Townhall.comby Ann Coulter
Two observations about retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens are about to become established fact by sheer repetition. The first -- that Stevens is the last Protestant on the court -- is not true in any meaningful sense. The second -- that Stevens didn't move left, the court moved right -- is madness.
While it's true that there are no other Protestants on the court -- now composed of six Catholics and two Jews, making the Supreme Court only slightly less diverse than cable news hosts, 75 percent of whom are Catholic or Jewish, but also include a Scientologist, a Mormon and a gay -- it's difficult to believe Stevens is any kind of Protestant.
Stevens is more like a pre-road to Damascus Saul. Or maybe the late Justice William Brennan.
It has been said that when asked during his confirmation hearings if he would follow his Catholicism or the Constitution, Brennan should have answered: "Neither." (Only one senator voted against that cheap leprechaun. Guess who!... That's right: Joe McCarthy.)
Stevens' overall career-average may be less ridiculous than Brennan's, but in one respect, Stevens was a standout: He was the most fanatically anti-religious justice in modern times.
In the 1989 abortion case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, for example, Stevens argued that a state law that defined life as beginning at conception violated the First Amendment by -- yes, establishing a religion. The abortion law, he said, gave "a theological answer to the question of when life begins." (You've all heard of the First Church of When Life Begins, United, haven't you?)
Fortunately, Stevens didn't read far enough to see that the Bible also condemns murder generally, or he might have voted to strike down all laws against murder, too.
In the 2002 school voucher case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, Stevens argued that an Ohio program giving poor parents tuition aid to send their children to schools of their choosing also violated the establishment clause. Stevens admitted that the public school system in question was in "crisis" and also that the new schools were freely chosen by the parents.
Still, he said, because the program did not forbid parents from using the tuition payments at religious schools, the state was using "public funds to pay for the indoctrination of thousands of grammar school children in particular religious faiths." That money should have been used to indoctrinate children in subjects such as animal rights, Gaia theory, anti-Americanism and fisting etiquette!
Speaking as a Protestant, and not a "Protestant," we're happy to see Stevens leave the court.
Stevens' claim that he hasn't moved left, the court has moved right, if stated during a mental competence hearing, would have earned him a straitjacket and a handful of Thorazine.
But because Stevens' self-characterization comports with the legal left's position that the Supreme Court's failure to enact the entire platform of the Green Party constitutes "conservative judicial activism," it has been reverently repeated.
It's true that on a few issues, Stevens didn't change. He has long found any religious practice not crushed by the government to be an "establishment of religion." Stevens has also never been an enthusiast of tenuous claims to free speech rights, voting to uphold city restrictions on strip clubs in 1976 and voting to uphold a law that prohibited the burning of the American flag in 1989.
But on many other issues, such as race discrimination, Stevens swung so far to the left that his earlier opinions would be unrecognizable as having been written by the same man. Continued... http://townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2010/04/14/stevens_i_never_left_sanity_sanity_left_me