More Questions for Judge Barrett following Her Committee Hearings

Several days ago I shared a number of questions I would pose to Ms. Barrett before the Senate hearings.  Now, having seen her in action for three days of hearings, I offer additional questions, all in the spirit of the quest for Community that is our theme these days.

Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Barrett delivered her opening remarks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Posted to YouTube by ABC News.

  1. You refused to answer Senator Harris’ questions about climate change, saying it was “contentious” and not agreed upon.  Yet you claim to be an earnestly practicing Roman Catholic and Pope Francis has written in his “Laudato Si” encyclical that “the climate is a common good belonging to all and meant for all” and “scientists agree that climate change is mainly as a result of human activity” and the poor in particular suffer the most due to climate change. 

2. Are you aware that St Thomas Aquinas calls willful denial of something important (such as climate change) a “mortal sin”?

Thomas Aquinas. Stained glass window in the Franciscan Monastery in Washington DC. Photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr.

3. Do you belong to a Catholic sect that rejects Pope Francis’ teachings about climate change?  What about his teachings about today’s Wall Street led capitalism that destroys the Earth, the poor and Main Street? 

4. When Senator Booker asked you what books you had read about black history you said ‘none.’  What right then do you have to make decisions that will deeply impact millions of Americans who suffer from 400 years of slavery and its on-going effects? 

5. Do you have any misgivings about the covid-spreading event held in your honor on the white house grounds?

Owning the broader impact: Peaceful Uprising founder Tim DeChristopher and Roxbury, MA clergy lead a protest march linking a local Spectra Energy pipeline to a mass grave for victims of climate-caused heat in Pakistan. Photo by Peter Bowden on Flickr; referencing DeChristopher’s blog post “Grief and Resistance: The Mass Grave Pipeline Action

6. Are issues of climate change and wearing masks part of your agenda of being “pro-life”?  (Or does your passion for “pro life” apply only to fetuses and not to living human beings?)

7. I was stunned that you said you never heard Trump say he hired you to kill Obamacare and Roe and to help decide the election.  Every other American heard it. 

8. Why did you refuse to condemn voter intimidation?  Did you not know it was a felony? 

Bishop William J. Barber II, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on MSNBC discussing voter suppression. Originally posted to the MSNBC YouTube Channel.

9. Why did you not condemn threats made by one presidential candidate to the peaceful transfer of power?

10. You have said that you admired Justice Ruth Ginsberg.  Are you being two-faced–saying on the one hand that you admire her and are indebted to her; and on the other trampling on her final wish she made the last week of her life that we wait for the next president to appoint a new judge? 

11. Are you concerned that your going along with this sham court appointment rammed through in a time of pandemic and election will taint the reputation of the court for a very long time? 

As we continue to be obstructed by unjust systems, let Resistance Revival Chorus singing Ella’s Song, a protest song written in honor of Black Activist and Feminist, Ella Baker, inspire you to continue to resist! Originally posted to the Resistance Revival Chorus YouTube Channel

I felt a chill listening to your refusal to answer so many questions while exposing your ignorance about the real world today—and seeming lack of curiosity about it.  I think you should get your head out of law books (and imagining what constitutional framers wanted to say in 1776) and learn what is going on around you before you dare to pass judgments that will affect the lives of millions of 21st century people.

Why not do the right thing and drop out of this nomination until a president is elected?  That is what Justice Ginsberg asked and it is the right and wise path to choose.

A fuller version of this text may be found in:  xxx [either Tikkun or my web page]. stay tuned.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion; Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.

See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

Banner Image: A Judge’s court mallet. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

Did you watch or read about the committee meetings this week?  Which questions here stand out the most to you?  What additional questions would you pose to the supreme court justice nominee? 

Recommended Reading

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

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5 thoughts on “More Questions for Judge Barrett following Her Committee Hearings”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you Matthew fox for this meditation. Those same questions were on my mind, but you have articulated them so well. I am Catholic and in my opinion there are too many Catholics on the Supreme Court already we don’t need one more. And they should answer these questions as well. God love you, I do! Thank you for your wisdom and courage. We are going to change this world.

  2. Avatar
    Bertina M Povenmire

    Dear Mathew Fox! I have often been somewhat critical of your meditations–I found them too much out of this world old-fashioned religion (raised Catholic, I have certain biases about that). But these questions for Ms Barrett are right on. Thank you, Rev. Fox, for asking them.
    Bertina Povenmire

  3. Avatar

    Matt — What powerful questions and posed in your gifted eloquent manner!!!! Oh, how I wish that you, or someone with your integrity could be there and speak for the rest of us: “Speaking truth to power!” Her evasiveness is only outdone by her cavalier attitude. Thanks for your non-stop commitment to being a voice for the voiceless. In Hope, Peggy Devlin, OP

  4. Avatar

    Good questions. As far as I’m concerned, the Republicans should have saved us all lots of time and money and just appointed her right away. The whole hearing was a sham performance anyway. November 3rd cannot come soon enough, but I am afraid we will be suffering for many years because of this appointment. RBG is spinning in her grave!

  5. Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Thank you Bertina for your comment and vote of confidence on this one. However, my bias is for Rev. Fox and what to me is anything but “old-fashioned religion”–in fact to me it is cutting edge religion…

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