Sen. Josh Hawley hammers his Democrat colleagues for religious bigotry toward Judge Barrett

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At today’s opening session of the Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) blasted Democrat colleagues on the panel and their lackeys in the media for allegedly engaging in religious bigotry against the potential Supreme Court justice.

“Judge Barrett is a devout Catholic; we all know that…she and her husband have chosen to raise their family according to their Catholic beliefs…I would say to my Democrat colleagues that this pattern and practice as we say in the law…of religious bigotry…from members of this committee must stop.” Hawley declared in what appeared to be powerful extemporaneous remarks (i.e., not read from a staff-generated prepared statement as most of the Democrats are doing today).

“When you tell someone their ‘too Catholic’ to be on the bench, when you tell them they’re going to be a ‘Catholic judge, not an American judge, that’s bigotry,” the senator added, along with the hope that the Barrett hearings will signal and to this form of bigotry.”

You may recall that when the former Notre Dame law professor testified at her confirmation hearings in 2017 for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) criticized Barrett with a claim that “the dogma lives loudly within you,” which many interpreted as anti-Catholic bias. Other Democrat senators expresses similar sentiments. Such discrimination is prohibited under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, as Hawley also reminded the senators and America.

In the context of the attacks on Barrett’s faith, Hawley also warned that “this bedrock principle of American liberty is now under attack…that is what is at stake…when my Democratic colleagues repeatedly question Judge Barrett and many other judicial nominees about their religious beliefs, about their religious membership, about their religious practices, about their family beliefs and practices. That is an attempt to bring back the days of the religious test.

“That is an attempt to bring back the veto power of the powerful over the religious beliefs and sincerely held convictions of the American people, and that is what is at stake in this confirmation hearing…Heck, 65 million Americans are Catholics, and many, many millions more are Christians of other persuasions. Are they to be told they can’t serve in public office, that they are not welcome in the public sphere unless the members of this committee sign off on their religious beliefs? I, for one, do not want to live in such an America, and the Constitution of the United States flatly prohibits it.”


Although observers may come to a different conclusion, the subtext for the ideological disagreement on the committee seems to be that Judge Barrett, a mom of seven including two adopted children, is presumed to be pro-life and someone who would seize the opportunity to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Regardless of your feelings on this sensitive issue within which many Americans are understandably conflicted, Democrats seem obsessed with abortion. The judge has suggested in the past that Roe is unlikely to be overturned, although she noted that some states might be empowered to introduce some additional restrictions.

Even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a very liberal legal scholar who Barrett would replace on the high court if she is confirmed, questioned the wide-ranging scope of the Roe decision that overrode all state laws in one decision. “A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day…might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy,” Justice Ginsburg said in a December 1992 lecture at New York University.

In a May 2013 appearance at the University of Chicago School of Law, Ginsburg said  that “She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights.”

Day one of the Barrett hearings consists entirely of an opening statement by the nominee, and senators delivering their own mostly grandstanding opening statements. Questioning of Judge Barrett begins in earnest on Tuesday and will continue through the rest of the week.


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