The false link between Amy Coney Barrett and The Handmaid's Tale, explained - 2020-09-25
On Friday, multiple news outlets reported that President Trump planned to select Notre Dame law professor and federal appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court. The news threatens to reignite a storm of controversy around Barrett's religion that has been building since 2017.
Barrett is a devout Catholic. She has written before about how she believes Catholicism should affect a judge's jurisprudence, and Democrats discussed her views widely when she was nominated to the federal bench in 2017. In a moment that has become infamous on the right, Sen. Dianne Feinstein declared that "the dogma lives loudly within you" during Barrett's hearing, a phrase some conservatives took to be an attack on Barrett's Catholicism.
Barrett is also part of a small Catholic group known as People of Praise, and that's where her religious affiliations get especially touchy. Some liberals argue that Barrett's membership in this group, which teaches that husbands are the heads of families and have authority over their wives, signals that she will hand down religiously motivated conservative opinions if placed on the Supreme Court, particularly when it comes to women's reproductive freedom and the rights of the queer community. Meanwhile, conservatives reply that Barrett is a high-powered federal judge who is also married, so she can't be all that oppressed by her husband, and that liberal critiques of the way Barrett's religion affects her judicial obligations are nothing more than anti-Catholic prejudice at work.