McConnell: Dishonest Attacks on Judge Barrett Only Prove Why Judges Like Her Are So Necessary
‘Over the past few years, multiple Senate Democrats, on multiple different occasions, have openly suggested that certain kinds of religious beliefs might disqualify citizens from public service… every time [some on the left] try to use the nominee’s personal faith as a political weapon, they will only be reminding millions of Americans why it is so essential to have judges just like Judge Barrett on the bench.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court:
“As I predicted last week, the far left is rushing to make this nomination about anything but Judge Barrett’s qualifications.
“The instant she was announced, they started with the same unhinged attacks they have recycled for every Supreme Court nomination by every Republican president since the 1970s.
“Remember, the far left said Justice Stevens opposed ‘women’s rights.’ That Justice Kennedy would be ‘a disaster for women.’ That Justice Souter would put the ‘health and lives’ of Americans at risk.
“Well, Saturday went like clockwork. The political left took one look at Judge Barrett’s qualifications, gave up on debating the merits, and headed right for the old scare tactics.
“Our colleague the Democratic Leader informed Americans that this 48-year-old working mother was going to ‘turn back the clock on women’s rights.’
“The junior Senator for California said the nominee would ‘harm millions of Americans.’
“The junior Senator for Connecticut said, quote, ‘Amy Coney Barrett would create a humanitarian catastrophe.’
“Here we go again.
“One of the pre-selected scare tactics is that Judge Barrett is out to steal Americans’ healthcare coverage.
“That’s the claim: This mother of seven, including multiple children who were born or adopted facing pre-existing medical challenges, is just itching to block families like hers from accessing medical care.
“What a joke.
“When Senate Democrats were trying to attack Chief Justice John Roberts, long before Obamacare even existed, they claimed he’d sought to ‘put millions of American consumers and families at risk of losing coverage.’ They’ve been recycling these same attacks since before they even passed the law they now say they’re worried about.
“On this occasion, their entire argument seems to come down to a technical analysis Judge Barrett put forward in a four-year-old academic paper about one part of Obamacare — which Congress has already zeroed out in the meantime.
“These hysterical claims collapse under the slightest examination.
“But sadly, they are just the beginning.
“Three years ago, Senate Democrats’ bizarre attacks on Judge Barrett’s religious faith became a national embarrassment for their side of the aisle.
“The senior Senator for Illinois asked now-Judge Barrett ‘Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?’ This was during a United States Senate hearing.
“The senior Senator for California told her that ‘the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.’
“This was not an isolated incident. Over the past few years, multiple Senate Democrats, on multiple different occasions, have openly suggested that certain kinds of religious beliefs might disqualify citizens from public service.
“In 2017, the junior Senator for Vermont, Senator Sanders, told an executive-branch nominee that he had made an ‘indefensible...hateful… Islamophobic’ statement because he’d articulated a personal belief that Christianity gets things right which Islam gets wrong.
“In 2018, the junior Senator for California, who is now asking for Americans’ votes to be Vice President, attacked a different nominee for participating in the Knights of Columbus. That’s a massive, noncontroversial Catholic’s men’s association that is known for things like shoveling snow off church sidewalks and hosting pancake breakfasts.
“Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a women’s right to choose?’’ Senator Harris asked. As though it were remotely controversial that a famous Catholic organization would subscribe to Catholic teaching on the right to life. The junior Senator for Hawaii suggested this nominee would need to quit the organization to serve as a judge.
“You’d think the national backlash to all this would have taught the political left a lesson.
“But here’s what’s happened in just the past few days.
“The Associated Press, Reuters, Politico, Newsweek, and the Washington Post have all already run major stories on the Barrett family’s private faith practices. Each strongly implied there might be something worrisome or disqualifying if a federal judge were a faithful Christian with strong ties to spiritual groups.
“Politico’s contributing editor literally went and peered around the physical grounds of a religious facility in South Bend so he could report what the youth group had written on their whiteboard.
“Less than 72 hours in, this is where we are. The elite class is already treating Americans of faith like exotic animals on display in a menagerie.
“Look, I understand the far left had committed to opposing this nominee before she was even named. I understand some politicians had decided to oppose Judge Barrett before they’d even considered her record.
“But every time they try to use the nominee’s personal faith as a political weapon, they will only be reminding millions of Americans why it is so essential to have judges just like Judge Barrett on the bench.
“In this country — our country — citizens have religious liberty.
“In this country — our country — there is no religious test for public office.
“And in this country — our country — we have the right to seek the protection of the courts when our free exercise of religion is threatened.
“That is why we need judges like Judge Barrett, who understand our laws and Constitution and will uphold our freedoms accordingly.
“If the reflexive opponents of Judge Barrett’s nomination want to argue otherwise, they’ll only be proving how much better she understands our Constitution than they do.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Supreme Court