Forgetting the Confirmed Faithful

This Sunday Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) will participate in an event called “Justice Sunday,” where he will join right-wing religious groups in a telecast denouncing progressives as “against people of faith.” In fact, a flier for the event states, “The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith.” Hundreds of religious leaders have denounced the event, writing directly to Frist and urging him “to repudiate those who misuse religious for political purposes and who impugn the faith of any who disagree with them.” Furthermore, of the hundreds of President Bush’s judicial nominations who have been confirmed, a number of those who preside over the nation’s most influential courts — the circuit courts — as well as district courts are unapologetically faithful. The list includes:

Judge Jay Bybee of the 9th Circuit Court: “a returned missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a legal scholar who has been on the fast track since he was a Hinckley scholar at Brigham Young University.” [Source]

Judge D. Brooks Smith of the 3rd Circuit Court: In 2000, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alttona-Johnstown (PA) awarded Judge D. Brooks Smith the Prince Gallitzen. Established in 1990, the award is given to those who “exemplify in their discipleship the evangelizing characteristics of the Reverend Priest and Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin. These men and women through their lives and ministry in the Church have been a light to those around them.” [Source]

Judge Richard C. Wesley of the 2nd Circuit Court: Judge Wesley has been a member of the Board of Trustees of United Church of Livonia. [Source]

Judge Roger L. Gregory of the 4th Circuit Court: A biography on Gregory wrote that his parents taught him that “hard work and a strong belief in God would help him go far.” Also, “his strong faith and deep desire to learn filled his mind with a love for the law and filled his heart with a love for people.” Furthermore, he is quoted as saying, “Fear may trouble your mind for a moment, but faith will sustain your heart for a lifetime.” [Source]

Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the 6th Circuit Court: In her USDOJ bio, Judge Gibbons is described as “an elder at her church and a former President of the Memphis Rotary Club.” [Source]

Judge Diane S. Sykes of the 7th Circuit Court: On Feb. 20th, 2005, Sykes addressed the St. Thomas More Society after the annual Red Mass. She recalled an experience in which she told her legal colleagues, “You and I have important work to do, maintaining ethical standards” and then continued on to “advise the audience ‘not to put out the Spirit (quoting Eph:10). Against such things there is no law. There is the Holy Spirit in our lives.’” [Source]

District Judge J. Leon Holmes: “In a 2002 address to the Society of Catholic Social Scientists in Ann Arbor, Mich., Holmes questioned the legitimacy of church-state separation, noting that ‘we are left with some unease about this notion that Christianity and the political order should be assigned to separate spheres.’ He went on to observe that ‘Christianity transcends the political order and cannot be subordinated to the political order.’ Suggesting that eventually religion and government would be one he said ‘the final reunion of Church and state will take place at the end of time, when Christ will claim definitive political power of all creation, inaugurating an entirely new society based on the supernatural.’” [Source]