Do not focus on Barrett’s religion, but also, don’t ignore it. During Barrett’s confirmation for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ranking minority member Sen. Dianne Feinstein made the foolish mistake of attacking Barrett’s Catholic faith, saying, “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Committee Democrats, such as Sens. Chris Coons and Richard Blumenthal, have already said that they don’t think it’s “appropriate” to discuss religion.
The thing is: Democrats will have to find a way to address religion because Barrett herself has made her faith an issue in her nomination. She neglected to include in the packet of materials she submitted to the committee a public letter she signed that declared “It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.” Further, she has written that devout Catholic jurists should recuse themselves in certain circumstances, such as in death penalty cases. Republicans are also certain to claim anti-religious bias no matter what Democrats actually do—indeed, they already have. Given all of this, Democrats will have to address this topic somehow. Pointing to Barrett’s past writings is their best option.