Yesterday, John noted that the escalating Democratic attacks on Catholicism are, in part, an attempt to prepare the battlefield for the day when Justice Ginsburg dies or is unable to continue on the Supreme Court. In that event, said John, President Trump will likely nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg, and Democrats will make Barrett’s religious faith the basis for attacking her nomination.
To which I say, bring it on.
Judge Barrett is the mother of seven children. Two of them were adopted from Haiti. Her youngest biological child has special needs. She is a remarkable and very sympathetic women.
In addition, she is a first rate legal mind. Barrett graduated summa cum laude from the Notre Dame Law School, where she was executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. She then clerked for our friend Judge Laurence Silberman on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.
As a law professor at Notre Dame, Barrett was twice named “distinguished professor of the year.” She continues to teach law as a sitting judge.
Do the Democrats really want to got after someone this sympathetic and this distinguished because she believes in the tenets of the Catholic faith? The answer seems to be yes. After all, they did it when Barrett’s nomination to the court of appeals was before the Senate.
But the Supreme Court is different. The public pays virtually no attention to battles over appeals court nominees. By contrast, as we saw with Brett Kavanaugh, fights over Supreme Court nominees rivet the nation.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that Judge Barrett is nominated to the Supreme Court in mid 2020, as the presidential race is heating up. Let’s hypothesize further that Senate Democrats try once again to savage Barrett because, as Sen. Feinstein once put it, Catholic dogma “lives loudly within” her.
How would serious, believing Catholic voters take this? Probably not well.
For this reason and because of her stellar qualifications, I’d be delighted to see President Trump nominate Judge Barrett for the Supreme Court if the opportunity arises. I’m a little less confident than John that Trump would nominate her. She interviewed with Trump for the last vacancy. According to the rumor mill, for whatever that might be worth, the interview didn’t go that well.
But if the Democrats are prepping the battlefield for a fight over Judge Barrett’s religious beliefs, it’s because (as John suggested) they can’t help themselves, not because they are thinking clearly about strategy.