May 3rd, 2010
09:47 AM ET
11 years ago

A Supreme Court without Protestants?

(CNN) - For most of American history, a Supreme Court with no Protestant Christian judges would have been unthinkable. Nearly three quarters of all justices who've ever served on the nation's high court have been Protestant.

And roughly half of all Americans identify themselves as Protestant today.

But since John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last month, legal and religious scholars have begun entertaining the unprecedented prospect of a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice.
Besides Stevens, who is Protestant, the current Supreme Court counts six Catholics and two Jews.

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Filed under: John Paul Stevens • Supreme Court
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Bethy

    I would prefer a Supreme Court without anyone with religious affiliation...separation of church and state please!

    May 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Accountability In American Society

    The Supreme Court has SIX(6) Catholics and ZERO Protestants not because of the existence of Georgetown and Notre Dame Law Schools but rather because REPUBLICAN Presidents have named 7 of the last 9 justices.

    Religious right-wing zealots have made opposition to abortion their sole purpose in life and have held a gun to the Republican party's head on this topic. As such, the GOP has defaulted to Catholics who are taught by their Pope that abortions are forbidden. It is the GOPs easiest way to show these zealots that they too are attacking a woman's right to choose.

    May 3, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. jms58

    I would like to see a free thinker with no religious affiliations be seated on the court. We are dangerously close to allowing our system to be destroyed by religious crackpots.

    May 3, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Paul

    Thank God otherwise everything would be considered a sin, no offense but it s historically true

    May 3, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. gt

    yes that would give a more broad about pat robinson,,,,

    May 3, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. jeff jackson, alabama

    The Presidium of the communist party
    in the former Soviet Union also had
    no protestants.
    Worked out real well for their country......

    May 3, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. dave

    There are six Catholics on the Supreme Court.

    When is the Pope going to threaten to excommunicate them for not overruling Roe v Wade

    May 3, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Dan O

    "Besides Stevens, who is Protestant, the current Supreme Court counts six Catholics and two Jews."

    By my math, that equals 10 justices.

    There are five Catholics, not six, and two Jews.

    May 3, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |