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Why Evangelicals Are Rooting for Trump to Pick Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

07-01-2018
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Amy Coney Barrett grilled about Catholic faith
Amy Coney Barrett grilled about Catholic faith

President Donald Trump is naming his new pick for the Supreme Court on July 9 to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, and there's one name that pro-lifers seem to really love from his short list – Amy Coney Barrett.

CBN's Chief Political Correspondent David Brody says evangelical circles are buzzing about Amy Coney Barrett.

"Many of my sources, evangelical in nature, love her. They believe that she is the one that if they had their dream pick that she would be the one," Brody said on the 700 Club Friday. "Barrett has been very outspoken of her Catholic views and God."

The retirement of Justice Kennedy has conservative Christians excited about a huge opportunity to shift American laws on issues like religious freedom and abortion. 

Barrett is a mother of seven children and a devout Catholic. At just 46-years-old, Barrett holds promise for a potential decades-long term on the bench. She once clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, taught law at Notre Dame, and has reported conservative views about protecting religious freedom.

"If President Trump appoints a woman who embraces the properly defined role for judges, it will demonstrate that this approach to judging is compelled by principle and not confined by race or gender," said Tom Riddle, Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and Senior Legal Fellow.

A Barrett nomination could face a very tough fight in the Senate. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) opposed Barrett vehemently during her Senate confirmation battle for US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Feinstein even implemented a religious test, blasting Barrett for her deep Catholic faith, calling it "dogma."

"When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you and that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years," Feinstein said.

Feinstein specifically referenced a 2006 graduation speech where Barrett made several references to God.

Barrett had told graduates, "No matter how exciting any career is, what is it really worth if you don't make it part of a bigger life project to know, love and serve the God who made you?"

Sen. Dick Durbin also probed into Barrett's religious beliefs during that 2017 hearing, asking, "Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?"

Barrett did finally win approval for that Seventh Circuit post, and earned the votes of a few critical Democrat senators from moderate states. That could be key in her chances for Senate approval if she is in fact Trump's pick to replace Kennedy.

Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Donnelly (D-IN) voted to approve Barrett for the Seventh Circuit, so Brody reports some believe they might vote for her again.

"Look they already voted for her to be a federal appeals court judge, I understand the Supreme Court may be different so to speak but they are already on record voting for her," Brody said.

It turns out there are actually three Democrats facing difficult reelection races who could find it difficult to oppose Trump's Supreme Court pick. Manchin, Donnelly, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. All three of them met with Trump Thursday to discuss his upcoming Supreme Court nominee.

"I just think you have to go through a process," Manchin said. "I want qualifications. Somebody that's well qualified, understands the Constitution and the rule of law."

 

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