It will be an absolute circus no matter who President Trump nominates to succeed outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, but things will be especially nasty and insane should Justice Amy Coney Barrett get the nod.
For starters, she is a woman, and women in or about positions of authority are subjected often to harsher, meaner criticisms than men. This is a bipartisan problem, to which victims on both sides can attest.
Now, throw into the mix the fact that Barrett is the mother of seven children, and it’s basically guaranteed that a nomination fight will include hints, suggestions and outright allegations that her familial responsibilities as a wife and a mother preclude her from a position on the Supreme Court.
This will no doubt leave Democratic lawmakers in a tricky spot. Imagine having to assure voters ahead of the November midterm election that yours is indeed the party of women’s rights and advancement, while at the same time taking a female Supreme Court nominee to the woodshed.
This is to say nothing of the fact that Barrett, who serves on the 7th Circuit, is also a faithful Roman Catholic who strongly opposes abortion, the most hallowed of the Left’s sacraments.
In other words, the president, who clearly enjoys trolling his opponents, has a chance here to throw the Democrats a major curveball, sending them scrambling to answer his female, anti-abortion Catholic pitch. A triple threat!
We already have a foreshadowing of how the opposition party and their faithful allies in the news and entertainment industries will play up Barrett’s religiosity should she get the nod from the president.
In 2017, during Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the 7th Circuit, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., targeted the judge’s professed faith and her adherence to its core doctrines with the perfectly ominous line: “[T]he dogma lives loudly within you.”
Feinstein, it would seem, was being a good errand-girl, following closely to the talking points published by the left-leaning Alliance for Justice, talking points, which, by the way, underscored Barrett’s faith at least six times on a single page.
Should Trump nominate Barrett to succeed Kennedy, the judge’s adherence to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church will undoubtedly become a focal point of Democratic opposition.
This could be an opportunity for a unique lesson in religious liberty, National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty notes.
“We don’t have religious tests for public office in this country, and having a republic that does not have an established religion does not require excluding sincere believers from positions of authority,” he writes.
He adds, “An Amy Coney Barrett nomination fight would contain an even deeper lesson, one that is salutary for both liberal secularists, who once indulged in triumphalism, and conservative believers, who have been tempted to despair: Believing Catholics and Evangelicals will continue to make their contributions to the common good of this country. You will live with us. If we’re going to have peace, we’re going to make it together.”
But can we?