You probably noticed all five conservative Supreme Court Justices are male and Catholic.
I’m not sure how much that signifies. Justice Sotomayor is Catholic. Justice Breyer is male. The combination, male and Catholic, might seem to matter, but it’s more of a coincidence or, at any rate, a contingency. What the five really have in common is that they were appointed by conservative Republican Presidents because they could be counted on to act as conservative Republicans on the high court bench---Pro-Big Business first of all, then anti-worker, and then socially conservative and anti-choice. Yesterday’s Hobby Lobby case was decided in 2006 when Sandra Day O’Connor retired or, you could argue, in 2000 when the Republican partisans on the Supreme Court then decided to make George W. Bush president.
…a group of conservatives led by Representative Trent Franks of Arizona said they wanted to speak with the president, so they convened in a room off the House floor and gathered around a phone.
“Congressman, I understand you have a plan for getting the bill passed,” Bush told Franks as the others strained to listen.
Franks made clear he and his colleagues actually did not like the bill because they felt it expanded the government role in health care.
“I misunderstood,” Bush said. “I thought you had a plan.”
“I just needed to tell you that,” Franks said, referring to the way conservatives viewed the bill. “The only way they could change their minds on a proposal like that is if they believed they were getting something more important for the country.”
“Like what?” Bush asked.
Trying not to sound pushy, Franks switched to the third person. “If we could get the president of the United States to give his word of honor tonight that he would only appoint Supreme Court justices that he knew would overturn Roe v. Wade, would uphold personhood for the unborn in the Constitution and be strict constructionists, we could get this done right now,” he said.
That’s from Days of Fire by Peter Baker. There’s more.
…Franks believed he had a commitment from the president to appoint anti-abortion justices; Bush of course was inclined to do so anyway, but the conservatives would try to hold him to it. Franks later sent him a list of ten candidates who fit his criteria. Among them were a couple of appeals court judges named John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
Next time a supposed progressive tells you there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats, point to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.