Susan Jacoby

Susan Jacoby is the author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.

Recent Articles

The God Squad

Leaders of the religious right are demanding a hard-line conservative Supreme Court as payback for their contribution to the re-election of President George W. Bush. Liberals, meanwhile, are seeking consolation in a roll call of justices, past and present, who have demonstrated the annoying independence fostered by elevation to a job with lifetime tenure. The list includes Earl Warren, Harry Blackmun, David Souter, and Sandra Day O'Connor, whose unpredictable swing votes on abortion cases are not exactly what Ronald Reagan had in mind when he chose her for the court in 1981. The forlorn liberal hope is that Bush, who has promised to appoint only “strict constructionists,” will repeat the scenario played out when Dwight Eisenhower described his appointment of Chief Justice Warren as the “biggest damn fool mistake I ever made.” But there is no factual basis for this wishful thinking, because what Bush means by a strict constructionist -- sometimes called an “originalist” -- is not...