‘Kavanaugh Sleaze Machine Is Back’: Conservatives Slam WaPo Story Calling Amy Coney Barrett A Handmaid

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Conservatives condemned a Tuesday Washington Post on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
  • The Washington Post story, titled “Amy Coney Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise,” examines Barrett’s connections to the religious group and suggests that her association with People of Praise may be examined in her upcoming hearings.
  • “The Brett Kavanaugh sleaze machine is back,” said Judicial Crisis Networks’ Carrie Severino.

Conservatives condemned a Tuesday Washington Post story suggesting that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett should be questioned during her confirmation hearings on her connections with a religious group.

“The Brett Kavanaugh sleaze machine is back,” said Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino in a Wednesday morning tweet, adding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “exactly right: The Democrats and their liberal allies think Judge Barrett is ‘too Christian’ or ‘the wrong kind of Christian’ to be a good judge. That is rank bigotry, and it has no place in our country.”

Severino referred to a Tuesday Washington Post story titled “Amy Coney Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise.” The story examines Barrett’s connections to the religious group and suggests that her association with People of Praise may be examined in her upcoming hearings. (RELATED: ‘Nothing Nefarious’ — Ben Sasse Criticizes Story On Amy Coney Barrett’s Law School Housing)

“Barrett’s ties to the group, which has conservative stances on the role of women in society and other social issues, did not come to light until after she was questioned by senators considering her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 2017,” the Washington Post reported. “Senators are preparing to question her next week over her nomination to the high court.”

Media previously falsely linked People of Praise’s use of the word “handmaid” to the dystopian novel and show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” before issuing corrections and retractions noting that there is no established link between People of Praise and novelist Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Conservatives pointed out that the Washington Post continues to attach negative meaning to the word “handmaid,” a biblical word that has been used in religious contexts to describe women for thousands of years.

“The word ‘handmaid’ appears dozens of times in the King James Bible,” McConnell said in a statement. “It was good enough for the Virgin Mary. But now, because one liberal author put it in the title of an anti-religious novel in the 1980s, the press tries to imply that one of the most brilliant and powerful women in the legal world is anti-woman.”

“It’s no coincidence that people who don’t like originalism are basing their understanding of the word ‘handmaid’ on a novel from the 1980s,” tweeted American Enterprise Institute Director of Academic Programs Christopher Scalia. (RELATED: These Are The Attacks Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett Has Already Faced From Democrats)

“You know what’s the most ironic? The whole fake handmaiden trope suggests she is against women in leadership, when she is fighting to lead but the left has their foot on her neck trying to keep her down,” tweeted Concerned Women For America’s CEO and President Penny Nance.

The Washington Post story was written by reporter Emma Brown — a reporter who wrote about Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway pointed out.

“Democrats are laundering their (admittedly weak) anti-religious smear of Amy Coney Barrett through Emma Brown, the same reporter they used to launch their massive and media-coordinated anti-Kavanaugh operation that so many Americans found so despicable,” Hemingway tweeted.

Tea Party Patriot’s founder Jenny Beth Martin joined in Hemingway’s critique of Brown. “WashPost’s Emma Brown, who touched off character assassination of Brett Kavanaugh – as documented by @JCNSeverino and @MZHemingway in their bestseller, now attacking Amy Coney Barrett,” Martin tweeted. “Same failed playbook will bring same result.”

Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Catholic Vote condemned the story as well, saying: “This disgusting attack on Catholics could have been written in the 1830’s. The Washington Post is suggesting that Judge Barrett’s religious faith should be on trial during her confirmation. Democrats playing with fire.”

Media and Democratic attacks on the Supreme Court nominee have sparked a backlash with both conservatives and Republican lawmakers. Judicial Crisis Network has launched several ads in Barrett’s defense: “Stop The Bigotry,” an ad that calls for an end of attacks on Barrett’s faith, and “JFK,” wherein former President John F. Kennedy warns against anti-Catholic attacks.


A Morning Consult and Politico poll released Wednesday found that voters are increasingly backing the confirmation of Barrett:  almost half, 46%, of voters polled between Oct. 2 – 4 said that the Senate should confirm Barrett. These numbers were up 9 percentage points since Trump first announced he was nominating Barrett on Sept. 26, according to the poll.

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