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Free speech



Sounds like the right wing of the U.S. Supreme Court is about to engage in a little judicial activism when it comes to congressional efforts to control campaign spending and curb corporate influence on elections. See, judicial activism is OK with conservatives when it's in their ideological interest. -- here to aid an anti-abortion group.

Which, coincidentally, is a segue to a Robin Toner article on the Supreme Court's male Catholic majority. In the aftermath of the late-term abortion ruling, decided by five anti-abortion Catholics, the demographic is getting discussion.

Did their religion matter? Should it even be discussed? In the wake of the 5-4 ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, these questions have been raised and debated in venues from the blog of the American Constitution Society (where Geoffrey R. Stone, a constitutional law professor, said the justices’ religious identity was “too obvious, and too telling, to ignore,”) to ABC’s “The View,” (where Rosie O'Donnell declared, "How about separation of church and state in America?" according to ABC News.)

The pushback from conservative Catholics was immediate - even pre-emptive. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, declared, “We need more, not fewer, Catholics on the Supreme Court.” On his Web site, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, an influential conservative, wrote last week, “I expect it is on the minds of many, but so far there has been only marginal public comment on the fact that all five in the Carhart majority are Catholics.” He added, “What can one say? Know-Nothings of the world unite?”  

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