Conservatives with high expectations anxious for Barrett to show her hand

“You have a lot of people in the conservative movement who are so far disappointed and a little despondent about those votes,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the First Liberty Institute — a group dedicated to defending religious liberty.

“But I think they are reading way too much into what evidence we have so far,” he said, noting that the votes came in emergency applications and cert petitions, and not in published opinions. “Instead, we have to wait on significant opinions before we can tell where she is.”

A separate source with close ties to religious liberty groups said that he had had a similar conversation with “more than a handful of people.” “There is concern and worry,” the source said, going as far as to call Barrett “timid,” but acknowledging a “‘wait and see’ component.”

The source expressed concern that the court would end up in a 3-3-3 lineup in some cases with the liberals on one side, and Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett in the middle and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas on the far right.