‘Religious test’

Catholic woman named as potential Trump favorite for Supreme Court nomination

Amy Coney Barrett (Julian Velasco via The New York Times)

President Donald Trump has reportedly narrowed his shortlist of candidates for the Supreme Court to three judges — including one woman, former Notre Dame law professor and Trump-appointed federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett stands out from Trump’s other reported favorites from the position, judges Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, in one other key respect — she has written extensively on how her Catholic faith compels her to protect “unborn victims.”

Barrett became a darling of the evangelical right during her confirmation hearing for a position on the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, noted that her previous writings as an academic indicated that she believed judges should put their religious convictions ahead of their judicial duty. Conservatives balked at the so-called “religious test” being put to the 46-year-old mother of seven ahead of her confirmation — and are now pushing to put her in position where she could be pivotal in the effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and end legal abortion nationwide.

“Barrett understands the value of every life, and her view aligns with constitutional principles,” wrote Phillip Jauregui, president of the Judicial Action Group, in a statement explaining why he prefers her for Justice Kennedy’s recently vacated seat. “She also has shown the courage to maintain these principles once on the Supreme Court.”

Barrett’s young age and “telegenic” looks and persona are also both believed to be strong points in her favor for Trump.

“Beyond the qualifications, what really matters is, does this nominee fit a ‘central casting’ image for a Supreme Court nominee, as well as his or her spouse,” a Republican source tied to the White House told Politico. For more on Barrett, watch the video below.

Read the full story at BBC News and New York Magazine.


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