Since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, Democrats have been in a panic. Faced with potential of replacing Kennedy, who was often considered the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, with a solidly conservative justice like Justice Neil Gorsuch, Senate Democrats are already pulling out all the stops.
Democrats are worried Kennedy’s replacement will be a judge with a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and will not see the Supreme Court as a vehicle to impose legislation that was never passed via the legislative process.
It’s not surprising the Democrats, who are one vote away from being able to block any judge appointed by President Donald Trump, are fighting back early, trying to create a political hit piece on any possible Trump appointee even before they are nominated.
Federal appeals court judge and former Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett has been one of the primary targets of Democrats. There has been speculation that Barrett is on Trump’s shortlist, leading Democrats to dig in to Barrett’s personal life in attempt to invalidate her potential nomination.
Anyone who looks at the qualification of Barrett will see that her credentials would meet and exceed the appointments made by President Barack Obama. The Democrats know this, but opposition research has led to an attack the Left hopes will submarine her candidacy. The offense is that she is a practicing and devout Catholic.
In fact, last year during Barrett’s confirmation to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Durbin began by grilling her “Do you consider yourself an ‘orthodox Catholic’?” He emphasized the word orthodox in his question to imply that its clearly a problem. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono went as far as to suggest that Barrett would be beholden to Catholic teaching when deciding cases. You can read an excellent account of this written by Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist.
What is the Democrats concern and obsession with Barrett being a Catholic? They fear that as a Catholic they would not have a guaranteed majority to protect taxpayer funding of abortion, support for Democrat-aligned abortion provider like Planned Parenthood, and can’t automatically count on her vote to legislate the new cultural revolution via the court system.
Democrats know very well that Barrett can’t comment on how she would rule on these cases without hearing them first. So they have taken to smearing Barrett’s Catholic faith instead.
This line of attack is a problem even for non-Catholics. The same arguments used to attack Barrett can be used to attack any traditional Protestant or even an Orthodox Jew. Are we ready to live in a society where Christians and Jews who are practicing their religion outside of their church or synagogues can’t be judges?
What’s worse is the Senate Democrats have encouraged the already liberal mainstream media to do bizarre hit pieces of the Christian faith. The New York Times recently ran an article that implied that Barrett’s Catholicism would mean she would force a society that is similar to the one described in the fiction book the “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Their justification is that Barrett is also part of a Catholic group. Like many groups, including Fraternities, members share a bond and support for one another. No one questioned if Bill Clinton would be loyal to his fraternity over his country. In fact, the Catholic group that Barrett was part of was mainstream enough that, as the Federalist points out, Progressive Pope Francis named a member of this group auxiliary bishop of Portland.
Barrett like any other judge should go through the nominating process and should answer for her record, her judgment, and her character. Practicing Christians and Jews should, however, be very concerned that the Democratic Party is becoming a party that is no longer welcoming or accepting of their faith.
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Alex Kharam is the Executive Director of Freedom Club