Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina questioned U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about her religious faith to contrast the respectful treatment she is receiving during her confirmation hearing compared to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett — a former law Notre Dame Law School professor and Supreme Court clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia — was questioned intensely about her Catholic faith, particularly during her confirmation hearing to serve on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.
Both Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Dick Durbin of Illinois made an issue of her religion.
“The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said, “and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”
Durbin — now chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — pressed Barrett at the time regarding whether she considered herself an “orthodox Catholic” in reference to a 1998 legal article she co-wrote.
“I am a Catholic, Senator Durbin. I don’t — well, orthodox Catholic, we kind of — as I said, in that article, we just kind of used that as a proxy. It is not, to my knowledge, you know, a term currently in use,” Barrett answered.
“But if you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge,” she added.
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 23, 2020
During her Supreme Court confirmation in the fall of 2020, protesters dressed in “Handmaids Tale” attire to mock Barrett’s faith.
On Monday in her opening statement, Jackson shared the importance religious faith plays in her life.
“I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God. For it is faith that sustains me at this moment,” she said.
“Even prior to today, I can honestly say that my life has been blessed beyond measure,” Jackson continued. “The first of my many blessings is the fact that I was born in this great nation.”
“I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God. For it is faith that sustains me at this moment,” Judge Jackson says during her opening statement in Supreme Court confirmation hearings. pic.twitter.com/zieTPMlThS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 21, 2022
There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the judge’s words, but it also has to be acknowledged they send the message, “I’m no far left, godless radical nominee as some are trying to portray me. I’m much like you. I love God. I love my country.”
In questioning the nominee Tuesday, Graham noted that Jackson said her faith is important to her.
“What faith are you, by the way?” the senator asked.
“I am Protestant, non-denominational,” Jackson answered.
She added, “Senator, personally my faith is very important, but as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution under Article VI.”
Graham affirmed this fact and expressed his confidence that Jackson’s faith would not interfere with her carrying out her constitutional duties.
The senator was clearly laying the predicate for what he was about to say about Barrett’s treatment during her confirmation hearings.
“Just imagine what would happen if people on late-night TV called you an f-ing nut, speaking in tongues because you’ve practiced the Catholic faith in a way they couldn’t relate to.”
Lindsey Graham brings up attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s faith while questioning Judge Jackson. pic.twitter.com/seXU9Ytgli
— The Hill (@thehill) March 22, 2022
“How would you feel if a senator up here said of your faith ‘the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern?’” Graham asked.
“How would you feel if somebody up here on our side said, ‘You know you attend church too much for me,’ or ‘Your faith is a little bit different to me,’ and they would suggest that it would affect your decision? Would you find that offensive?”
Jackson started to answer, but Graham jumped in saying she surely would.
“You’re reluctant to talk about it because it’s uncomfortable. Just imagine what would happen if people on late-night television called you a f****** nut, speaking in tongues because you practice the Catholic faith in a way they couldn’t relate to,” he said.
HBO talk show host Bill Maher called Barrett “really, really Catholic” and a “f****** nut” during her confirmation in 2020.
“Judge Barrett I thought was treated very, very poorly,” Graham concluded.
Do you think Republicans are treating Jackson better than Democrats treated Barrett?
The truth is Americans should want the Biblical standard for our judges: Those “who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe,” because “there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality.”
According to one of the nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the whole justification for the nation is grounded in the “laws of nature and nature’s God” and the inalienable rights endowed by our Creator.
Democrats and their media allies made quite an issue of Barrett’s faith in 2017 and 2020, and Graham was right to highlight the contrast with how Jackson is being treated now.