When I read that the Supreme Court would have a Catholic majority
if Alito were approved, I decided to look at the background of the Court with Alito on it.
John Paul Stevens is the definite outsider: a Midwesterner with an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, and a law degree from Northwestern. He is the only garden variety "Protestant" on the Court.
Justice Ginsburg received her undergraduate degree from Cornell, and while she attended Harvard Law, she got her law degree from Columbia. She was on the DC Court of Appeals when appointed.
Justices Breyer and Souter started at Stanford and Harvard respectively, but they both then went to Magdalen College of Oxford University for second degrees before Harvard for their law degrees and were living in New England when appointed.
1 University of Chicago [Stevens]
1 Georgetown [Scalia]
1 Holy Cross [Thomas]
1 Cornell¹ [Ginsburg]
1 Princeton¹ [Alito]
2 Magdalen College of Oxford [Breyer & Souter]
2 Stanford [Breyer & Kennedy]
2 Harvard¹ [Souter & Roberts]
1 Northwestern [Stevens]
1 Columbia¹ [Ginsburg]
2 Yale¹ [Thomas & Alito]
Home on Appointment:
1 Midwest [7th
Circuit - Stevens]
1 Far West [9th
Circuit - Kennedy]
1 Middle Atlantic [3rd
Circuit - Alito]
2 New England [1st
Circuit - Breyer & Souter]
4 District of Columbia [DC Circuit]
The Supreme Court is becoming more inbred and closed. Is there no judge on the other Circuits worthy of elevation? Are there no worthy law schools outside of the Ivy League?
The loss of Justice O'Connor is the loss of a female view, the view of a Stanford law school graduate, the loss of a non-coastal Westerner, the loss of an experienced state court judge.
On the religion front the Court would have two Jews, an Episcopalian, a Protestant, and five Catholics. The religious beliefs of a Justice should have no impact on their decisions. It would be sad indeed, if that proves not to be true.
1. Ivy League