While rancor over our nation’s highest court has always been with us, such divisiveness is especially heightened in these days. As we’ve seen in previous Daily Articles, the Supreme Court has taken on a legislative function in recent years, discovering “rights” to abortion and same-sex marriage, among other rulings. This power makes membership on the court especially crucial.
During the chaotic frist presidential debate, President Trump insisted that he has the right to put forth Amy Coney Barrett for the seat on the Supreme Court. The President argued that "elections have consequences" and insisted that judgeship appointments are one of those "consequences."
At root, there’s more to this hatred of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett than the legitimate disagreements and debate inherent to the nomination process. There’s even more to it than being potentially the third appointee of a President despised by so many. The savage incivility already being directed at Barrett can be traced back to Roe v. Wade. As Kim Colby, legal scholar for Christian Legal Society suggested last week on the BreakPoint podcast, the decision to legalize abortion has poisoned our political system and escalated court nominations to literal life and death issues.
Across the coming weeks of divisiveness over confirmation hearings and the presidential election, my prayer for Judge Barrett and for all believers is that we will demonstrate the integrity of Daniel. His political opponents “could find no ground for complaint or any fault” (Daniel 6:4), so they reverted to attacking him “in connection with the law of his God” (v. 5). If skeptics are going to find fault with us, let them say that we are too committed to our Lord.
In a recent article, the Washington Post argued that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could be disqualifed from filling the empty Supreme Court seat becuase she spoke at a Christian conference. Conservatives are defending Barrett, likening the claims to the implementation of a religious test.
What most concerns opponents of the president’s SCOTUS nomination is that nominee Amy Coney Barrett would give the court a six-to-three conservative majority by replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, long considered the leader of the liberal faction of the court. This could be crucial with upcoming cases on the Affordable Care Act, abortion restrictions, and perhaps the 2020 presidential election.
As President Trump prepares to announce his Supreme Court Justice nominee, attacks on the religion of potential nominee Amy Coney Barrett have already begun. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or independent, and whether you are a Catholic or a Protestant, you should be concerned about antagonism toward a candidate’s personal faith. Such attacks clearly violate the Constitution’s guarantee that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” (Article VI, Clause 3). And they illustrate the fact that Christian faith commitments are increasingly countercultural.