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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett
2020-10-22

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Women-Church Convergence, a coalition of Catholic-rooted organizations including DignityUSA, deplores the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. We have serious concerns about the judgment of any nominee who would collaborate in material ways in such a morally dubious enterprise. The current administration is obviously fulfilling a campaign promise to put justices on the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade. To collaborate in such a public corruption of the judicial system is to create scandal.

Amy Coney Barrett is a moral agent capable and responsible for making her own choices. But even the appearance of willingness to sacrifice her own agency and integrity in service of a longstanding conservative, parochial, overweening agenda is deeply troubling to us. Loss of respect and reputation is a high price to pay to achieve a role for which she has been groomed from her student days by conservative Catholic colleagues. Scores of her University of Notre Dame colleagues have called her to step aside for the common good.

As Catholic feminists, we state the obvious when we say that Amy Coney Barrett does not represent us or legions of Catholic progressives and colleagues who find the agenda of the current administration morally repugnant. We are pro-choice and pro-family; pro-LGBTIQ rights and pro-marriage equality. We welcome immigrants. We believe that everything must be done to ensure all people have access to health coverage, regardless of income, employment status, or pre-existing conditions.

Systemic racism is not a matter of opinion nor is climate change simply the subject of debate. These are facts that ground critical analysis of the social issues about which judicial decisions are made. We expect competent judges to know as much and to keep learning from the growing global consensus about the existential threats we face.

Women-Church Convergence amplifies diverse feminist faith-filled voices for social and ecclesial equality. In this election season, we raise our voices to call a halt to this pernicious process and advocate for a restoration of fair and honorable bipartisan collaboration in the construction of our Supreme Court. Public acceptance of its decisions is dependent on a scrupulously fair, impartial, and transparent appointment process. This is anything but.

We cry foul here not simply because we disagree with Amy Coney Barrett on many substantive issues to which she has the right to her opinion. We cry foul because the process diminishes and demeans all involved, beginning with our democratic institutions.

We urge the Senate to stop the process before it further erodes our democracy. We suggest that Judge Barrett signal her unwillingness to participate in such a charade. After the November 2020 elections, the duly elected chief executive can resubmit her name or begin again with another candidate. A clean process is in everyone's best interests.

The current nomination is tainted by a flawed process that will forever affix an asterisk to any justice nominated under such circumstances: an election already underway, a rush to vote with clear implications for expected post-election cases, and a complete reversal of lawmakers' public statements about when it is appropriate to consider such nominations. As progressive Catholics and colleagues, we distance ourselves from the whole sorry spectacle.

SIGNATURES:

DignityUSA

RCWP-USA

Southeastern PA Women's Ordination Conference ( SEPAWOC )

Greater Cincinnati Women-Church

Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual ( WATER )

Sisters Against Sexism ( SAS )

Catholics for Choice Canada

Chicago Women-Church

A Critical Mass: Women Celebrating Eucharist

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Catholics for Choice

Pilgrim Place Women-Church

Sisters of Charity Peace Justice

Women's Ordination Conference

Mary's Pence

Women-Church of the Wabash Valley


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