Thursday, March 27, 2014

High Court with Vocally Devout Justices Set to Hear Religious Objections to Health-Care Law

There’s something that makes the current Supreme Court different from some of its recent predecessors. The justices got religion. Or at least they seem more open about their faith, appearing before devout audiences and talking more about how religion shaped their lives or guides them now.

As the court this week weighs religious conviction vs. legal obligation in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, those who study the court say the change is hard to quantify but easy to notice.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. are devout Catholics who faced questions during their confirmation hearings about how their faith would affect their jurisprudence. Justice Clarence Thomas is a former seminarian who says God saved his life.

Justice Antonin Scalia is the most outspoken. He has urged fellow intellectuals to be “fools for Christ” and used an interview last fall to underscore his belief in the existence of the Devil, whose latest maneuver, he said, “is getting people not to believe in him or in God.”

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