George H.W. Bush chose David Souter, a white Protestant from New Hampshire, who followed Stevens left, and Clarence Thomas, an African-American from Pin Point, Ga. Thomas was savaged, but his counter-charge of having been subjected to a "high-tech lynching" knocked Democrats back on their heels and drove a wedge between party liberals and feminists and Democratic conservatives.
In replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist and O'Connor with John Roberts and Alito, George W. Bush succeeded as no other Republican president since World War II. He had not only tilted the court to constitutionalism, but also replaced two white Protestants justices with two white Catholic justices, one of whom is the second Italian-American on the court.
Where does that leave the court today?
When Sotomayor is approved by the Senate, the court will, in terms of religious minorities, consist of six Catholics, two Jews and one Protestant. Ethnically, there will be one African-American, one Hispanic American, one Irish-American, two Jewish-Americans, two Italian Americans and two Anglos.
That is diversity, is it not?
And who is the least represented minority in America on the U.S. Supreme Court? Not Catholics, who have two-thirds of the seats. Not Jewish-Americans, who though 2 percent of the population, have 22 percent of the seats. Not African-Americans, who at 13 percent of the population have 11 percent of the seats. And not Hispanics, who at 15 percent of the population will have 11 percent of the seats.
No, the most underrepresented group of Americans -- nay, the most unrepresented minority, the largest group of our fellow citizens never to have had one of its own sit on the U.S. Supreme Court in the modern era is -- Evangelical Christians.
They are more numerous than Catholics, who at 24 percent of the population have 67 percent of the seats on the court. And, for Republicans, they are a far more reliable voting bloc than Catholics -- not to mention Hispanics, Jews and African-Americans, all of whom voted somewhere between two to one and 20 to one for Obama.
Bush II tried to close the Evangelical gap with Harriet Miers, but conservatives opposed her as unqualified.
Republicans should now be searching for highly qualified Evangelical Christian judges and constitutional scholars, women as well as men -- and, when falsely accused of being "anti-Hispanic" or "anti-woman," ought to reply: "What do you liberals have against white Christians, man or woman, not to have named one in 45 years?"
Everybody can play the diversity game.
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