Justices Scalia, Breyer, Alito, Kagan and Thomas chose not to attend Pope Francis’ address before Congress. The four other justices, Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and one of my favorite people in the world, Sonia Sotomayor, did attend.
So far, no overarching theory has emerged as to this latest 5-4 Supreme Court split, and there may never be. Given the make up of the split, coming up with a theory would be difficult.
Scalia, a Catholic father of nine, could not have been too thrilled with Pope Francis’ reprehensible comments from earlier this year that Catholics need not breed like rabbits. I’d like to think that his four colleagues, including Kagan and Breyer, had the wisdom to see that no matter what our philosophical differences may be in the course of this life, there is never, ever an excuse to condescend other people’s families, and that their absence was a sign of solidarity of sorts with Scalia.
I’d also like to think that the four justices who did attend, including my favorite, Sotomayor, and who heard Pope Francis use his platform in our U.S. Congress to clearly condescend same-sex parented families, which he did at the close of the speech, will realize that investing in a person – including a basic investment of one’s time – who obviously feels entitled to condescend other people’s families does nothing for the good of democracy and our Constitution, and even less for the spiritual well-being of all.
*Update, 12/1/21: Justice Sonia Sotomayor is no longer one of my favorite people.
Related article on Pope Francis’ address before Congress: