Why are Catholic judges so often intellectually impressive and conservative in their approach to law? It has something to do with the nature of elite Catholic education. At Catholic schools, one has to study St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Saint Anselm, Cicero, Virgil, and many other Christian, Roman, and Greek classical writers. The students must read the classics in Latin and Greek. Literary fluency in languages makes for more articulate and loquacious advocates in court, and better writers and critics of court decisions. A mastery of Latin enables the Catholic scholar to take readily to the study of law, which is heavily salted with Latin words. One who has studied Quintillian's rhetoric in Latin and has mastered the arts of debate, dialectics, and oratory — of which Quintillian was the master — is brilliantly prepared for law. He will often be able to reduce his debating opponents to tongue-tied confusion. Imagine Samuel Alito debating the inarticulate Harriet Miers, or John Roberts debating the waffling Sandra Day O'Connor.
Why are Catholic colleges less prone to the deleterious effects of multiculturalism? One cannot follow Aquinas' complex syllogisms if one's mind is cluttered with irrational, politically-correct group-think imperatives. After one learns to think brilliantly in a Catholic college, it is difficult to teach one to reason stupidly at law school. The fallacies of politically-correct thought are readily apparent to those who have studied Quintillian. A course in canon law at a Catholic university is great preparation for law school and is an antidote to the liberal indoctrination of law school professors. The perspective of canon law cuts the intellectually lightweight, social-engineering law professor down to size in the eyes of the student.