Trump’s Pick Amy Coney Barrett Is From “The Handmaids Tale” Religious Group. The American media evoke the links between the future Supreme Court judge and People of Praise, a charismatic Christian community.
UNITED STATES – Donald Trump has chosen Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court. If this 48-year-old law professor is confirmed by the Senate – which is no doubt – she will strengthen the conservative majority within this institution.
She, who is to succeed the progressive “RBG”, a feminist icon who died last week of cancer, could not be further from her predecessor. A practicing Catholic, mother of seven and personally opposed to abortion, she could galvanize the conservative religious electorate that Donald Trump relied heavily on to get himself elected four years ago.
According to several American media including our colleagues at HuffPost US, Amy Coney Barrett has links with a religious community, called People of Praise, which could have inspired Margaret Atwood for her dystopian novel “The Handmaid Tale” (“The Servant Scarlet ”in France). This community called its female members “handmaids”.
His links with the community masked since 2017
As The American HuffPost points out, when Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017, The New York Times devoted an article to her in which members of People of Praise ensured that the judge and her husband were part of the community.
To the Senate Judiciary Committee, she confirmed that she had been the administrator of a school run by this religious group. However, according to the New York Times, to be in this position, you must be a member of the community. All references to the judge were deleted from the People of Praise site in 2017 according to the media.
Asked by The HuffPost US, the group did not want to confirm or deny the presence of the judge in their ranks: “Like most religious communities, People of Praise leaves it to its members to decide whether to publicly disclose their involvement in our community ”, we can read.
This institution was formed in 1971 in South Bend, Indiana and has about 1,700 members in 22 cities across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, according to the group’s website.
Money and spiritual “leader”
People of Praise, according to The American HuffPost, describes themselves as a “charismatic” Christian community, referring to a form of Christianity that believes that supernatural events – such as prophecies, and miraculous healings – can occur in life. daily through the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
A fundamental tenet of this community is that members commit to “being there for each other for the long haul, supporting each other through all seasons of life.” They also pledge to donate 5% of their annual income to the group, follow common principles, and meet regularly for prayer and service projects.
Life in the community is very hierarchical and organized according to the sexes. Each member has their “spiritual leader”, their “leader”, who acts as a guide and mentor. The latter is often consulted on important decisions in life, such as dating, marriage, employment and financial problems. The Religion News Service quoted by The HuffPost US reports that married women are “headed” by their husbands and single women are guided by other female leaders, the famous “maids”.
Margaret Atwood’s source of inspiration?
In recent years, the term “servant” has not been used by the community. Indeed, it took on a new meaning, especially after the success of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaiden”. In this dystopia, maids are sex slaves forced to bear the children of their masters.
In a 1986 interview with The New York Times, the author said that she was inspired for her novel after learning of the existence of a “derivative charismatic Catholic sect” which called women “handmaids.” ”. However, she did not specify which charismatic sect it was.
On its site, People of Praise explains that it has stopped using the term to refer to women leaders, acknowledging that the meaning has “changed dramatically in our culture in recent years.” The group, however, responded to our fellow Americans that “there has never been any evidence to suggest that the community played a role in the inspiration of Margaret Atwood’s book.”
Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic on the Supreme Court
Portrait By appointing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, September 26, Donald Trump gave satisfaction to the Christian right: this fervent Catholic of 48 years, mother of seven children, was their favorite.
After Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Donald Trump appointed, Saturday, September 26, a third Conservative member to the Supreme Court: Amy Coney Barrett was for years on the list of favorites of the Christian right to join the highest American court. Provided it is confirmed by the Senate, she will succeed, at 48, progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, and anchor the Supreme Court to the right.
Born in 1972 in New Orleans in a family of seven children, Amy Coney made brilliant studies, which led her to Indiana, to Notre-Dame University, a prestigious Catholic establishment from which she graduated in law. in 1997.
A brilliant course
After working for a time at the Supreme Court in Washington, she then quickly turned towards an academic career, from the start of the 2000s. She then returned to Notre Dame University, where she taught for nearly 15 years, while publishing numerous articles and essays, in which she exposed her conservative vision of law and the American Constitution.
Briefly in the 2000s, then from 2014, she joined the Federalist Society, a powerful organization of conservative jurists, which she left in 2017. That year, she was appointed by Donald Trump to the Court of federal call for the 7th circuit, based in Chicago and in charge of several states in the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin). The following year, the Republican president for a time considered appointing her to the Supreme Court, before choosing Brett Kavanaugh.
A devout Catholic
This mother of seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti, is very marked by her faith, both in her private and professional life. A practicing Catholic, member of a charismatic community, she notably declared, during a speech to law students at the University of Notre-Dame: “your career is a means for a goal, and this goal is the construction of the kingdom of God ”.
An approach that gave rise to tense discussions during his hearings in the Senate with a view to his confirmation as a federal judge, in 2017. “Religious dogma lives noisily in you”, had reproached him the Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, worried for the separation of Church and State. The applicant had claimed to distinguish between her faith and “her responsibilities as a judge”.
In general, Amy Coney Barrett belongs to the so-called “originalist” current, for which one should read the texts of law only in the light of what they meant at the time of their writing, and not by interpreting the intentions of the legislator. , or the authors of the Constitution, in light of today’s reality. As such, she has repeatedly spoken in favor of a broad reading of the second amendment to the Constitution, devoted to the carrying of weapons, in the name of the “natural right to self-defense”.
Next step: hearing before the Senate
Under the terms of the United States Constitution, it is up to the Senate to confirm presidential appointments for the Supreme Court. The procedure provides, after a careful investigation by the FBI, hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, before a vote of all elected in plenary.
The Republicans, who control the Senate, promise to act quickly. Because the schedule is tight: the presidential election takes place on November 3 and a defeat of Donald Trump could be a game-changer. If the Queens businessman is assured of retaining the White House until January 20, the inaugural day of the winner of November 3, a loss could raise questions of legitimacy if Amy Coney Barrett had not been confirmed by ballot.
Mitch McConnell, President of the Senate and ally of Donald Trump, ensures that the first hearings can take place as early as Monday, October 12, before a final vote at the end of the month. Just days before the presidential election.