On Monday, as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared to kick off the SCOTUS confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, former Vice President Joe Biden said her Catholic faith should not be a subject of scrutiny.
“Should Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s faith be considered by the Democrats during the hearing this week, sir?” a reporter asked Biden as he stepped onto an airport tarmac.
“No, it should not be,” Biden responded. “I don’t think there should be any questions about her faith.
Biden instead suggested that the Democrats focus their efforts on Amy Coney Barrett’s expressed opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
“This nominee has said she wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, this president wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Let’s keep our eye on the ball,” Biden said.
Should Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s faith be considered by the Democrats at the hearing this week, sir?
Biden: “No, it should not be.” pic.twitter.com/XM2xVtx3Yk
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) October 12, 2020
From the looks of it, Senate Democrats took Joe Biden at his word and largely avoided attacks on Barrett’s faith during Monday’s opening hearing, opting to instead attack her on the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade. As The Hill reported, Democrats accused Barrett of being President Donald Trump’s puppet to end Obamacare and plunge millions of Americans into hardship.
“The Affordable Care Act survived by one vote thanks to Justice Ginsburg being on the court. Judge Barrett has signaled as clearly as she can that she’s going to go the opposite direction from Justice Ginsburg,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said in press call prior to the opening statements.
“The president has promised to appoint justices who will vote to dismantle that law. As a candidate, he criticized the Supreme Court for upholding the law and said, ‘if I win the presidency, my judicial appointments will do the right thing, unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on ObamaCare,’” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in her opening statement Monday morning.
When Barrett’s faith was brought up during the hearing, it was largely from Republicans, who quoted the Democrats’ previous statements that her faith would corrupt her ability to be an impartial juror.
“Religious liberty is the basic idea that how you worship is none of the government’s business,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said. “Whether you worship in a mosque or a synagogue or a church, your faith, or your lack of faith, is none of the government’s business. . . . This is the fundamental American belief.”
“Contrary to the belief of some activists, religious liberty is not an exception,” he continued. “You don’t need the government’s permission to have religious liberty. Religious liberty is the default assumption of our entire system, and because religious liberty is the fundamental 101 rule in American life, we don’t have religious tests.”
Sasse also echoed Sen. Diane Feinstein’s infamous statement that the “dogma lives loudly” in Amy Coney Barrett.
“This committee isn’t in the business of deciding whether the dogma lives too loudly within someone,” said Sasse. “This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad and which religious beliefs are weird.”
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