Senate Judiciary Committee member Ben Sasse, R-Neb., accused Democrats and the mainstream media Monday night of “attack[ing] religious Americans” and “distort[ing] basic American civics” with their handling of the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“They talk about the Supreme Court as just another political institution, the progressive wing or the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, a Republican justice or a Democratic justice,” Sasse lamented on “Fox News @ Night“. “All of that can confuse the basic civics because judges put on a black robe for a reason.
“Judges don’t have to get elected for a reason,” Sasse added. “Judges have lifetime tenure for a reason. And that’s because the Supreme Court is supposed to be an apolitical branch. The two political branches, the legislative and the executive branches, those people get elected. Those people pass laws. Voters can fire those people. Voters in America can’t fire judges. And that’s because judges are not supposed to confuse themselves as policymakers.”
Earlier in the interview, Bream singled out the left-wing outlet Mother Jones for its reporting on the People of Praise religious community, in which Barrett served as a “handmaid,” and compared it to anti-Catholic statements made during John F. Kennedy’s presidential bid 60 years ago.
“They’re the same situation,” Sasse agreed. “So these people, so many of these people on the left who attack religious Americans, they don’t know any history. They don’t know any theology. And so I’m not Catholic, but Catholics regularly use the term ‘handmaiden’ to go back to the annunciation of Jesus and the idea that lots of people are dedicated to the work of the kingdom of God.
“And Amy Barrett, as a handmaiden, I mean, if [husband] Jesse Barrett and the Catholic Church are trying to oppress Amy Barrett, they’re doing a really crappy job because the woman seems to excel in every domain of life.”
Looking ahead to the second day of Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Sasse told Bream that “it would be a good thing if the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee decided to conduct themselves more respectably this round than they did when Judge Barrett was before us as a Notre Dame Law faculty member in 2017 and there were repeated questions as to whether the dogma lived too loudly in her, whether she considered herself a devout Catholic or a serious Catholic, who the People of Praise were.
“None of this stuff is the business of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Sasse went on. “We have a First Amendment with religious liberty as its heart of the cluster of freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly and protests. But we also have a no religious test test clause in the main body of the Constitution before you even get to the Bill of Rights. It would be great if the Democrats of the Judiciary Committee comported themselves more appropriately.”
Sasse went on to note that Democrats “were asking all these policy and outcome-based topics or framing them up for their questions tomorrow. Again, that’s not appropriate. What we should be talking about is her temperament, her character, her judicial philosophy. Does she know what the job of the judge is?
“This isn’t Republican versus Democrat stuff. It’s American stuff.”