The Economist has an interesting take (subscription required) on the Alito nomination to the Supreme Court. Noting the "remarkable historical turnaround" that has produced a Catholic majority on the High Court, The Economist attributes it partly to electoral politics-- the Republic discovery of the Catholic "swing vote"-- and partly to assimilation:
The America that produced so many Catholic intellectuals—the parallel America of Catholic schools and Catholic youth organisations—has dissolved as Catholics have moved out of their urban ghettos and into the anonymous suburbs.
If The Economist is right-- it's surely debatable-- then Catholic influence is increasing in large part because it's not distinctively Catholic influence. A partial victory at best.
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