Supreme Court Catholics:

“If Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito is confirmed, he will join Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, all with whom he has something in common: Religion. They are all Roman Catholic. This would be the first time ever that the U.S. Supreme Court would have a Catholic majority,” writes The McLaughlin Group, which quotes Tony Blankley.

The fact is that you can be a conservative or a liberal, a Catholic or a Jew, in your political views, and if you’re a good judge, you remain a good judge and you keep that away from your political views.

Then, from Atrios, comes this stunner on Bush’s latest SCOTUS nominee, Samuel Alito:

When In Doubt Blow The Brains Out

I’m often quite sympathetic to cops who end up shooting suspects who turn out to not be a threat. Not regularly being in the business of facing down armed criminals I’m not going to substitute my judgment for theirs …

However understanding that occasionally a bad shooting is going to happen is something entirely different from endorsing as a matter of constitutional principle that cops have the right to shoot any fleeing suspect.

Alito. What a fucking piece of work.

There, Atrios is linking to Digby, who quotes from TChrist at Talk Left, who in turn quotes and discusses a LAT story:

“I think the shooting [in this case] can be justified as reasonable,” Alito wrote in a 1984 memo to Justice Department officials. Because the officer could not know for sure why a suspect was fleeing, the courts should not set a rule forbidding the use of deadly force, he said. “I do not think the Constitution provides an answer to the officer’s dilemma,” Alito advised.

So, Tony Blankey is checking up on the religious affiliations on SCOTUS, as if that needed to be, or should be, mentioned in a secular institution — and isn’t that (come on!) really a subtle ploy to harken back to the historic prejudice against Catholics holding any political office, and to rally Catholics to Alito’s nomination?

Despite Mr. Alito’s expressed views at the time, as an assistant to the Solicitor General, Digby notes that:

When the case was decided [by the SCOTUS], we had a majority of non-psychos on the court

“It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape,” wrote Justice Byron White for a 6-3 majority in Tennessee vs. Garner. “Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so.”

Said White: “A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.” …

Mr. Blankley, I’m a lot more concerned about the number of non-psychos on the court.

Atrios, Digby, and Talk Left all have a lot more to say on this shocker.

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