News with a Twist
People of Faith, Handmaids and Judge Amy Coney Barrett
With the news this morning focussed almost entirely on last night’s Vice Presidential debate, you might have missed this story from The Washington Post.
“While Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has faced questions about how her Catholic faith might influence her jurisprudence, she has not spoken publicly about her involvement in People of Praise, a small Christian group founded in the 1970s and based in South Bend, Ind.
“Barrett, a federal appellate judge, has disclosed serving on the board of a network of private Christian schools affiliated with the group. The organization, however, has declined to confirm that she is a member. In recent years, it removed from its website editions of a People of Praise magazine — first those that included her name and photograph and then all archives of the magazine itself.
“A 2010 People of Praise directory states that she held the title of ‘handmaid,’ a leadership position for women in the community, according to a directory excerpt obtained by The Washington Post.”
The events described in the rest of this story may not happen – but then again, perhaps they will.
At the confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked, “Judge Barrett, are you now, or have you ever been, a member of People of Praise?
Judge Barrett, after consulting with her lawyer responded, “Respectively Senator, under the advice of counsel, I assert my Fifth Amendment privilege not to incriminate myself.”
Blumenthal, a former Attorney General of Connecticut, first reminded Judge Barrett that being a member of an organization like People of Praise was not illegal so the Fifth Amendment might not apply, then asked as a follow-up, “Are you now or have you ever been a ‘handmaid’?”
After Judge Barrett again invoked her Fifth Amendment right, Blumenthal, exasperated, yielded his remaining time to Ranking Member, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who said, referring to Elizabeth Moss, star of the hit TV show, The Handmaid’s Tale, “Judge Barrett, I know Elizabeth Moss, Elizabeth Moss is a friend of mine, and Judge, you’re no Elizabeth Moss.”
Judge Barrett was confirmed along straight party lines five days before the 2020 presidential election;
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021;
There are now 11 Justices on the Supreme Court of the United States.