Democrats Keep Making Judge Barrett’s Religion An Issue

Democrats And The Media Keep Attacking Judge Barrett’s Religious Beliefs And Baselessly Suggesting That She Would Rule Based On Her Religion Instead Of The Law


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The ongoing attacks by Senate Democrats and the media on Judge Barrett’s faith are a disgrace. They demean the confirmation process, disrespect the Constitution, and insult millions of American believers…. Our coastal elites are so disconnected from their own country that they treat religious Americans like strange animals in a menagerie. Sadly, the press is only following the lead of Senate Democrats. Last week, just after trying to claim that Judge Barrett’s religion is not relevant, one Judiciary Committee Democrat proceeded to baselessly question whether Judge Barrett could look past private “closely held” views to rule impartially. Four days ago, another Senate Democrat wrote a letter declaring Judge Barrett unfit because she once signed a short pro-life statement as a private citizen, and because the organization that wrote the statement may adhere to traditional Christian teaching about when life begins. These euphemisms fool no one. United States Senators are suggesting that Judge Barrett is too Christian, or the wrong kind of Christian, to be a good judge. (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 10/07/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Every Supreme Court Justice in history has possessed personal views. Judges have a job to do and they swear to do it impartially. It is the definition of discrimination to assert that Justice Barrett’s particular faith makes her uniquely unqualified for this promotion. The secular left says they’re for progress, but they’ve just wandered back into the embarrassing tropes of the 1960s, when some argued John F. Kennedy would obey the Pope over the national interest. Judge Barrett’s brilliant legal career and her stellar record on the Seventh Circuit tell us exactly how she does her job: with excellence. Those are the objective qualifications on which she deserves to be evaluated. These disgraceful attacks only reinforce why it is crucial to confirm judges like Judge Barrett who understand and respect our Constitution, including its protections for all Americans’ religious liberty.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 10/07/2020)

SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): “I’ve come to know Amy … She’s a person of great integrity, very sharp intellect, incredibly strong work ethic, even good humor. The Democrats aren’t going to make this about her qualifications, though. We all need to prepare for that. They want to make this about anything but Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications to serve in the highest court of the land. Instead, they’re going to try and scare Americans ... They’re going to try to make this about her faith, as they did in her Seventh Circuit nomination battle…. They need to remember there is no religious test for high office in this country.” (Sen. Young, Press Conference, 9/30/2020)

SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): “Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a consummately qualified jurist who has proven on and off the bench that she has the decency, the intellectual rigor, and the fundamental respect for our country and its Constitution to serve honorably on the Supreme Court.  Sadly, liberals and some media critics have decided to weaponize Barrett’s Catholic faith. Conservatives do not use faith to disqualify a Supreme Court nominee or claim that Joe Biden could not serve as President because he’s Catholic.” (Sen. Braun, Press Release, 10/06/2020)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “This is exactly the type of smear campaign I predicted last week … Let me be clear: efforts by Democrats and the Mainstream Media to destroy Judge Amy Coney’s Barrett’s impeccable reputation and derail her confirmation will not work.” (Sen. Cruz, @SenTedCruz, Twitter, 10/06/2020)

SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “Newsflash: Catholics hang out with other Catholics…. This is getting ridiculous and we’re about two news cycles away from someone accusing Judge Barrett of cannibalism once they learn about communion…. Attacks on religious liberty have no place in Congress…. The Constitution is pretty simple: No religious tests for office, period…. During her confirmation hearing, Judge Barrett faced some disgusting attacks on her faith…. The anti-Catholic bigotry she and other nominees have seen over the last few years is reprehensible.” (“‘Nothing Nefarious’: Ben Sasse Criticizes Story On Amy Coney Barrett’s Law School Housing,” Daily Caller, 10/06/2020)


Sen. Schumer Falsely Claimed ‘Not A Single Democrat Will Make These Attacks Or Make Personal, Religious Beliefs An Issue’

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Of course, not a single Democrat will make these attacks or make personal, religious beliefs an issue … Republicans invented this concern …” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 9/29/2020)


But Senate Democrats Have Repeatedly Attacked Judge Barrett’s Religious Beliefs And Baselessly Questioned Her Judicial Integrity

“But asked if her religious views should be off-limits if Barrett comes before the committee again, Sen. Mazie Hirono said: ‘No.’” (“Democrats Weigh How To Handle Trump’s Potential Supreme Court Pick After Past Flap Over Barrett’s Faith,” CNN, 9/23/2020)

HIRONO: “Her faith is irrelevant, but what is relevant is–what the real issue is – whether her closely held views can be separated from her ability to make objective, fair decisions ...”
REPORTER: “Do you think that this should come up at all during the hearings?...”
HIRONO: “It comes up, if at all, in the context of her closely held views.” (Sen. Hirono, Press Conference, 9/30/2020)

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): I fear that, if confirmed to the nation’s highest court, Judge Barrett would be unable to resist the temptation of overturning decades of judicial precedent in an effort to force every American family to adhere to her individual moral code. I fear that if a case involving ART [Assisted Reproductive Technology] were to be brought before the bench, families like mine would not be able to trust that her opinions would be based on facts, laws and the Constitution rather than swayed by her personal beliefs.” (Sen. Duckworth, Dear Colleague Letter, 10/02/2020)

  • DUCKWORTH: “I fear that, if confirmed to the nation’s highest court, Judge Barrett would be unable to resist the temptation of overturning decades of judicial precedent in an effort to force every American family to adhere to her individual moral code.” (Sen. Duckworth, @SenDuckworth, Twitter, 10/06/2020)

DUCKWORTH: “An open message to my Republican colleagues: You stood up. You applauded. You cuddled my beautiful daughter when she became the first infant on the Senate floor. So now I ask—how could you support a Supreme Court nominee who supports those who believe Maile shouldn’t exist? … That these families are worth ‘less’ than others? To all my Republican colleagues who met my Maile that historic day—I urge you to look within your souls. Look within & consider whether someone who supports those beliefs is capable of serving as an impartial justice for ALL Americans on the highest court in the land. For life. (Sen. Duckworth, @SenDuckworth, Twitter, 10/01/2020)


FLASHBACK: Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats To Judge Barrett In 2017: ‘The Dogma Lives Loudly Within You,’ ‘You Would Be A Catholic Judge’

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that, you know, dogma and law are two different things? And I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, Professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/06/2017)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/06/2017)

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): “So in spite of the fact that you had written in an earlier article that Catholic judges -- and you would be a Catholic judge -- you would not recuse yourself from death penalty cases? … Ms. Barrett, I think your article is very plain in your perspective about the role of religion for judges, and particularly with regard to Catholic judges.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/06/2017)


Sadly, News Outlets Can’t Resist Questioning Judge Barrett’s Faith Either

POLITICO MAGAZINE HEADLINE: “Why Amy Coney Barrett’s Religious Beliefs Aren’t Off Limits” (Politico Magazine, 9/24/2020)

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: “Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court nominee, spoke at program founded to inspire a ‘distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law’” (The Washington Post, 9/27/2020)

GUARDIAN HEADLINE: “Revealed: Amy Coney Barrett lived in home of secretive Christian group’s co-founder” (The Guardian, 10/06/2020)

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: “Amy Coney Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise” (The Washington Post, 10/06/2020)

ASSOCIATED PRESS HEADLINE: “Barrett tied to faith group ex-members say subjugates women” (“Barrett Tied To Faith Group Ex-Members Say Subjugates Women,” The Associated Press, 9/28/2020)

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: “The story behind Amy Coney Barrett’s little-known Christian group People of Praise” (“The Story Behind Amy Coney Barrett’s Little-Known Christian Group People Of Praise,” The Washington Post, 9/28/2020)

McCLATCHY HEADLINE: “What is People of Praise? Trump SCOTUS nominee Barrett has ties to religious group” (“What Is People Of Praise? Trump SCOTUS Nominee Barrett Has Ties To Religious Group, McClatchy, 10/1/2020)

ROLLING STONE HEADLINE: “Who Are the People of Praise?” (“Who Are the People of Praise?,” Rolling Stone, 9/29/2020)

THE NATION HEADLINE: “Amy Coney Barrett’s Extremist Religious Beliefs Merit Examination” (“Amy Coney Barrett’s Extremist Religious Beliefs Merit Examination,” The Nation, 9/26/2020)


Judge Amy Coney Barrett In Her Own Words: ‘The Job Of A Judge [Is] To Set Aside … Personal Moral Convictions, And Personal Preferences And Follow The Law,’ ‘I Would Never Impose My Own Personal Convictions Upon The Law’

Q: “So what role, if any, should faith of a nominee have in the confirmation process?”
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT: “None. I mean we have a long tradition of religious tolerance in this country, and in fact the Religious Test Clause in the Constitution makes it unconstitutional to impose a religious test on anyone who holds public office. So whether someone is Catholic or Jewish or evangelical or Muslim or has no faith at all is irrelevant to the job and in fact it’s unconstitutional to consider it as a qualification for office.” (“A Conversation with Amy Coney Barrett,” Hillsdale College, Washington, DC, 5/21/2019)

  • JUDGE BARRETT: “I think when you step back and you think about the debate about whether someone’s religion has any bearing on their fitness for office, it seems to me that the premise of the question is that people of faith would have a uniquely difficult time separating out their moral commitments from their obligation to apply the law. And I think people of faith should reject that premise. All people, of course, or we hope, most people, right, have deeply held moral convictions, whether or not they come from faith. People who have no faith, people who are not religious, have deeply held moral convictions. And it’s just as important for those people … I just spent time talking about the job of a judge being to set aside moral convictions, personal moral convictions, and personal preferences and follow the law. That’s a challenge for those of faith and for those who have no faith…. But that’s not a challenge just for religious people. That’s a challenge for everyone. And so I think it’s a dangerous road to go down to say that only religious people would not be able to separate out moral convictions from their duty.” (“A Conversation with Amy Coney Barrett,” Hillsdale College, Washington, DC, 5/21/2019)

JUDGE BARRETT: “I see no conflict between having a sincerely held faith and duties as a judge. In fact, we have many judges, both state and federal, across the country who have sincerely held religious views and still impartially and honestly discharge their obligations as a judge…. I would decide cases according to rule of law … I would never impose my own personal convictions upon the law.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/06/2017)

  • JUDGE BARRETT: “It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else on the law.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/06/2017)



Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Senate Democrats, Nominations