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U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell discusses the health care bill.

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are going to “challenge” Democrats if they bring up Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s “religion as somehow a disqualifying factor” in serving on the Supreme Court during the upcoming confirmation process.

“They were quite blunt about that three years ago,” McConnell recounted, “when she was up for confirmation to the Seventh Circuit. We expect them to try to restrain themselves. But the truth of the matter is, they really do, many of them, believe that it is OK to discriminate against people because of their religious beliefs.”

“Whether many of them will just own up to it or not remains to be seen,” he added during his short interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on Thursday. “But certainly out on the left, outside of the Senate, around the country they’re drumming this up, this anti-religious argument, already as a disqualifier for this wonderful nominee.”

Even before President Donald Trump officially nominated Barrett last Saturday to replace the late pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, a number of articles exploring her relationship with People of Praise were published. Some of them falsely claimed that the charismatic Christian group inspired Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which portrays religion as suppressing women.

Perkins, in his conversation with McConnell, pointed out that the Associated Press ran an article with the headline, “Barrett tied to faith group ex-members say subjugates women.”

“Here is a woman who was in what they call a religious group that forces women into subordinate positions,” Perkins said. “And we’re talking about a woman who is going to serve, has been nominated to serve, on the nation’s highest court.”

Three years ago, during Barrett’s confirmation hearings to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as a judge, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked her about her Catholic faith.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein had said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years, in this country.”

Perkins recounted that Barrett had talked about her husband when she accepted the nomination last Saturday. “In fact, she pointed out that not only was it a partnership, but he carried more of the load at home so that she could pursue her role as a judge. Does that sound like a woman who’s been subjugated?”

McConnell answered, “It’s almost laughable, isn’t it? And, yeah, but expect them to go down that path for sure. As you indicated, it’s already being written about, talked about out on the left. We’ll see whether any of the members of the Senate bring it up as well, whether they can all restrain themselves. But we know there are significant numbers of Senate Democrats who share that sentiment being expressed openly, openly out in the country on the political left.”

Moving on from the question of religion, McConnell explained what a judge is supposed to do.

“The job of judge is to follow the law,” he said. “That’s what Justice (Antonin) Scalia used to say. And he said, if you want to make policy, you ought to run for office. Justice (Neil) Gorsuch said we don’t wear a red rose or blue robe. We wear black robes. Judge Barrett believes that that’s the role of a judge.”

Democrats, in contrast, “openly want to appoint people who act like legislators. President Obama was really quite candid about it. He said he wanted to appoint judges who had empathy. Well, think about that for a minute. If you’re the litigant for whom the judge has empathy, you’re in good shape. But what if you aren’t? That’s not calling the balls and strikes, not the traditional role of the judge.”

Nevertheless, McConnell argued, “the Democrats don’t want objective judges. They want partisan judges. And President Obama appointed those kinds of people. And if Joe Biden were to become president, he would appoint the same kinds of people.”

Immediately after the official nomination, pro-life groups embraced Judge Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, including two children adopted from Haiti.

Among others, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said, “President Trump has chosen an absolute all-star in Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as our nation’s newest Supreme Court justice.”

“Amy Coney Barrett is a brilliant jurist in the mold of the late Justice Scalia, and President Trump could not have made a stronger selection to fill this Supreme Court vacancy,” she continued. “We have full confidence that the pro-life Senate majority will move swiftly to confirm her before the election.”

Like McConnell, Dannenfelser recalled the attacks Barrett endured during her 2017 confirmation hearing to become a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

“An accomplished woman of bold conviction, Amy Barrett withstood outrageous personal attacks on her Catholic faith from pro-abortion senators with grace and integrity during her 2017 confirmation hearing,” she commented. “Judge Barrett has shown courage, wisdom, and brilliance during her tenure on the Seventh Circuit. Her experience and expertise make her extremely qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court.”