The political battle to shape the Senate's vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation went into full force soon after the 48-year-old stepped down from the podium in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 accepting President Donald Trump's nomination.
Since then, political groups and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have either been hurling criticism at or dispensing praise for the nominee, whose confirmation is set to influence the ideological balance of the Supreme Court for years to come.
"The revelation offers new clues about the possible influence of the People of Praise, and one of its leaders, on a woman who may shape the direction of the supreme court for the next 40 to 50 years," the report states.
The hostile questioning by the senators aimed at getting to the bottom of whether Barrett was able to separate her religious views from her legal opinions, especially on the issue of abortion. Such questioning had engendered frustration among religious leaders and conservatives as to whether an unconstitutional religious test was being applied to judicial nominees.
“Every Supreme Court Justice in history has possessed personal views. Judges have a job to do and they swear to do it impartially. It is the definition of discrimination to assert that Justice Barrett’s particular faith makes her uniquely unqualified for this promotion.”
Democrats to Focus on IssuesMeanwhile, Senate Democrats have signaled that Barrett's religious faith would not be a focus during the upcoming hearing. Instead, they would focus on issues such as health care and abortion.
“It is appropriate for us to question her statements, her opinions, her actions as a professor and judge, but not to go into questions of doctrine or faith personally,” Coon said. “That’s where I’ll be focusing my questions: on the Affordable Care Act and on what she has said publicly about her views on its constitutionality.”
In a letter to the Democratic caucus, Schumer urged his colleagues to focus on health care as the primary issue to oppose Barrett's nomination.
Judge Barrett's ChallengesCarrie Severino, the president of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, told The Epoch Times that Barrett's confirmation will have a significant bearing on the ideological balance of the nation's top court in the long run, which means she would face intense resistance from critics. The importance of Barrett's nomination, she said, is similar to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, who was nominated to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the former swing justice on the court.
During Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, members of the left were willing to "pull out all the stops to do whatever it takes to block [the] nomination," Severino said. She added that from this experience, Barrett is likely to face the same reception during the Senate hearing.
"So what we've learned is that that includes everything from misconstruing their record, to attempting to undermine the nomination by disclosing confidential documents, even documents that are protected by federal law, in terms of their confidentiality," Severino said.
Kendi's post quickly received backlash and criticism, which prompted the professor to explain his comments in a subsequent post. He said, "I’m challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently 'not racist' and the bots completely change what I’m saying to 'White parents of kids of color are inherently racist.' These live and fake bots are good at their propaganda. Let’s not argue with them."
"I think being an adoptive parent is something that should be celebrated, not derided," Severino said. "But that's not the approach that some on the left have taken."
Senators from both sides of the aisle are likely to also compel Barrett to commit to voting a certain way in a particular case, or types of cases, Severino said, adding that if Barrett refuses, they could frame it as "she's dodging questions, she's trying to hide."
"Either way, I can tell you ahead of time, she's not going to be able to answer those questions, because as a federal judge, there are ethical guidelines that say you can't commit to how you would vote in a future case likely to come before you," Severino said.
"This is a long-standing feature of Supreme Court hearings," she added.
"Judges in our system are bound to decide concrete cases, not abstract issues; each case is based on particular facts and its decision should turn on those facts and the governing law, stated and explained in light of the particular arguments the parties or their representatives choose to present," she added. "A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) previously told NBC that he would ask Barrett whether she would be willing to recuse herself.
“I’m going to make it very clear. One of the things I want to ask her is will she recuse herself in terms of any election issues that come before us because if she does not recuse herself, I fear that the court will be further delegitimized,” Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.