For the first time in history: a US Supreme Court without a white, anglo-saxon protestant member. That’s what Elena Kagan’s confirmation would mean. Today: does religion matter? Is the court’s new makeup a political accident—or a historic moment?
Article VI of the Constitution says, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” But for 100 years, only white anglo-saxon males were chosen for the US Supreme Court. As the country became more diverse, there was a “Catholic seat,” then a “Jewish seat.” Now, if Elena Kagan is confirmed it’ll be all Jews and Catholics - no WASPs at all. Dr. Diana Butler Bass’s most recent book is, “A People’s History of Religion.” She recently wrote, “Elena Kagan and a Lament for American Protestantism” on Beliefnet.com