On a more esoteric level – I would like to explore the connection between religion and the law. You can apply this to Judge Sonia Sotomayor in whatever way you see fit.
At first it is apparent that religion consists of laws, rules for behavior. For those of you who would like to explore the difference between religion about God and a relationship with God – this is not the space. A worshipful person will obey God’s laws because of love and even duty rather than fear or strictly obligation. I’m simply considering firstly, that religion as a historical and social phenomenon is tied closely with restrictions on people’s behaviors.
There is a separate and highly important issue of authority, however if we generalize the effect of religion it tends toward limits and boundaries.
Functionally, how is this different that modern secular law?
It is not.
Past ages had judges who applied the cultural law, a codified expression of morality. Interestingly enough rather than considering geographic or ethnic differences if we look to similarities we see a consistent pattern emerge. No culture encourages cowardice, as C.S. Lewis points out in his moral argument. Also, most cultures write laws which punish theft, murder and lying – even if they in practice endorse these morally reprehensible actions.
These judges normally came from the ranks of priests and religious men. Their judgment was seen as an extension of their understanding of the supernatural, and their adherence to it, at least in the eyes of other men, made them qualified to issues their rulings.
This patterns holds true in many countries in the world, the case of Imams who sit in the highest court.
Why has the united states secularized the law to the point where soulless J.D.s are running our system of courts with their only qualification that they can sit through hours of mindless drivel and recall mountains of useless trivia? Have we gotten to specialized in our legal education to the point of irradiating common sense let alone a higher purpose? Who is it suggesting that we abandon the standards of law for empathy? Instead lets combine a healthy respect for truth and God with a understanding not only of the law itself but it’s meaning.