WASHINGTON — Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham reminded President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Tuesday of the anti-Catholic line of questioning that Justice Amy Coney Barrett was subjected to during her confirmation hearings.
Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein sparked ongoing backlash when she told Barrett: “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
During her confirmation hearings, media, Democrats, and activists portrayed Justice Amy Coney Barrett as an “extremist” Catholic radical determined to overturn Roe v. Wade and take a knife to the Affordable Care Act, even suggesting that Barrett adopted her children for nefarious reasons.
Barrett’s Catholicism made her unfit to serve as a judge, Democrats and activists suggested, and media disingenuously highlighted Barrett’s reported connections to the Catholic group People of Praise, falsely reporting that the group was the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Graham referenced this treatment on Tuesday morning as Jackson took questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
.@LindseyGrahamSC references treatment of ACB in questioning Judge Jackson: “How would you feel if a senator up here said of your faith, the dogma lives loudly within you and that's of concern…Would you find that offensive? I would if I were you."
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 22, 2022
“What faith are you by the way? Could you fairly judge a Catholic,” he questioned a visibly surprised Jackson, who said that she is protestant and non-denominational. “How important is your faith to you?”
Jackson responded that her faith is very important to her, reminding Graham that “there is no religious test in the Constitution.”
“There will be none with me,” he responded.
“It’s very important to set aside ones personal views about things in the role of a judge,” Jackson said.
“On a scale of 1-10, how faithful would you say you are,” pursued Graham. “I go to church probably three times a year, so that speaks poorly of me. Do you attend church regularly?”
Jackson said that she was reluctant to discuss her faith “in this way” because she wants to be mindful for the need for the public “to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal views.”
“How would you feel if a senator up here said [of] your faith, ‘The dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern,'” Graham asked. “How would you feel if someone up here on our side said ‘you attend church too much for me’ or ‘your faith is a little bit different to me,’ and they would suggest it would effect your decision.”
“Would you find that offensive? I would if I were you,” said Graham. “I found it offensive when they said it about Judge Barrett.”
Linsey Graham: "I just hope going in the future that we all can accept [people's faith] and that Judge Barrett, I thought, was treated very, very poorly, so I just wanted to get that out." (3/3) pic.twitter.com/7IlBrZQZta
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 22, 2022
Graham added that he did not think Jackson would have any problem adjudicating cases that dealt with religions that were not her own.
During Barrett’s confirmation hearings in 2020, Feinstein avoided discussing Barrett’s faith, but a hot mic picked up the California senator discussing Barrett’s religious beliefs privately, saying, “She’s been pro-life for a long time. So I suspect with her, it is deeply personal and comes with her religion.”