Sonia Sotomayor, Catholicism and the Court

As with the Blaine amendments, the legal structure itself can be hostile toward religious faith in general and the institutional claims of Catholicism in particular. In states that have required Catholic agencies to place foster children with same-sex couples, for example, or required birth control coverage as part of insurance plans at Catholic institutions, supposedly “neutral” laws are anything but. Rather, such laws place one belief system against another, and a Catholic judge may be forced to take a stand. This development, which some have called “the new orthodoxy,” has until recently been hard to identify, because these laws use the rhetoric of equality and rights that is comfortable to most Americans.