Anti-Catholic bias against potential Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett represents the “last acceptable prejudice” for the mainstream media and political Left, Judge Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“You and I both know that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice — acceptable in the Establishment, acceptable in the mainstream media, acceptable in the academy, and apparently acceptable in the Democratic Party,” Napolitano, a senior judicial analyst for Fox News, told host Laura Ingraham. “So that’s part of it.”
Barrett, who has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since November 2017, found herself on President Donald Trump’s shortlist of nominees to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kennedy’s retirement announcement last week caused the Democratic Party to erupt into mass hysterics and fearmongering. Trump’s opportunity to nominate a second Supreme Court justice in just a year and a half — and also replace the moderate Kennedy with a decidedly conservative justice — enraged liberals. Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.
Senate Democrats grilled Barrett over how her Catholic faith would affect her views on court precedents concerning abortion cases during her confirmation process after Trump nominated her as a circuit judge in 2017.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), in particular, showed what Catholic League President Bill Donahue called anti-religion “animus” during their questioning of her religious beliefs.
“Let’s remember … the seminal statement by Sen. Feinstein — she said the dogma screams loudly in you,” Donahue told Ingraham. “That’s coming awfully close to establishing a religious test.”
Feinstein received intense backlash after she told Barrett during her confirmation hearing, “Dogma and law are two different things. And, I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.”
“This smacks of an animus against someone and I don’t care whether you’re Catholic, Jewish, Muslim,” Donahue said.
Donahue also noted that the Left’s outrage against Barrett’s pro-life Catholicism wasn’t the only time that Democrats targeted a conservative Supreme Court nominee or potential nominee in such a manner.
“The two people I was most concerned about — Durbin and Feinstein — when [Chief Justice of the United States John] Roberts was put up about 13 years ago, guess who was questioning his Catholicity? Durbin and Feinstein.”
Feinstein, in particular, was concerned during Roberts’ confirmation process in 2005 about the “role Catholicism would play” in his rulings on the court.
“And I’m not saying that they’re bigots. I am saying that there’s something there which I think is unseemly and it’s not exercised against others,” Donahue warned.
Ingraham agreed that she saw “a very strong anti-Catholic bias running through all of this” outrage against Barrett’s Catholicism and her membership in the conservative Christian People of Praise enclave.
Donahue replied, “I think I know what a cult is. This certainly is not a cult. It’s a charismatic renewal group, which is a family-oriented Catholic organization. And in fact, the pope — who’s hardly considered a man of the Right — welcomed them just last year at the Vatican.”
But lawyer Vinoo Varghese, founder of Varghese & Associates, told Ingraham that Barrett’s faith and associations “are fair game” during a potential Supreme Court confirmation process.
“I mean, if she happened to be a Muslim, you’d want to know whether she supported jihad. If she was an orthodox Jew, you’d want to know whether she believes in sucking out blood during circumcision,” Varghese said. “These are the kind of questions that are fair game because she seems to be outside the mainstream of Catholicism.”
Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel noted that it “doesn’t matter, though, who the candidate who is picked is going to be.”
“That list contains some of the most brilliant jurists in the country. They’re thoughtful, qualified and wise. And precisely because of that, people who do not like Donald Trump, who are very worried about what this new pick will do to the shift of the court, are not going to be talking about the Constitution or separation of powers or judicial philosophy,” Strassel warned.
“They’re going to make this into a smear because it’s going to be their best and only shot to try to stop someone because they can’t do it on the basis of arguing they’re not qualified for the court,” Strassel added, noting that the “most convenient way to go against Barrett” is to target her faith.