News and Analysis

‘The View’ Host Says Justice Barrett Deserved A Religious Test — Even Though They’re Illegal
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Sara Haines attends the world premiere of 'Nobody's Fool' at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on October 28, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

“The View” host Sara Haines said Wednesday that a religious test — which is unconstitutional — was warranted in the case of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Haines joined her co-hosts on the ABC midday talk show to discuss the ongoing confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson — and she said that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had intentionally trolled Jackson with questions about her religion.

Guest co-host Lindsey Granger began the discussion with a comment about Judge Jackson’s record — and the fact that she had defended detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“You might think it’s theatrical, there’s real substance there,” Granger said, noting that there were dozens of cases in which detainees who were released had returned to terrorist activities. “We don’t want a Supreme Court justice that’s soft on terrorists. Even if a terrorist kills one American and then kills one more, that’s one too many, and we so we have to be tough at some point and understand where she stands because we should all agree that’s a simple concept.”

Granger referenced the moment from Tuesday’s hearing when Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), during an argument with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) about Guantanamo Bay detainees, had walked out in frustration – and she argued that many Americans were passionate about seeing other Americans killed at the hands of terrorists.

“He’s not that passionate. That was histrionics. That was political theater,” co-host Sunny Hostin shot back. She went on to argue that Jackson, who was a public defender at the time, had not “chosen” to represent terrorists as Republicans claimed — but she left out the fact that Jackson had also represented one such suspect in private practice.

Haines jumped into the conversation then, saying that Graham had clearly intended for his questions to be rhetorical when he asked Jackson about her religious views. His goal, she noted, was to highlight the fact that some Democratic senators had effectively imposed a religious test on Justice Barrett.

Haines then went on to defend that religious test despite the fact that it is explicitly barred by Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

“The difference was it made sense for Amy Coney Barrett to be questioned on those things purely because one of the number one issues dividing this country is a woman’s right to choose versus pro-life, and it’s a religious – it’s greatly and mostly based in a religious belief and separating that belief out,” Haines said.

“So the fact that Amy Coney Barrett – Justice, sorry — Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her whole life was enmeshed in religion,” Haines continued. “It’s beyond just she goes to church on Sunday. She was on boards, she was on pro-life boards. So when they pressed her on religion — where Lindsey Graham had kind of couched it in, ‘They’re trolling all this personal information,’ it absolutely was necessary in the questioning of Amy Coney Barrett whereas when they did it to Ketanji Brown, they’re trolling her, they’re trying to make her out to be something.”

Haines concluded by mocking some of the questions Republicans had asked, arguing that they were all going to vote on party lines anyway. “Are babies racist? Rate your religion scale of one to ten. What’s the definition of a woman? It speaks to how unassailable she is that it’s reached this absurd level.”

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