The Point

The Senate Judiciary Committee Gets a Lesson in Civics 101

10/16/20

John Stonestreet

David Carlson

Legendary coach Vince Lombardi opened the Packers’ 1961 training camp by holding up the pigskin, and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

That’s kind of what happened at this week’s confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett. Sen. Ben Sasse delivered what he called “Civics 101,” with basics like, “Congress writes laws, the executive branch enforces laws, courts apply them.”

And then he went to the First Amendment, “Contrary to the belief of some activists, religious liberty is not an exception. You don’t need the government’s permission to have religious liberty…” And, “This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad, and which religious beliefs are weird.”

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri also deftly described the First Amendment, and Senator Kennedy of Louisiana taught socratically, asking questions which allowed Judge Barrett to teach.

The bad news is America, including Senators on the Judiciary Committee needed the lesson. The good news is we got it.

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Resources:

Senator Sasse: Questioning Barrett’s Faith Shows Misunderstanding of Civics, Religious Freedom

Catholic News Agency | October 13, 2020

Why the Left Is Attacking Amy Coney Barrett

John Stonestreet | Breakpoint | September 29, 2020

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