Congrats to Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett, an accomplished academic, attorney, mother of seven, and devout Catholic who was nominated by President Donald Trump to be a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge and received confirmation Tuesday from the Senate in a 55-43 vote.
Professor Barrett’s confirmation hearing was infected by controversy, as she was interrogated by prominent Democrats for her Catholic faith and beliefs, to the point that her attackers have been characterized as expressing “[anti]Catholic bigotry” during the hearings. The presidents of the University of Notre Dame and Princeton University have criticized how a nominee’s religious beliefs were used against her during her hearing.
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein attacked the validity of Professor Barrett’s nomination on the basis of Professor Barrett’s Catholic faith, explaining: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”
The Rev. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, wrote an open letter responding to the attacks against Professor Barrett’s faith as a means to disqualify her from serving as a federal judge. “It is chilling to hear from a United States senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge. I ask you and your colleagues to respect those in whom ‘dogma lives loudly’ which is a condition we call faith,” he wrote. “For the attempt to live such faith while one upholds the law should command respect, not evoke concern.”