What role does religion play in the Supreme Court’s decision making?

Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be above the fray of politics and individual bias but in recent years the many 5-4 decisions of the Roberts Court have called this assumption into question. The justices would deny this, of course. Some can claim the mantle of objectivity more credibly than others but in the end the divided court looks a lot like our divided country. Political worldviews accounts for much of the divergent opinions but Bruce Allen Murphy also finds that, at least in the case of Justice Antonin Scalia, religion plays a role. In reviewing Murphy’s book (Scalia a Court of One) Dahlia Lithwick delves into the topic of Scalia’s Catholicism and the role of religion at the Supreme Court in general. (“Scalia v. Scalia: Does his faith influence his judicial decision making?”) I have not read Murphy’s book but Lithwick’s summary is thought-provoking and I think raises some important questions related the Supreme Court’s decision making process. I would highly recommend reading it.

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