Cardinal hopes Barrett won’t
face ‘grilling’ about her faith

Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit is seen at the White House Sept. 26, 2020. President Donald Trump introduced her as the nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by the Sept. 18 death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)

NEW YORK — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York recalled how the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “was not afraid to say that the values of her Jewish faith animated how she lived and how she judged.”

“Nobody found that controversial,” he said Sept. 30 during the show “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel. But the deep Catholic faith of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the court vacancy left by Ginsburg’s death Sept. 18, has come under scrutiny and much criticism, he said.

“What I admired in the accolades to Ruth Bader Ginsburg (after her death), there were a lot of articles about her deep Jewish faith,” he said.

Cardinal Dolan also noted one recent article told of how Ginsburg “always said she faced three biases: a woman, a mother and a Jew. Well, it seems like Judge Barrett is facing woman, mother and Catholic (bias).”

Trump officially nominated Barrett, 48, a wife, a mother of seven children and also a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, in the Rose Garden at the White House Sept. 26.

Cardinal Dolan said he hopes Barrett’s upcoming nomination hearings in the Senate do “not deteriorate” to the “tawdry nastiness” of the 2017 hearings for Barrett.

Among the remarks then was one from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who told her: “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern,” to which Barrett responded: “It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law.”

“It’s fair enough to bring up issues. The Constitution — and she (Barrett) knows the Constitution — says there should be no religious test for candidates,” Cardinal Dolan said. “When you look at some of the grilling of the past, it was like they were testing her on her faith. Boy, that’s just out of bounds, folks.”

The cardinal said he is proud of Barrett. “I don’t know her. I’ve never had the honor of meeting her,” he said. “I do know a lot of people who know her, and they just sparkle about her, even people … who say, ‘Well I might not be that comfortable with some of her jurisprudence in the past, some of her decisions, but is she erudite, is she articulate, is she committed, is she a woman of integrity and strength and independence.’“

He added: “They all rave about her character. In my mind, that’s what’s most important. We’ve got admit there’s a gratitude and pride that she takes her Catholic faith seriously, but that’s not why she was nominated as a justice to the Supreme Court, is it?”

“I think she is nominated because she is the best candidate around. I hope so,” Cardinal Dolan said. “And from what I hear she is. So, let’s hope for the best.”

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