In an interview with the Shawnee Mission Post, Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Bollier said Judge Amy Coney Barrett ought to be asked about her faith before being confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Bollier, a Democratic state senator in Kansas, is running for the U.S. Senate against Representative Roger Marshall. Both candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by Republican senator Pat Roberts, who is retiring.
“Most people in America have a faith and are influenced by it. So, of course she is influenced by her faith,” Bollier told the interviewer after he asked whether Democrats should ask Barrett about how her faith might influence her public role. Bollier continued:
The question is: Is she wanting to put her faith in play as a faith for all and will that affect our law? And I think that is a question that needs to be asked of her, how she intersects her faith with the law. That is important, but bottom line is, it’s about does she follow the Constitution and how? That’s the kind of tough question I would ask her. But to act as if she isn’t influenced by her faith– everyone is. So I think it is important to discuss how it does.
Bollier’s mistake is in suggesting that being influenced by one’s faith means a judicial candidate ought to be scrutinized to determine whether they intend to impose their faith on the country through the law. There is no indication that Barrett intends to do so, and in fact she’s repeatedly emphasized her commitment to rule on each case impartially regardless of her personal beliefs, religious or otherwise.
In this week’s hearings, Senate Democrats wisely avoided scrutinizing Barrett’s Catholicism. Several Democrats asked her about a statement she had signed in the early 2000s expressing support for the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life but, unlike in past hearings, they shied away from directly suggesting that her faith was problematic.
Though there hasn’t been much polling of the Senate race in Kansas, the open seat is likely to go to Marshall. Several ratings of the race put it in the “leans Republican” category, and President Trump is polling well ahead of Joe Biden in the state.