According to an article in The Washington Post, some are criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions because of the religion of the 5-4 majority.

It seems that all five of the justices in the ruling are Catholic and even though there is no evidence that faith played a role in the decision, Geoffrey R. Stone, former dean and now provost of the University of Chicago’s law school is asserting that it did.

He wrote that the majority in the ruling did not “respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality.”

He also wrote, “What, then, explains this decision? Here is a painfully awkward observation: All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic. The four justices who are either Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out. But it is too obvious, and too telling, to ignore.”

Others have picked up on this point, Stone’s opinion was posted on Huffington Post and echoed by Rosie O’Donnell on “The View.”

Philadelphia Inquirer editorial cartoonist Tony Auth drew the five justices with bishops’s mitres and labeled the cartoon “Church and State.”

If Catholicism was the reasoning behind the decision, then Gonzales v. Carhart would have been more sweeping than it was but this wasn’t the case. Attacking the credibility of the ruling based on the religion of the justices, who often do not agree on many other issues, seems more indicative of a knee-jerk reaction to the ruling rather than a thoughtful response.

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