Conservatives are defending Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett after a Washington Post article implied her speaking at a Christian conference could be disqualifying.
The article noted that Barrett has spoken several times at the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a summer program established to inspire a “distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law,” according to the story.
“It was founded to show students ‘how God can use them as judges, law professors and practicing attorneys to help keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel in America,’” the story said.
The fellowship is run by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group. She spoke at it five times, according to The Post.
The headline read, “Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court nominee, spoke at program founded to inspire a ‘distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law.’”
Barrett, currently a judge on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, would replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Her role as a speaker at a training program for Christian law school students drew scrutiny three years ago when Trump nominated her to be a federal appellate judge. It may do so again now – as part of broader questioning about how she would balance faith and law – as she seeks confirmation to the nation’s high court,” The Post story said.
The Post article examined ADF’s positions on same-sex marriage and LGBT issues and Barrett’s positions on abortion. It also noted she was “grilled particularly on ADF’s stance on gay rights” during her Senate confirmation hearing for the Seventh Circuit.
Barrett said in 2017, “My personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, called the story an “anti-Christian hit piece.”
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) linked to The Post story and tweeted, “Imagine! A Christian lawyer talking to Christian law students about what it means to follow Christ in their profession. The Left’s quest to bring back the Religious Test continues.”
The American Bar Association’s website also ran a story about Barrett’s affiliation with Blackstone. Blackstone’s own website says it “prepares Christian law students for careers marked by integrity, excellence, and leadership.”
Radio host and author Hugh Hewitt, in a Washington Post op-ed, warned the Left against “anti-Catholic bigotry.”
“If Senate Democrats in Barrett’s confirmation hearings, or in talking to the press, again focus on the nominee’s religion, the scurrilous tactic will almost certainly be met with disgust by voters,” he wrote.
Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and senior vice president of communications, defended the legal group’s position on marriage.
“Christians, Muslims, Jews and other people of faith represent billions of people around the world who believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” Tedesco told The Post in a statement. “While others may differ with these beliefs, it is false, inflammatory, and reprehensible to call this belief hateful or bigoted.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.