By Keshia Russell, Counsel
One of the most memorable images from 2018 is the moment that Sen. Lindsey Graham had enough.
Sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee room toward the end of the brutal and unfair confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the normally subdued Sen. Graham looked across the dais at his Democratic colleagues and intoned, “Boy y’all want power; boy, I hope you never get it!”
He then pivoted back to Kavanaugh and said, “I hope the American people can see through this sham.”
And here we are again on the verge of another confirmation battle.
This time Graham is not merely a member participating: this time Lindsey Graham 2.0 is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee presiding over the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, giving confidence to many that this should be a less caustic confirmation.
Thus far the reasons to oppose Barrett have steered clear of the lurid; we have yet to see Barrett’s high school planner or learn whether or not she enjoys beer.
Nevertheless we have seen continued attacks on Barrett’s Christian witness and a “sore loser” plan to pack the Supreme Court if the radical left fails to stop Barrett in October and Trump loses in November.
The attacks on Barrett’s faith are nothing new.
The last time she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee was in 2017 at her confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin led the charge against the nominee by insulting her faith; according to Feinstein, Barrett’s “dogma lives loudly” within her.
Evidently one can be a 16-year professor of constitutional law, a mother of seven and a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — but disqualified in the eyes of Feinstein because the nominee’s faith was obvious.
Perhaps it was not an accusation of sexual assault, like what was tossed against Kavanaugh, but the intent was the same: undermine the character and credibility of any nominee President Donald Trump dares to send to the Senate.
Durbin, meanwhile, was even more blunt.
“Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” he asked Barrett.
To fully appreciate the inappropriateness of Durbin’s question, one must understand that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution forbids the imposition of a religious test for office. In most hiring interviews across the country, inquiry into an applicant’s faith is employment discrimination.
These attacks against a faith shared by millions of Americans like Judge Barrett now seem tepid in comparison to a casual read of Twitter.
When Prof. Ibram Kendi learned of Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children — an adoption born out of the Barretts’ Christian commitment to love one’s neighbor — the author of “How to Be an Antiracist” took to Twitter.
Kendi compared Barrett and her husband to, “White colonizers” who are latent racists who only adopt Black children in an effort to civilize “‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people.”
In other words what then-Sen. Joe Biden started with Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas has evolved into a lethal, political art form. Whereas Thomas suffered from a “high tech lynching,” nominees like Barrett are battered by Senate progressives because their uncompromising faith refuses to kneel before a “woke” culture.
Such religious bigotry should have no place in the halls of American government.
As Sen. Graham said recently, “Judge Barrett is highly qualified in all the areas that matter: character, integrity, intellect and judicial disposition. She is an outstanding Supreme Court nominee by President Trump.”
And, the American people largely seem to agree, according to recent polling by Politico.
Efforts to derail the confirmation proceedings because of wild accusations against Judge Barrett should be ignored.
While it may once again fall to Graham to fend off such attacks — and grabs at power by his Senate colleagues — in the end what matters is that Judge Barrett will make an excellent Supreme Court justice.
Note: This article was first published on The State and is re-published here with permission. The article presents the main points of an op-ed published in The State. This work was authored co-authored by Keisha Russell. The full article can be found on the The State website, here.