Joe Biden ‘Transition’ Adviser Urged Grilling Amy Coney Barrett on Catholic Faith

Amy Coney Barrett swears in (Caroline Brehman / CQ Roll Call / Getty)
Caroline Brehman / CQ Roll Call / Getty

A legal adviser to Joe Biden’s “transition” team urged Democrats in October to grill Amy Coney Barrett on her Catholic faith to prove she was unfit to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

Fox News observed an opinion column at MSNBC during Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings, in which Barbara McQuade called upon Senate Democrats to grill the current Supreme Court justice on the tenets of her Catholic faith, in particular a paper Barrett wrote over 20 years ago with a law school professor arguing whether Catholic judges should recuse themselves from cases involving the death penalty:

Will she set aside her personal views or will she recuse herself in every death penalty case? If she would recuse herself, wouldn’t it be better to choose someone else for this important job? Are there other laws that conflict with church teaching? Is she unable to enforce those laws, too? And if sanctity of life is the overarching principle to which she must adhere, then why may a Catholic judge decide cases about abortion but not about death? Just as Ginsburg exposed discrimination by focusing on the rights of men, Senate Democrats can expose Barrett’s lack of fidelity to the rule of law by exposing her views on the death penalty.

“To expose the risk of Barrett’s refusal to follow precedent, Senate Democrats should focus not on when life begins, but on when it ends,” McQuade wrote.

However, National Review noted that, during her confirmation hearings in 2017 for the Seventh Circuit, Barrett explained about the paper McQuade urged to be used as ammunition against her for her confirmation hearings for the High Court:

I wrote that law review article when I was a third-year law student with one of my professors 20 years ago. It was a project that he had underway, and he invited me to work on it with him, and I was complimented that as a student he thought I was up to the task of being more than a research assistant. But I was very much the junior partner in our collaboration, and that was appropriate given our relative statures.

Would I or could I say, sitting here today, that that article and its every particular reflects how I think about these questions today with, as you say, the benefit of 20 years of experience and also the ability to speak solely in my own voice? No, it would not.

“Sitting here today, I cannot think of any cases or category of cases in which I would feel obliged to recuse on grounds of conscience,” Barrett added.

McQuade also claimed in 2019 that Justice Brett Kavanaugh should have undergone a congressional investigation after he was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Fox News reported.

Kavanaugh was confirmed after an FBI investigation found no corroboration of any of the accusations of sexual misconduct made against him.

The New York Times ran another report one year later containing a new allegation against Kavanaugh, from college, but was forced to revise its story when the woman alleging the complaint against him refused to be interviewed and her friends claimed she could not recall the alleged incident.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) also called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment a little over a year ago:


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