Article Comment 

Letter to the editor: Willis Pope




Questions Supreme Court demographics 


The current U.S. Supreme Court has eight justices and one chief justice. All the justices are lawyers. All the justices have been educated at very prestigious schools. In fact all of the justices are graduates of either Yale, Harvard or Columbia.  


Now, the Constitution of the United States does not go into very much detail as to the qualifications of Supreme Court Justices or Chief Justices. The Constitution does not say that the justices need to be lawyers, Ivy League, Christian, Jew, Republican, Democrat, Southern, Yankee or neither. So, the numbers and comments that I make may really be just trivia and not important at all.  


OK, the current Supreme Court is made up of six men and three women. Five of the justices were appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democratic. Six of the justices are Catholic and three are Jewish. There are no Protestants on the current Supreme Court. Only one justice was born in the South. Two were born in California , one in Indiana, and the other five in New York or New Jersey.  


According to the CIA World Factbook, Protestants make up 51.3% of the population of the US, Catholics, 23.9% and Jews 1.7%. 


The Supreme Court is the highest court in the Nation. It has "ultimate and largely discretionary appellate jurisdiction over all Federal Courts and over state courts on cases involving Federal law and original jurisdiction over some small range of cases." I think that quote means that the Supreme Court makes decisions that impact all Americans. Did I say all Americans? 


I know that I am very proud and thankful to be Southern. I think Southern folk can be very smart. I think Protestants can make good decisions. I think Southern universities and colleges produce very smart, objective, caring, ethical, men and women who are probably qualified to be on the Supreme Court.  


Should important national decisions forever more be entrusted to judges who may not know what it means to be not Catholic, Jew or Ivy League? 


Willis Pope 


Columbus, MS



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