Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith has triggered a number of Democratic lawmakers and liberal media figures since her 2017 confirmation hearing. Some have even suggested that her beliefs might make the mother of seven unfit to serve as a federal judge. In contrast, Justice Ginsburg was Jewish and a liberal activist lawyer for the ACLU before she joined the Court and was confirmed almost unanimously in 42 days.
Despite their different backgrounds and beliefs, both women have said almost the very same things about the role their faith plays in being a jurist. That fact is, during her confirmation 27 years ago, Justice Ginsburg set the precedent that Judge Barrett is following today.
Justice Ginsburg at her 1993 confirmation hearing:
“My own views and what I would do if I were sitting in the legislature are not relevant to the job for which you are considering me, which is the job of a judge.”
“A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints; for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”
Judge Coney Barret in her 2017 confirmation hearing:
“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.”
Judge Coney Barrett on the day she was nominated to the Supreme Court:
“A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they may hold.”
The reason for the disparate treatment is clear, politics. Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said that is every American should reject this approach to our justice system.
“We are not electing a Senator or a President,” Manning said. “We are confirming a new Justice to the Supreme Court. Politics has no place in the courtroom.”
Manning said that simple truth escapes Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono who raised Barrett’s “closely held views” on Wednesday, suggesting that Coney Barrett “closely held views” make her unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.
The latest attempt to disparage Coney Barrett is perhaps the most despicable of all. Someone leaked her medical records to the Washington Post revealing the judge was diagnosed with Covid-19 over the summer.
“The law is clear, medical records are strictly off-limits,” said Manning. “Besides, what’s the point in victim shaming? I certainly hope this isn’t a preview of the Senate Democrat’s nomination derailment tactics.”
But Manning says conservatives should be prepared for the worst.
“We can’t forget how Sen. Dianne Feinstein attacked Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith in 2017, saying ‘the dogma lives loudly within you.’ There is no place for bigotry.”
Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is undeterred by the smear campaign. He tweeted a “full steam ahead” update on Friday after a phone call with President Trump.
Judge Barrett has said repeatedly, including under oath while being confirmed to the Seventh Circuit, that her personal policy views will not affect her legal analysis of the words of the Constitution or statutes. We should judge every Supreme Court nominee by the quality of their work, and leave their deeply help beliefs and views out of the process.
Judge Barrett’s record on the bench is consistent: she fairly applies the law and the Constitution.
Catherine Mortensen is the Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.