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Campaign Press Release - Amy Coney Barrett's Faith Under Attack

October 01, 2020

Democrats and the far-left have parroted anti-Catholic rhetoric in a cheap attempt to smear Judge Barrett

Key Takeaways:

  • Even before she was nominated, Democrats, progressives, and members of the media resurfaced anti-Catholic attacks against Judge Barrett, baselessly tarnishing a woman of faith for political purposes
  • This isn't new; in 2017, Democrats went after Judge Barrett's faith in an attempt to disqualify her
    • Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) questioned Judge Barrett's faith by saying the "dogma lives loudly within [her]"
    • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Judge Barrett if she considers herself an "orthodox" Catholic
    • Sen. Hirono said Judge Barrett would be a "Catholic judge"
    • The Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group, said that "Barrett will be led by her personal beliefs, not the law"
  • Kamala Harris – Democrats' Vice Presidential nominee – has used the same anti-Catholic tactics in a previous judicial nomination
    • In 2018, Harris insinuated that a judicial nominee's membership in the charitable Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus disqualified him from serving on the bench
    • The Senate passed a resolution unanimously rebuking the anti-Catholic line of questioning from Harris and Hirono

EVEN BEFORE HER NOMINATION, DEMOCRATS AND LIBERALS WERE TRYING TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE BARRETT OVER HER FAITH

Democrats Have Not Only Said Barrett's Faith Is Fair Game, But They Have Disparaged And Lied About Her Religious Beliefs

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Said Judge Barrett's Religious Views Should Not Be Off Limits, Baselessly Saying That Barrett Will Impose Her Ideological Agenda From The Bench."But asked if her religious views should be off-limits if Barrett comes before the committee again, Sen. Mazie Hirono said: 'No.' 'Look, it wasn't her religious views – it's anybody's views that they bring to their decision making... So they keep telling us that none of the things they wrote or said yesterday should infringe on their decision, but how can we be assured that they can be objective? ... Why should we say you get a lifetime appointment so that you can reflect your ideological agenda in your decision making?" (Manu Raju, "Democrats Weigh How To Handle Trump's Potential Supreme Court Pick After Past Flap Over Barrett's Faith," CNN, 9/23/20)

  • Hirono: "Of Course, I Will Question Judge Barrett Under Oath As To Her Other Views Because She Has Very Closely Held Views ... " SENATOR MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): "And I'm going to use every moment to get that across, and, of course, I will question Judge Barrett under oath as to her other views because she has very closely held views that will impact a woman's right to choose, and certainly she's already expressed her basically willingness to vote down the Affordable Care Act . . . The issue is whether or not her closely held views on issues such as the Affordable Care Act, such as abortion rights, can be separated from her ability to be a fair and objective justice." (CNN's "The Situation Room," 9/26/20)


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Former Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-CA) Smeared Judge Barrett By Saying Her Religion Comes "Straight Out Of The Handmaid's Tale." "Trump's top Supreme Court pick comes from a religion that is straight out of the Handmaid's Tale...because of course she fucking does. Fight for your uteruses, ladies, or pick the male you want to sign your rights over to." (Katie Hill, Twitter, 9/22/20)

  • Hill Said That Questions About Whether Judge Barrett "Will Impose Her Faith On The American People" Are Fair Game And Suggested That Her Judicial Positions Are Rooted In Her Religion. "Ms. Hill said in an email on Sunday that her political action committee, HER Time, was working to rally opposition to Judge Barrett's confirmation, and that questions about whether the judge 'will impose her faith on the American people' were fair game. 'Someone's religion is important when their religious beliefs are part of the way they make decisions that come before that court,' Ms. Hill said, accusing Judge Barrett of holding 'anti-women, anti-L.G.B.T.Q. positions, which are rooted in her religion' and saying they would 'factor into her decisions on the court.'" (Kenneth P. Vogel, Maggie Haberman and Jeremy W. Peters, "Political Groups Begin Dueling Over Barrett In A Costly Clash," The New York Times, 9/27/20)

The Biden Campaign's Deputy Data Director Criticized Judge Barrett's Religious Views, Suggesting "Orthodox" Catholics, Jews, And Muslims Should Not Be On The Supreme Court Due To Their "Intolerant" Views. "One of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's staffers suggested Monday that Orthodox Catholics, Jews, and Muslims should be disqualified from serving on the Supreme Court due to their 'intolerant' views. Biden campaign Deputy Data Director Nikitha Rai criticized Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's religious views in a Twitter conversation Monday night with Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid." (Mary Margaret Olohan, "Joe Biden Staffer Suggests Orthodox Catholics, Jews And Muslims Shouldn't Be On Supreme Court," The Daily Caller, 9/29/20)

Virginia DNC Member Atima Omara Spread The False Claim That Barrett Belonged To A Religious Group That Inspired The Handmaid's Tale."Under the circumstances I'm pretty calm, know while the living version of Aunt Lydia in the Handmaid's Tale gets nominated to the Supreme Court to replace a woman who literally spent her life fighting for gender equity." (Atima Omara, Twitter, 9/25/20)

Former Democrat Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Said That Barrett Belonged To A Religious Group That Is A "Repressive" Sect And Said Her Religious Views Were "Genuinely Concerning." "Amy Barrett being Catholic is a good thing; Joe Biden is a Catholic too. Republicans are trying to make it as though the Left is criticizing her Catholicism but it's not true. It's the repressive tenets of the 'People of Praise' sect she belongs to that are genuinely concerning." (Marianne Williamson, Twitter, 9/27/20)

Former Democrat Candidate For U.S. Senate In Colorado, Diana Bray, Said She Can't Wait For Judge Barrett To Be Questioned On Her "Cult." "Praise Be, @amyklobuchar Time to fight like hell or Handmaid's Tale will be our reality. Can't wait to hear Amy Coney Barrett questioned on whether she ever had the role of 'Handmaid' in her People of Praise cult where women pledge subservience to men. You bet it's relevant." (Diana Bray, Twitter, 9/27/20)

Bill Maher Called Amy Coney Barrett A "Fucking Nut," Saying She Is "Catholic, Really Catholic ... Like Speaking In Tongues." BILL MAHER: "Apparently, the pick is going to be Amy Coney — we're going to be saying the name a lot, because she's a fuckin' nut, religion, I was right about that one too! — Amy Coney Barrett. Catholic. Really Catholic. I mean, really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues." (HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," 9/25/20)


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MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Invoked Barrett's Faith Minutes After Her Nomination Was Announced And Suggested That Her "Association" With A Catholic Group Should Be Scrutinized. MSNBC's NICOLLE WALLACE: "Something else that MSNBC had up on the screen if you're watching this and not listening on Sirius in your car, I'll share it with you that when Judge Barrett was under scrutiny for her last appointment, information came out about her time and her relationship with the Christian organization called People of Praise. Now, this is some of what we know about that group and some of what was scrutinized last time she was evaluated. Members of the group, People of Praise, swear a lifelong Oath of Loyalty, called a Covenant to one another and are assigned and are held accountable to a personal adviser called the Head for Men, and a Handmaid for women. The group teaches that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family. Because of the rush that Donald Trump feels Neal Katyal, because of the way this process is so condense. These sorts of things become part of our coverage, even on the day of a ceremony in the Rose Garden. What do you think the line of questioning will be about that association?" (MSNBC's "MSNBC Live," 9/26/20)

  • Asked About Barrett's Religious Affiliations Coming Up At Confirmation Hearings, Former Obama Administration Solicitor General Neal Katyal Told Wallace That "I Don't Know That It Should." NEAL KATYAL: "With respect to the specific thing about this organization, I don`t know that that`s really going to come up and I don't know that it should." (MSNBC's "MSNBC Live," 9/26/20)


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CNN Contributor Susan Hennessey Baselessly Said That Barrett Had A "Clear Intention" Of "Imposing" Her "Religious Views On The American Public." "Amy Coney Barrett's personal faith is entirely unobjectionable and between her and her creator. Her clear intention of imposing her private beliefs, including religious views, on the American public by overturning long-settled precedent should disqualify her from the bench." (Susan Hennessey, Twitter, 9/22/20)

The View's Sara Haines Said An Examination Of Barrett's Faith Was "Fair Game" And That "It's The Intersection Of Her Faith And Her Ability To Adjudicate The Law," That Was "Alarming." ABC's SARA HAINES: "These are comments that Amy Coney Barrett has made herself, and I think it's fair game. As Sunny said, people need to be vetted, they need to be explored. I look forward to hearings for answers to things that were alarming to me. It's the intersection of her faith and her ability to adjudicate the law." (ABC's "The View," 9/22/20)


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The Nation Headline: "Amy Coney Barrett's Extremist Religious Beliefs Merit Examination." (Joan Walsh, "Amy Coney Barrett's Extremist Religious Beliefs Merit Examination," The Nation, 9/26/20)

  • The Nation's Joan Walsh Accused Barrett Of Growing Up In A "Right-Wing Sect." "Her Catholicism is irrelevant. The worldview of the fringe right-wing sect she has grown up in definitely isn't." (Joan Walsh, "Amy Coney Barrett's Extremist Religious Beliefs Merit Examination," The Nation, 9/26/20)

The Guardian's Jill Filipovic: "The Catholic Church Demands That Its Own Members Carry Their Faith Outside Of Church And Often Into Their Work." "It's easy to argue that we should separate Amy Coney Barrett's personal religious views from her professional work. But she doesn't do that, and the Catholic Church demands that its own members carry their faith outside of church and often into their work." (Jill Filipovic, "Democrats Aren't Anti-Catholic Bigots for Questioning Amy Coney Barrett," The Guardian, 9/28/20)

Politico Op-Ed Headline: "Why Amy Coney Barrett's Religious Beliefs Aren't Off Limits." (Massimo Faggioli, "Why Amy Coney Barrett's Religious Beliefs Aren't Off Limits," Politico, 9/24/20)

  • Massimo Faggioli, Professor Of Theology And Religious Studies At Villanova University: "I Don't Think It's Anti-Catholic To Ask Questions About Barrett's Religious Beliefs." "I'm a Catholic scholar, I've written two books on the type of religious community that Barrett is a member of, and I don't think it's anti-Catholic to ask questions about Barrett's religious beliefs. On the contrary, as the president nears a decision on her potential nomination later this week, I'm convinced they need to be front and center. In particular, the Senate Judiciary Committee should be prepared to ask to examine any covenant—a solemn contract binding before God—that she signed in the course of becoming a full member of People of Praise. Doing so will protect, not erode, America's foundational value of religious liberty." (Massimo Faggioli, "Why Amy Coney Barrett's Religious Beliefs Aren't Off Limits," Politico, 9/24/20)

DEMOCRATS ALSO QUESTIONED BARRETT'S FAITH DURING HER 2017 CONFIRMATION HEARINGS

During Barrett's 2017 Confirmation Hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Questioned Judge Barrett's Faith By Saying The "Dogma Lives Loudly Within [Her]." SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: "When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country." (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/6/17)


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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Asked Judge Barrett If She Considers Herself An "Orthodox" Catholic. SEN. DICK DURBIN: "Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?" (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/6/17)


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Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Questioned Whether As A "Catholic Judge," Would Barrett Would Recuse Herself From Death-Penalty Cases. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO: "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?" (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/6/17)


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Progressive Legal Advocacy Group The Alliance For Justice Falsely Said That Judge Barrett Believes Judges Should Put Their Religious Views Above Their Judicial Oath. "Barrett believes that judges should be able to put their religious views above their judicial oath to follow the law, the Constitution, and precedents of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal. It's a pretty unheard of idea in the American judiciary." ("5 Reasons You Should Oppose Amy Coney Barrett," Alliance For Justice, 8/10/17)

  • Alliance For Justice: "Barrett Will Be Led By Her Personal Beliefs, Not The Law." ("Amy Coney Barrett," Alliance For Justice, Accessed 9/28/20)

NARAL Smeared Judge Barrett By Claiming She Believes She Is "Bound By [Her] Religious Faith" When Making Decisions. "Her belief that judges should be bound by their religious faith, not the law, combined with her repeated statements rejecting stare decisis, the doctrine that requires courts to follow precedent, clearly threatens precedents such as Roe that form a basis for enforcing women's reproductive rights." (NARAL, Twitter, 9/16/17)

JOE BIDEN'S RUNNING MATE - KAMALA HARRIS – HAS PARTICIPATED IN THESE ANTI-CATHOLIC ATTACKS

In 2018, Harris Suggested A Judicial Nominee Was Disqualified Because Of His Membership In The Knights Of Columbus, A Catholic Fraternal Organization

In 2018, Harris Insinuated That Nebraska District Judge Nominee Brian Buescher's Membership In The Charitable Catholic Organization The Knights of Columbus Disqualified Him From Serving Due To Its Pro-Life Stance. "In late 2018, while evaluating the nomination of Brian Buescher to serve as a district judge in Nebraska, Harris posed a series of questions insinuating that his involvement in the Knights of Columbus — a charitable Catholic fraternal organization — disqualified him from serving on the bench. Here's one of her written questions: Since 1993, you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus, an all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men. In 2016, Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus, described abortion as 'a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.' Mr. Anderson went on to say that 'abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.' Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman's right to choose when you joined the organization. She went on to ask Buescher whether he was 'aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when [he] joined the organization' and whether he had 'never, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women's reproductive rights.'" (Alexander Desanctis, "Kamala Harris's Anti-Catholic Bigotry," National Review, 8/11/20)

The Washington Post'sMichael Gerson: "Harris Was Effectively Treating Membership In A Distinctly Catholic Organization As If It Were Allegiance To A Hate Group."(Michael Gerson, Column, "Kamala Harris Exacerbates Biden's Existing Problem With Religious Voters. He Must Work To Reassure Them.," The Washington Post, 8/13/20)

(Senate Committee On The Judiciary, 12/5/18)

Harris' Questioning Was Condemned By Her Fellow Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Saying Such Questioning Was "Fomenting Religious Bigotry." "While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher's Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is 'unqualified' because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the 'liberal lion of the Senate' Ted Kennedy would have been "unqualified" for the same reasons. Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that there "shall be no religious test" for any seeking to serve in public office." (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Op-Ed, "Elected Leaders Who Weaponize Religion Are Playing A Dangerous Game," The Hill, 1/8/19)

The Senate Unanimously Passed A Resolution In Response To Harris' Questioning About The Knights Of Columbus, Reaffirming That The Constitution Forbids The Use Of Religious Tests For Public Officeholders. "On the Senate floor yesterday evening, Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) led an effort to reaffirm the constitutional clause forbidding the use of religious tests for public officeholders. The resolution was agreed to by unanimous consent. The effort was prompted by recent questioning of a Catholic judicial nominee, Brian Buescher, over his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Democratic senators Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) asked Buescher whether his Catholic faith would prevent him from serving as an impartial judge, and Hirono went so far as to demand that he drop his membership in the Knights and recuse himself from any case on which the group has taken a position." (Alexandra Desanctis, "Senate Votes Unanimously To Rebuke Anti-Catholic Tests," National Review, 1/17/19)

Donald J. Trump, Campaign Press Release - Amy Coney Barrett's Faith Under Attack Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345723

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