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Cardinal Timothy Dolan Says Amy Coney Barrett Faces Three Biases Just Like Ruth Bader Ginsburg Did


Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said Tuesday during his Conversation with Cardinal Dolan show on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel that  Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faces three biases, just as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did in her life.

Cardinal Dolan began the discussion by saying that he’s never met Judge Barrett, but knows plenty of people who do. He said they all “rave about her character.”

“She sure gets good reviews doesn’t she? I’m proud of her. I don’t know her. I’ve never had the honor of meeting her. I do know a lot of people who know her, and they just speak—they sparkle about her,” Dolan said. “Even […] people who say, well, I might not be that comfortable with some of her jurisprudence in the past, some of her decisions, but is she erudite, is she articulate, is she committed, is she a woman of integrity and strength and independence. They all rave about her character. In my mind, that’s what’s most important.”

Dolan then noted that Barrett “takes her Catholic faith seriously,” while also saying that is “not why [Barrett] was nominated as a Justice to the Supreme Court.”

“I think she is nominated because she is the best candidate around. I hope so. And from what I hear she is. So, let’s hope for the best,” he said.

Then the conversation shifted to something that happened in 2017 during Barrett’s confirmation hearings to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans will more than likely argue during Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings that anti-Catholic bigotry motivates the Democratic opposition. They will reference the comments Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made suggesting that Barrett’s Catholic faith was concerning.

“The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. Here was the full quote:

Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.

“Let’s just hope it does not deteriorate into that,” Dolan said of the upcoming hearings.

“I’m hoping the tawdry nastiness to which you referred that happened last time. I think they got singed so bad that they’re not going to bring that up anymore. It’s fair enough to bring up issues, but the Constitution—and [Barrett] knows the Constitution pretty well—says there should be no religious test for candidates,” he continued. “Boy, when you look at some of that grilling in the past it looks like they were testing her on her faith. That’s just out of bounds, folks.”

Dolan also said that Barrett and Ginsburg each had to endure bias against women, motherhood, and people of faith.

“What I admired in the accolades to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there were a lot of articles about her deep Jewish faith and how she was not afraid to say that the values of her Jewish faith animated how she lived, and how she judged. Nobody found that controversial,” Dolan said. “Recently, I forget, either the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal that said [Ginsburg] always said she faced 3 biases; a woman, a mother, and a Jew. Well it seems like Judge Barrett is facing; woman, mother and Catholic.”

During Barrett’s speech accepting the nomination, she said she will be “mindful of who came before me.”

Justice Ginsburg “not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them, and for that she has won the admiration of women across the country,” Barrett said. “For that, she has won the admiration of women across the country and indeed all over the world. She was a woman of enormous talent and consequence and her life of public service serves as an example to us all.”

[Image via Manuel Balce Ceneta-Pool/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.