Religion has reared its head in the choice of a Supreme Court justice.
President Bush, to pacify his conservative supporters, says the selection of Harriet Miers was based on many things, including the fact that "her life is her religion."
Karl Rove followed up by assuring any minister who called in that she is a good evangelical who goes to church every Sunday and believes in the right to life.
Not everyone on the right was satisfied.
Some talk-show hosts said that, despite her deep-seated convictions, she would never overturn Roe v. Wade -- the real litmus test for a right-thinking justice.
But others said that because of her evangelical beliefs, she is the perfect candidate for the job and would do what God wanted her to do.
Not everyone is an evangelical Christian. Someone could also be a born-again Christian, a member of the Christian right, a Republican Christian, a Bush-born-again Christian, etc., etc.
In all cases, I say anyone who wants to be one is welcome -- as long he keeps church out of the schools.
The question of whether her religious beliefs make Miers an excellent candidate for the Supreme Court is up in the air -- as is everything else in this great country of ours.
The Fathers of the Constitution made sure church and state would be separated. So when the president forgets to separate them, he has committed a mortal sin.
It is not necessarily the left, but the right that is fighting Harriet Miers's appointment. Its members feel that when she puts on her black robe, she won't be far enough to the right. That is to say, she won't interpret the Constitution as they perceive it.
But they don't use the born-again attack. They claim she is lacking in court experience and can't do the "right" job.
The Democrats are enjoying the attacks. They also are enjoying the fact that playing the "religion card" has helped push Bush's ratings in the polls to a new low.
The liberals have another argument. They say that since Miers has been the president's lawyer for so many years, she knows his agenda and will still be under his influence when ruling on ideological cases.
Known in legal circles as the "stealth lawyer" because no one understands where she stands on any issue, Miers cannot use her religious qualifications in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
There is a good chance she will be confirmed, but it is not the slam-dunk the White House thought it would be. There will be blood on the floor, but that is what Washington politics is all about.
The cry in many circles is, "Where are you, Sandra Day O'Connor, when we need you?"
The president said he wanted to choose justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Some people think Scalia and Thomas are the worst justices on the court.
As soon as the president said "Scalia and Thomas," the other members of the court said, "God forgive us."
(c) 2005 Tribune Media Services, Inc.