WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor breaks ground for Hispanics, she is poised to add an exclamation point to another historic demographic shift: the move to a Catholic court.
Sotomayor was raised Catholic and if she is confirmed, six out of nine, or two-thirds of the justices on the court will be from the faith. Catholics make up about one-quarter of the U.S. population.
"It's most unusual," said Barbara Perry, a government professor at Sweetbriar College who was already writing a book about Catholics on the Supreme Court when Sotomayor was named as the next nominee.
"Presidents used to reserve a Catholic seat and a Jewish seat on the Supreme Court," Perry told CNN Radio. "Now we've moved from a Catholic seat on the court to a Catholic court."