The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves many questions along with the mourning: should Republicans make hypocrites of themselves by rushing through a confirmation hearing with just six weeks of an election to go after letting a seat on the court sit empty for 10 months in 2016? Will there be enough Republicans to resist Mitch McConnell’s attempts to fill that seat? What is the future of Roe v. Wade if a conservative judge replaces Justice Ginsburg?
I reported back in May 2019 that during his deliberations over the Kennedy vacancy, President Trump told confidants he was "I'm saving her [Amy Coney Barrett] for Ginsburg." She remains the overwhelming favorite in Trump's inner circle. https://t.co/16QvYTiPVq
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) September 19, 2020
At the top of Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees is Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal judge who is just 46 years old. At that age, Barrett could change the court for decades, so it’s incredibly important that voters understand her stance on the issues.
One of the most problematic of those stances includes an article she wrote in the 1990s saying that Catholics should recuse themselves in death penalty cases since they have a religious objection to the practice. Of course, a judge should be able to separate their religious beliefs from their responsibility to interpret the Constitution, honoring the founders’ commitment to a separation of church and state. While Barrett believes that a religious objection should keep a judge from offering a legal opinion, she has certainly not done the same on the issue of Roe v. Wade.
According to The Los Angeles Times:
‘She has written and spoken frequently about the importance of her Catholic faith and in her belief that life begins at conception. That has led both supporters and detractors to believe she would be a solid vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Some Republican strategists also think it would be smart for President Trump to appoint a conservative woman to the Supreme Court if battles over abortion and religion are coming.’
The sources describe the list of potential nominees as very short and including at least one woman. Two sources tell ABC News Judge Amy Coney Barrett is seen as a leading contender. Reporting w/ @Santucci https://t.co/UKj9H2FldK
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) September 19, 2020
Of course, no one believes that a person’s religious views should preclude them from holding any government office, but when their religious views have clearly crept into their legal decisions over the years, an appointment to the Supreme Court would be disastrous. The issue was raised during Barrett’s confirmation for her current federal bench, prompting Republicans to cry religious discrimination against Christians. It’s hard to argue, however, that a woman who has repeatedly allowed radical religious views to influence her decisions as a federal judge would be the best, most unbiased choice for the highest court in the land.
‘Last year during Barrett’s confirmation for the appellate seat, 17 women’s rights groups pointed out in a letter to the Senate that a 2003 article by Barrett appeared to say Roe was an erroneous decision. She had written that judges had considered when respect for precedent could justify keeping “an erroneous decision on the books,” and she cited just one decision, the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey ruling in which the high court reaffirmed the Roe decision…
‘In her writings, she has called for the Supreme Court to be more open to overturning previous rulings, something that will likely become an issue if she faces confirmation hearings.’
Will Trump try to replace RBG with a female nominee? https://t.co/oWUrRHVLob
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) September 18, 2020
Barrett’s views on Roe v. Wade, clearly tied to her religious beliefs, make her the wrong choice to fill the seat of Justice Ginsburg. A woman who fought tirelessly to protect women in all areas of their lives, including the right to control their own bodies, deserves better than a replacement who would gladly take that away.
‘Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) pressed Barrett during her confirmation hearing last year about an article in which Barrett suggested Catholic judges should recuse themselves from matters that conflict with their faith, such as signing death penalty orders.
‘“Dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern,’’ Feinstein said.’
Multiple sources close to President Trump with direct knowledge tell ABC News he is expected put forth a nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat in the coming days via me & @KFaulders
— John Santucci (@Santucci) September 19, 2020