At mass today, Catholics, including Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, heard the story of the wedding banquet that ends with Jesus saying, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
As Barrett readies for her Senate confirmation hearings to begin Monday, she certainly could associate that parable with her situation, and her critics would like to dig into her thinking on Catholic philosophy and its impact on her legal outlook.
But in a new survey shared with Secrets, registered voters want a court nominee’s religious beliefs to stay in the pews.
In the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey done for First Liberty Institute, voters, 2-to-1, opposed questions on her religion, preferring that senators stick to her legal view and history.
The survey for the group that promotes religious freedom found that 62% opposed questions about religious views at hearings, 30% supported it, and 8% were not sure.
Republicans were dead set against it, with 85% opposed. But Democrats were split, with 45% opposed to 44% in support of questions about her religious views.
The issue has been a hot one because, as a Catholic, it is presumed that Barrett is opposed to abortion, and the White House has said it only wants anti-abortion court candidates. Should she replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg as an associate justice, it would expand the conservative power on the court, and some Democrats fear that would jeopardize the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
In a prior court nomination hearing, Barrett was questioned on her faith, but this time First Liberty is eager to see those questions sidelined.
To help make their case, the influential group forwarded the poll to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham.
The president of First Liberty, Kelly Shakelford, wrote in an accompanying letter, “Questions directed at the religious beliefs of past nominees — including Judge Barrett — have been concerning to many Americans, including us. In nearly every other employment context, asking questions concerning an applicant’s religious beliefs would be an employment law violation. We believe such questions not only go beyond the nation’s rich tradition of religious tolerance, they violate the ‘no religious test for office’ provision of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.”
In a statement to Secrets accompanying the letter and poll, Shakelford added, “Americans clearly want senators to stick to a nominee’s qualifications and judicial philosophy.”
The poll also found opposition to court packing, another issue related to Barrett. Democrats have suggested that to counter a GOP majority on the Supreme Court, a future Democratic president should expand the membership of the court by adding liberal judges.
Voters, 54%-35%, opposed that scheme.
“Political threats from the Left to pack the court would be nothing more than revenge against Justice Barrett, a political guarantee to ensure their preferred policy outcomes are legislated from the bench,” said Shackelford. “Americans clearly oppose this approach, just as they have for 156 years,” he added.
Author: Paul Bedard
Source: Washington Examiner: Off-limits: 62% oppose questions on Amy Coney Barrett’s religion