews with more than a dozen of Judge Sotomayor’s friends from high school, college, law school and professional life said they had never heard her talk about her faith, and had no recollection of her ever going to Mass or belonging to a parish.

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Obama planning to have it “both ways” with Sotomayor nomination

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“Although historically, we have allowed Supreme Court Justices to serve as long as they breathe, have a beating heart, vibrant brain waves or voluntary muscle movement,” Obama said, “that doesn’t mean we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. In any case, if during her hearings she starts to struggle and display pro-life tendencies, don’t expect me to jump in with any last-gasp attempts to rescue her.”
 
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