By Norm Coleman for RealClearPolitics
Since John F. Kennedy ran for president, we have not seen the stick of religious bigotry that the political left is using to kill Judge Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to the Supreme Court.
A consummate woman, whose legal qualifications are unobjectionable, is challenged by the Democrats not because of her temperament, intellect, or character – but because of her religious beliefs and choice to practice them in her life.
She was nominated to occupy the seat of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Not to fill your shoes.
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No one can fill the shoes of a woman who, despite our different political perspectives, I consider one of the most effective members of the US Supreme Court of today.
The shared backdrop of our upbringing in Brooklyn – along with our repeated health battles – only increased my admiration for this American treasure.
Justice Ginsburg had the propriety, character, and understanding that the justice of the Supreme Court demands, and that the American people deserve.
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Their qualities guided my assessments of candidates John Roberts and Samuel Alito during my tenure in the United States Senate, just as those qualities would later have helped consider Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan if I were still in the Senate at the time of their respective nominations would have been.
In direct contrast to the robust debate and deliberation I participated in while serving in the Senate, this particular process has quickly turned into a defamation exercise.
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However, my decision to join the discussion on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation is based not on my role as a former civil servant, but as a parent.
Specifically, being the Jewish parent of two Trinity School alumni in Minnesota who deeply lament that those who opposed Judge Barrett's confirmation launched a campaign based on religious bigotry.
It is a campaign that has even managed to slander my children's alma mater because of its association with the People of Praise, a “charismatic Christian community” that counts candidates as members.
It's a notable thing to point out that Barrett, a mother of seven who is only 51 votes away from the prime of her profession – along with Beth Schmitz, who serves as Trinity's headmistress – are viewed as potentially "subjugated women" because of her could be association with People of Praise.
Let's be clear: parents of Trinity students and families associated with People of Praise are not extreme members of any "cult."
They are largely no different from other members of our America who happen to be rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
I don't have to defend Amy Coney Barrett's credentials or qualifications in the country's highest court.
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Your life experience and your own voice will more than adequately do this.
However, the vitriol aimed at those associated with the Trinity School has compelled me to respond to the bigotry that has been expanded to include a whole community of people who do nothing but practice their beliefs.
My children graduated from Trinity School on River Ridge in Eagan, Minn.
In the more than three decades since it opened, it has stood out as a role model for schools in Minnesota as the only high school in the state to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award not just once but three times.
This award, widely regarded as the highest honor for an American school, reflects the fact that Trinity students' SAT and ACT scores are well above the national average, and the administration, faculty, and school community are the students prepare in a remarkable way not only for college but for the wider world they will encounter after graduation.
It is not just Judge Barrett who has been the target of poison on the left in his attempts to bring her down.
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Now the entire Trinity community has. One would have hoped we would have gotten past this sad chapter in American life.
However, the actions of far too many Democrats make it clear that we did not.
In response to reservations about his own religious beliefs, then Sen. John F. Kennedy warned in the 1960 campaign: “While it may be one Catholic this year that the finger of suspicion is directed, it was in others Years – and one day it could be again – a Jew or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. "
However, the fear of the democratic standard-bearer of the 1960s is now in danger of becoming the democratic standard itself 60 years later.
Unfortunately, in order not to pull that suspicious finger back, the Democrats have directed it at a whole community of people who do nothing but practice their beliefs.
In 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein first shot Judge Barrett, claiming that her beliefs were little more than "dogma" and that they lived "loudly within you, and that is worrying."
Senator Dick Durbin doubled his outrageous willingness to expand Feinstein's bigotry by asking, "Do you consider yourself an Orthodox Catholic?"
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And while the senior judicial committee member has refrained from reviving her religious test in recent days due to his toxicity, it is important to beware of any attempt by Democrats, their media girls, or outside groups to repeat these attacks against Barrett their beliefs and their religion – especially as the prospect of their confirmation becomes more evident.
In their four years of rigorous Latin classes, Trinity School students like my daughter Sarah and son Jacob wrestled with and learned from great speakers and poets like Cicero and Virgil – in the original language.
Now, without setting foot in a Trinity classroom, the American people are becoming familiar with the meaning of argumentum ad hominem.
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Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
Norm Coleman represented Minnesota in the US Senate from 2002 to 2009. From 1994 to 2002 he was Mayor of St. Paul.
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