Amy Coney Barrett Reportedly Hid Ties to Controversial Religious Group

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats are likely to attack President Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court pick over ties to a controversial Christian group. During her confirmation in 2017 to the U.S. Appeals Court, Amy Coney Barrett was reportedly involved with the small Catholic aid organization People of Praise. Since then, media has dug into the group. And some claim that she may have hid a speech she gave to one of their schools, as well.

Though much of the reporting on the group has been misleading, Senate Democrats are likely going to focus in on her work the group as sign of some religious zealotry, The Washington Examiner reported.

Barrett would replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died last week at 87. Replacing Ginsburg, a staunch liberal, with Barrett will give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the nation’s highest court.

False reports over People of Praise

News agencies have erroneously said People of Praise is the inspiration for the Margaret Atwood book “The Handmaid’s Tale,” The Washington Examiner reported. Women are property of men in the 1985 dystopian future novel book (and current Hulu TV adaptation). Fertile woman are slaves the patriarchy calls handmaids.

The novel is actually based on a group called People of Hope, Vox reports. Though People Praise did call female members handmaids at one point. They now call them “women leaders,” it’s been reported.

Newsweek originally made the false claim about People of Praise. Thought the magazine has since issued a correction. Several news organizations picked up the false story before then however.

During her confirmation to the appellate division, Amy Coney Barrett didn’t disclose a speech she gave to the Trinity School in 2011, the New York Times reported. People of Praise run Trinity School. A Senate questionnaire asks for all of the nominees’ public speeches. But according to the committee she didn’t submit a copy of that speech, the Times reported.

“I’m concerned that this was not sufficiently transparent,” Cathleen Kaveny, a professor at Boston College Law School told the Times then. “We have to disclose everything from the Elks Clubs to the alumni association we belong to — why didn’t she disclose this?”

Some news agencies were using this against Barrett heading into her nomination Saturday.

Senate Democrats set battle lines

Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett in 2017 “the dogma lives loudly within you.” This has since become somewhat of a meme. Democrats said then they worried she could be unable to separate her faith and the law, the New York Times reported. She said then that it would be no problem. Though, Barrett has openly opposed the Affordable Care Act and abortion, Vox said.

This debate will likely play out again as the Senate settles in for an even more thorough examination of the Notre Dame Law professor’s credentials. Though, so far, Democrats haven’t been willing to go personal, the New York Times is reporting.

Their main focus is Sen. Mitch McConnell. He blocked President Barack’s Obama’s pick in 2016. Now, he wants to fast track Barrett’s nomination. McConnell praised Barrett’s nomination to Fox News.

“Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Fox News. “This reprehensible power grab is a cynical attack on the legitimacy of the Court.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Senate should wait.

“The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives. The United States Constitution was designed to give the voters one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the Court,” he said in a statement. “That moment is now and their voice should be heard. The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress.”