NO COMMUNION FOR JUDGES?….It didn’t take long after the Alito nomination was announced for people to figure out that his confirmation would lead to a 5-4 Catholic majority on the Supreme Court. I don’t think that really matters in terms of how the Court would rule. But it does put the Catholic Church in a tough position.

After all, U.S. Catholic bishops have spent the past two decades developing an argument about why it’s their responsibility to pressure Catholic public officials to adhere to Catholic teaching (but only on abortion, of course) and punish those who don’t. In the statements they’ve issued on the subject, there is no distinction between elected representatives and judges. So far, they’ve chosen to limit their coercion strategy to candidates and politicians (remember John Kerry’s Wafer Watch?) If a Ted Kennedy vote against abortion restrictions is so awful, why is an Anthony Kennedy ruling striking down abortion restrictions acceptable?

More on this in my Beliefnet column this week.

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.