- Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has already faced numerous attacks from Democratic lawmakers and media.
- Democrats have previously suggested that Barrett’s Catholicism made her unfit to serve as a judge — and media has attempted to spin comments Barrett made on filling Supreme Court vacancies.
- Barrett’s Catholic faith has also been called “extreme,” and media has attempted to link a Catholic group associated with Barrett to the fictional dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett may face an ominous confirmation process, but she has already faced numerous attacks from Democratic lawmakers and media.
The president considered nominating Barrett to replace former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018 but ultimately chose Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“I’m saving her for Ginsburg,” President Donald Trump said of Barrett in 2019, Axios reported. (RELATED: ‘Disgusting Attacks On Her Faith’ — Sasse Condemns ‘Anti-Catholic Bigotry’ Against Amy Coney Barrett)
Her 2017 confirmation hearings gained national attention when Democrats suggested that her Catholicism made her unfit to serve as a judge — and media has attempted to spin comments Barrett made soon after during an interview on filling Supreme Court vacancies.
Barrett’s Catholic faith has also been called “extreme,” and media has attempted to link a Catholic group associated with Barrett to the fictional dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The Cult Attack
Amid reports that Barrett might be Trump’s choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, multiple news outlets falsely reported that the Catholic group People of Praise was the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and highlighted Barrett’s reported connections with the group.
These outlets later issued corrections admitting that there was no evidence that People of Praise inspired the book. (RELATED: Media Outlets Link Catholic Group Associated With Amy Coney Barrett To ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’)
Yeah, how dare we ask questions about Amy Barrett’s religious commitments pic.twitter.com/AoIuYq0ozm
— Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein) September 21, 2020
People of Praise has not confirmed or denied Barrett’s membership, according to Reuters, ever since a 2017 New York Times article reported she was a member of the group.
“In suggesting a link between People of Praise and Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ the burden of proof clearly lies with the news outlet making such a claim,” the group’s communications director Sean Connolly told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday evening.
“Bottom line: There has never been any evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Indiana-based People of Praise played a role in inspiring Margaret Atwood’s book,” he added. He did not address whether Barrett is a member of the group. (RELATED: Reuters Rewrote A Smear Job On Amy Coney Barrett, Then Offered Scant Explanation To Readers)
The Times originally highlighted Barrett’s ties to People of Praise when her name was floated in 2017. The publication noted that Barrett’s connections to People of Praise did not come up during her 2017 Senate hearings, emphasizing that if People of Praise been brought up, it “might have led to even more intense questioning.”
The ‘Dogma’ Attack
Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearings gained national attention when Democratic lawmakers questioned her about her Catholic beliefs.
“Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different,” Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett when she came before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017.
“The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein added. “And that’s of concern.” (RELATED: Amy Coney Barrett Speaks Out On ‘Dogma’ Charge, Religious Tests For Judges)
Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin also questioned Barrett over an article she co-authored as a law student that included the term “orthodox Catholic,” asking Barrett: “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”
“If you’re asking whether I’m a faithful Catholic, I am, although I would stress that my own personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge,” Barrett told him. (RELATED: Media Calls Biden A ‘Devout Catholic.’ Where Does He Actually Stand With The Catholic Church?)
The ‘Extreme’ Catholic Attack
Criticism of Barrett’s Catholic faith re-emerged as lawmakers argued over who would replace Ginsburg.
Disgraced former congresswoman Katie Hill tweeted: “If her religion never made it into her court decisions, she can believe what she wants. But, yes, personally, I DO object to any religion that still insists women be subservient.”
The Washington Post’s Ron Charles highlighted Barrett’s comment that the ultimate goal in life is to build “the Kingdom of God.”
“Amy Coney Barrett, the judge at the top of Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has said we should always remember that a ‘legal career is but a means to an end … and that end is building the Kingdom of God,’” Charles tweeted.
Filmmaker Arlen Parsa called Barrett a “Catholic extremist with 7 children” in a since deleted tweet, hitting Barrett for her pro-life views while noting that he will vote for pro-abortion 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, who is also Catholic.
“She wants the rest of American women to be stuck with her extreme lifestyle,” he tweeted.
Writer Lauren Hough highlighted media stories linking Barrett to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” calling Barrett a “rabid fucking lunatic.”
“You ever look at someone, say, the probable nominee they’re going to try to shove forward, Amy Cone[sic] Barrett, and you’re like, dude, she looks like she’s in a cult and then lol oh good, she’s literally in a motherfucking cult,” Hough tweeted.
“1-2-3-4-5-6, SIX hardcore Catholics on the court now, she could be 7, but this rabid fucking lunatic makes the other 6 look like Unitarians, throw in an attorney general who refers to the Inquisition as the golden years, and we’re gonna fucking wish we had Sharia law,” Hough added.
The Adoption Attack
Barrett adopted two of her seven children, Vivian and John Peter, from Haiti.
“Vivian is our miracle. Vivian joined our family—she was born in Haiti and she came home when she was 14 months old, and she weighed 11 pounds and she was so weak we were told she might never walk normally or speak,” Barrett said during the 2017 hearings. “Today Vivian is a track star, and I assure you she has no trouble talking.”
“John Peter is 10, and like Vivian, he was born in Haiti,” the nominee added. “He joined our family in 2010 when he was three years old after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.”
Media figures suggested Friday and Saturday that Barrett adopted her children for nefarious reasons. Next Gen America managing director John Lee Brougher said that he needed to “know more about the circumstances” of how Barrett adopted her children and “the treatment of them since.”
“Transracial adoption is fraught with trauma and potential for harm, and everything I see here is deeply concerning,” he said.
Adoption is one of the most beautiful things that exists in the world, and while — like everything, including biological families — it can foster abuse, casually insinuating that for adoptive parents is despicable.
And yes, @DrIbram, it matters that you used the wrong picture: pic.twitter.com/yyNs67lNGS
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 26, 2020
Democratic activist Dana Houle said that he would “love to know which adoption agency Amy Coney Barrett and her husband used to adopt the two children they brought here from Haiti.”
“Does the press even investigate details of Barrett’s adoptions from Haiti,” he asked. “Some adoptions from Haiti were legit. Many were sketchy as hell. And if press learned they were unethical and illegal adoptions, would they report it? Or not, bc it involves her children.”
He continued: “Would it matter if her kids were scooped up by ultra-religious Americans, or Americans weren’t scrupulous intermediaries and the kids were taken when there was family in Haiti? I dunno. I think it does, but maybe it doesn’t, or shouldn’t.”
Center for Antiracist Research Director Ibram X. Kendi tweeted: “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.”
Some White colonizers “adopted” Black children. They “civilized” these “savage” children in the “superior” ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity. https://t.co/XBE9rRnoqq
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) September 26, 2020
“And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point,” he continued. “It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can’t be racist.”
The ‘Balance of Power’ Attack
Media outlets also attempted to spin comments Barrett made in 2016 during an interview on filling Supreme Court vacancies. Newsweek falsely reported that Barrett said it would be inappropriate to nominate a Supreme Court justice who would flip the “balance of power.”
Barrett did not say that such a move would be inappropriate in the 2016 interview. Barrett answered a question regarding whether previous vacancies in the Supreme Court could help guide how to approve a Supreme Court nominee in an election year, CBS News reported.
“I gather that there have been six in the 20th century, and 11 if you go back to the Civil War, of confirmations that happened during presidential election years,” Barrett said, according to the publication. “But I think the question is, what does this precedent establish? And I don’t think it establishes a rule for either side in the debate.”
Barrett compared the differences in Kennedy’s 1998 confirmation to the circumstances of Scalia’s replacement.
“Justice Kennedy, you know, the arguments will be that that situation was distinguishable,” Barrett said, according to CBS. “The vacancy did not arise in the presidential election year. It arose the year before, in June, when Justice Powell retired. And Justice Kennedy was nominated in November of the prior year. Moreover, he was nominated after Bork’s nomination failed and [Judge Douglas] Ginsburg withdrew his nomination.”
She also discussed how the court’s ideological makeup would change if Scalia were replaced with a more liberal justice.
“Moreover, Kennedy is a moderate Republican and he replaced a moderate Republican, Powell,” she said. “We’re talking about Justice Scalia, you know, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the court. It’s not a lateral move.”
“The reality is, we live in a different time,” Barrett said, noting that past confirmations cannot fully inform present day ones.
“Kennedy was confirmed unanimously,” she said. “So, incidentally, was Scalia. And this is not the time we live in now. Post-Bork, you know, confirmation hearings have gotten far more contentious.”
She added: “I think, in sum, the president has the power to nominate, and the Senate has the power to act or not, and I don’t think either one of them can claim that there’s a rule governing one way or the other.”
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