Amy Coney Barrett's Charismatic Catholic Faith May Soon Be on Trial

Amy Coney Barrett (YouTube/CBS News)

Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, is on President Donald Trump's shortlist of potential nominees to fill the vacancy at the Supreme Court following Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last Friday.

This is not the first time Barrett has been in the spotlight for the high court. She was a strong contender for the opening that went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. At the time, Trump told confidants he was "saving" Barrett for Ginsburg's seat.

As Axios reported in 2019, Barrett became a favorite among conservatives for a couple of reasons. One, she's relatively young and is a devout Catholic. Two, her past academic record of legal writings suggest an openness to overturning Roe v. Wade.

For those reasons, she's also become a target of the left. Article 6 of the United States Constitution forbids religious tests for government service: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

But Barrett's faith has already come under fire in previous confirmation hearings, and Sen. Maisie Hirono, D-Hawaii, says she plans to zero in even more forcefully on Barrett's Christian beliefs if Trump picks her.

Family and Faith

Barrett is a mother of seven children. At just 48 years old, Barrett holds promise for a potential decades-long term on the bench. She once clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, taught law at Notre Dame and has reported conservative views about protecting religious freedom.

As to her faith, Barrett is a part of the charismatic renewal movement within the Catholic Church and participates in a "covenant community" called People of Praise. The organization is not a formal Catholic organization. It has no canonical standing.

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