U.S. Judge Amy Coney Barrett


a woman holding a book shelf: U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a former law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

U.S. Judge Amy Coney Barrett


U.S. Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s name has emerged atop a list of possible replacements for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Barrett is a devout Catholic and favorite of conservative Christians. She faced scrutiny for her past writings and public comments during a testy 2017 confirmation hearing for her nomination to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But this time around, it is her association with People of Praise that is commandeering headlines ahead of her possible nomination to the high court.

Vice President Mike Pence told ABC News Wednesday that he considers Barrett’s strong religious values an asset, rather than a liability, and said objections are evidence that some are harboring “intolerance . . . about her Catholic faith.”

Barrett, 48, has not spoken publicly about her involvement in People of Praise, and an aide to Barrett would not comment on her current status with the organization. But a former member confirmed to ABC News that she had been a member, and publicly available documents support the claim – though it is unclear whether she still participates today. A spokesperson for the group said it “leaves it up to its members to decide whether to publicly disclose their involvement in our community.”

Bob Byrne, a former member of People of Praise, also confirmed Barrett’s connection to the group. He said he left the organization on “completely amicable” terms in 2008, when his work as a Deacon in a nearby town absorbed too much of his time and attention to remain active in the community.

Byrne said he did not know Barrett well, but based on limited interactions found her “quite impressive” and “a very fine woman.” He described her role in the community as any other member, often taking on daily tasks and participating in events hosted by the group.

“I remember one day when I was [at her parish],” Byrne said, “[Barrett’s] task for the day was to take the young kids out and do Bible lessons with them while the adults attended mass. And I said, ‘Wow, wow’ – here is this lady, she’s a law instructor and she’s doing the task of just being a mom. Quite impressive.”


Judge Barbara Lagoa, another contender for the US Supreme Court is also Catholic like US Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Legal pundits are just scrutinizing Judge Barrett because she is a member of the Catholic organization People of Praise. The pundits would rather scrutinize the assets Judge Barrett would bring to the US Supreme Court. Pundits, be rational and objective.


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