“I’d heavily prefer views like that not be elevated to SCOTUS, but unfortunately, our current culture is still relatively intolerant,” Biden staffer Nikitha Rai said Monday night on Twitter. “It will be a while before those types of beliefs are so taboo that they’re disqualifiers.”
Rai, who is deputy data director for the Biden campaign, made her comments in a thread about the religious beliefs of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Politico writer Adam Wren pointed out that Barrett was a trustee at a school that described homosexual acts as “at odds with Scripture” and said marriage was between “one man and one woman.”
Many Twitter users mocked Wren’s tweet, pointing out that such beliefs are basic teachings of all Abrahamic religions – in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah. Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, joined in the conversation, saying, “Wait, why is this news? Isn’t this the standard position for any orthodox Catholic?”
Rai replied, “Unfortunately, yes.”
Hamid added, “To be fair, it’s the standard position for any orthodox Muslim or Jew as well.” Rai then lamented that such beliefs aren’t yet taboo enough to be Supreme Court disqualifiers. Her tweets have since been blocked from public view.
Disqualifying those who believe in the holy books of the Abrahamic religions would rule out much of the population from high public service. A religious litmus test for the Supreme Court also would be unconstitutional. Supreme Court justices are obliged to make their legal findings based on the Constitution, without regard for their personal beliefs.
But Democrats have raised concerns over the Catholic faith of Barrett and other judges, including Chief Justice John Roberts. When Barrett was appointed by President Donald Trump to the 7th US Circuit Court in 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein questioned whether she would have unbiased legal opinions, given that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Senator Dick Durbin asked Barrett whether she considers herself an “orthodox Catholic.”
Twitter users blasted Rai for her own intolerance, with comedian Jeremy McLellan saying, “Beneath all the talk of interfaith and pluralism, this is what they really believe.” One commenter said it’s ironic that “Bidenists” think of themselves being under intolerant attack, “when it is their position of wanting to throw (for example Islam) out of the public altogether.” Another said, “They want to get rid of religion. I said this a while ago, and people tweeted that I was crazy.”
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