- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 27, 2020

President Trump criticized the media and Democrats on Sunday for their treatment of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, accusing them of making an issue of her Catholicism.

“I thought we settled this 60 years ago with the election of John F. Kennedy,” Mr. Trump said of the nation’s first Catholic president. “They’re going after her Catholicism. I will stand with her and fight with her, and we will make sure that these attacks stop, because … it’s unprecedented.”

At a press conference at the White House, Mr. Trump singled out The New York Times and referred to “nasty” comedians.

“The New York Times said her religion is not consistent with American values. She’s Catholic,” Mr. Trump said.

He was apparently referring to a column by opinion writer Elizabeth Bruenig, who wrote in a column, “Judge Barrett’s nomination has merely renewed attention to a fundamental conflict, centuries underway, between Catholicism and the American ethos.”



The president also said Democrats “are really brazenly attacking Judge Barrett for again her faith, mostly is what I’m hearing.”

“I would think they would treat religion with much more respect,” he said.

Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, noted that during Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing in 2017 for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, various Democratic senators asked her if she would be a “Catholic judge,” or if she was an “orthodox Catholic. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she opposed Judge Barrett because “the dogma lives loudly within you.”

Entertainer Bill Maher has called her “a f—ing nut.”

When asked Sunday if it was appropriate for lawmakers to judge the nominee on her faith, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic herself, said the questions need to focus on her commitment to precedent and the constitution.

“I think it’s appropriate for them to ask her about how faithful she would be to the Constitution of the United States, whatever her faith,” she said on CNN. “It doesn’t matter what her faith is. Does she believe in the precedent on the Supreme Court that has upheld the Affordable Care Act?”

Mr. Trump said of Judge Barrett’s opponents, “They’re playing the religious card.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is a lawyer for the president and is Catholic, said Ms. Bruenig’s column “reveals a very strong anti-Catholic bias.”

“What I see is the beginning of a very strong anti-Catholic attack,” Mr. Giuliani said.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also a Catholic, said, “It’s obvious what they’re doing.”

• Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this report.

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