Class Warfare Blog

September 27, 2020

Should Amy Barrett’s Faith Be Part of Her Qualifications?

An op-ed in today’s The Guardian is entitled “Amy Coney Barrett should be judged on her ability, not her faith” (by Kenan Malik) The article could have been written identically for any of the other recent nomination processes.

This article and this attitude misses the point, however.

The point is not just her qualifications but the court’s qualifications to judge legal issues. If seated on the court, the court would be made up of six Catholics, two Jews, and one half Episcopalian-half Catholic. Is this representative of this country? Is this a court that can decide political issues that have religious undertones, fairly and in accord with precedent’s, etc.?

The question is not “Should her faith be part of her qualifications?” but “Should the court be packed with members of minority religions?”

There are more protestants than Catholics, yet not a single one of those could be found who is qualified to sit on that court?

17 Comments »

  1. Why not a Muslim or Hindu?Or Mormon or JW?
    In fact, if religion (religious belief) has no place in the judicial system – God forbid, right? (sic) – then why is this woman’s religion (and the other’s) even part of the conversation?

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Arkenaten — September 27, 2020 @ 10:07 am | Reply

    • There is to be no religious test for service in the government, a la the Constitution. But does that mean it is off of the table? Any candidates prior judicial decisions are fair game as are questions about why such decisions were made. If they were made based upon religious grounds, then she violated her oath as a Judge and should not be confirmed. So, religion is part of the conversation. But, no specific religious test may be applied.

      On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 10:07 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 11:24 am | Reply

      • Yes, this was the point I was trying to make.
        As there is no religious test for service in the government, why is religion so much a major issue ( part?) of said service, and if any religius beliefs play a part is something like the the Supreme Court
        then maybe it would be better if only those who were non-religious were elected?
        Cue music: ”I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”
        Which seems a lot more appropriate when you live in South Africa where the average temperature on xmas day is around 28c!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Arkenaten — September 27, 2020 @ 11:42 am | Reply

        • Yeah, what are the odds that an office with no religious test would end up with seven (six and a half) Catholics and two Jews?

          On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 11:42 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 11:47 am | Reply

    • Or an atheist

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by maryplumbago — September 27, 2020 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

      • Not holding breath, over.

        On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 3:44 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  2. The problem is in the idea that there is some sort of neutral judicial qualification. We could probably use a computer like Deep Blue if it were simply a matter of applying a set of established rules to any judgment. That are different judicial philosophies is by itself prove enough that there is no neutral set of qualifications. Yet we always have to go through this charade of pretending whether a judge is “qualified” which means, in effect, that the judge can spout enough legal BS to justify whatever it is they are predisposed to do anyway.

    Like

    Comment by James Cross — September 27, 2020 @ 11:51 am | Reply

    • The only qualification worth investigation is can the judge be trusted to uphold the oath of her office and not judge matters based upon personal biases. That is all we want.

      All federal employees must give this oath:

      “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

      Judges in addition take this oath

      “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

      I think the key word in the second oath is “impartially.” If one favors one’s own religious stances, that is not being impartial.

      On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 11:51 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  3. And in addition to the above great comments Steve—and forgive me please for bringing this subject/controversy up again here with you—you and I have discussed many times this nagging, annoying, still misunderstood and abused concept of “Separation of Church and State” within our federal and state government. GRRRRRRRR!!! 😤 I get utterly tired of repeating my argument to any Conservatives (religious or not) who hold the FALSE belief that the United States is and was founded as a Christian nation. No, no, NO a thousand times! It absolutely was not! Period. My May 2015 blog-post on this wrong assumption:

    https://professortaboo.com/2015/05/11/the-mistaken-identity-of-the-u-s/

    And Steve you’ve also remarked and fought against this erroneous ill-founded belief too, e.g. promoting the excellent book The Founding Myth by Andrew L. Seidel, which extensively and accurately shows unequivocally that the United States, according to our core Founding Fathers, our DoI, and our Constitution, is NOT suppose to be a religious state or theocracy nor favor any one religion/faith in all public sectors… LIKE GOVERNMENT or in our JUDICIAL BRANCHES!!! And certainly with all of our public servants within our county, state, and federal offices! They are to suspend, put aside their personal beliefs/faiths (including Secular) and interpret/act according to our Laws of the Lands representing our people, for the people, by the people, and ALL PEOPLE, not just one socioeconomic or religious class/demographic.

    But god damn it Steve, if we don’t have cunning, racist or prejudiced men and women (mostly one race btw) in this theoretical “Land of Laws” (not faiths, myths, & fairy-tales) that abuse and take advantage of that annoying GREY AREA of our laws, precedents, and that EFFIN perpetual, ready to fester thorn in the ass… policies, laws (good or bad), precedents, and mood of the people, i.e. what does the majority of the U.S. people want whether they realize how wrong or damaging it might be to their own interests and well-being. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Professor Taboo — September 27, 2020 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

    • As usual, you and I agree.

      On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 12:57 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  4. IMO, the KEY question to any judicial candidate should be — Can YOU say in all honesty that you will be able to decide political issues that have religious undertones in a just and fair frame of mind and without personal bias?

    Whether they would do so or not remains to be seen, but asking the question — and their answer — gives recourse to those who feel an unfair decision has been rendered.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — September 27, 2020 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

    • The answer would, of course, be yes … and then the questioning could begin about prior decisions made and rationales for them.

      On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 1:08 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2020 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  5. How about non-Christians? There are actually more of us than them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by silverapplequeen — September 28, 2020 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  6. The Constitution explicitly explains that religion is not part of the vetting process. As she follows the U.S. Constitution, that’s what we’ve hoped for. Let freedom reign and not the dictatorship the radical left would have.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dolphinwrite — October 13, 2020 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

    • There is no radical left. The radical right, which does exist, wants the US to be declared a Christian nation. Then would the religion of a candidate be pertinent. The religion of the candidate is pertinent because there are no protestants on the Court. All are Catholics or Jews. Is this the background we expect of SCOTUS justices? Is this not discussable?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 14, 2020 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

      • As in the past, I shared, knew the other, in these cases, wouldn’t hear, but it’s always for the readers. I can’t argue pure intellectual speak and rhetoric, but with those who follow the real rabbit down the trail of reason.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by dolphinwrite — October 15, 2020 @ 7:08 pm | Reply


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