Senate Confirms Christian Judge to 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

October 31, 2017Oct 31, 2017

The Senate voted on Tuesday afternoon to confirm Trump's pick to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Amy Coney Barrett. The vote was 55-43, more or less with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no.

Barrett's confirmation on Tuesday to the Midwestern federal appeals court makes her the first Hoosier woman on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

This has been widely interpreted as a judicial victory for Christian conservatives, who find Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law, to be a brilliant legal scholar. Indeed, Barrett is a brilliant legal mind with the respect of her colleagues and students from across the political spectrum. She is also a devout Roman Catholic and has spoken loudly and passionately about the role that faith plays in her public life. 

Indeed, Senator Dianne Feinstein recently attacked 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Coney Barrett for her Christian faith. More specifically, Feinstein attacked Barrett, picked by President Donald Trump, for actually holding onto her faith as something that actually means something to her.

Barrett, a mother of 7, is a law professor at the Catholic University of Notre Dame and has written previously about the role of religion in public life. Drawing on these written materials, delivered in the form of an academic lecture to Christian legal groups, Feinstein attacked Barrett's Catholic Christian faith, asserting that her religious views will prevent her from forming fair rulings. In particular, Feinstein thought that the nominee will be a threat to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling — something that Feinstein so strongly supports that she called it a "super-precedent."

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said according to National Review. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”

Bloomberg News, a secular news outlet, has remarked that Senator Dianne Feinstein owes an apology to judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett, along with an explanation to all Americans who do not appreciate the bias against religion shown in her comments.

Barrett's confirmation hearing last week, remarked Bloomberg, put on display an anti-Catholic stereotype that goes back at least 150 years in the United State. This stereotype holds that Catholics are unable to separate church and state because their religious allegiances cannot be reconciled to their oath to the Constitution.  

Politico also wrote an article covering the outrage caused by Feinstein's comments. University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins and Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber both wrote letters condemning Feinstein's comments. 

According to Barrett, judges should not try to align their legal rulings with the Church's moral teaching. Rather, when a judge's religious and judicial duties are at odds, they ought to recuse themselves and simply not rule on the case. Despite being a common approach to reconciling one's religious and judicial duties, this wasn't satisfying to Feinstein.

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