Appearing at a rally in Florida Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence slammed Democrats for their attacks on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly in me.”
Pence stopped in The Villages, Florida, one of several campaign stops he made last week as President Donald Trump took time off the campaign trail to recover from the coronavirus. His appearance in the central Florida retirement community came just two days before Barrett’s confirmation hearings were set to begin.
In 2017, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, drew criticism for telling Barrett that “the dogma lives loudly within you,” implying that her faith prevented her from carrying out her duties as a judge impartially.
Feinstein made that comment as Barrett was under consideration for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which she was ultimately confirmed to. Pence referenced Feinstein’s remarks at the rally in The Villages and lamented that “Hollywood elites have already begun to criticize Judge Barrett and her family for their Christian faith.”
“Well, I’ve got news for the Democrats and their friends in Hollywood,” Pence, an evangelical, said. “The dogma lives loudly in me.” The vice president’s declaration led the crowd to erupt into applause.
“The dogma lives loudly in you, and the right to live and work and worship according to the dictates of our conscience, lives loudly in the Constitution of the United States of America,” he added. “In America, we cherish the freedom of religion of every American of every faith and these attacks on Judge Barrett’s faith got to stop.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to become Justice Amy Coney Barrett. We’re going to fill that seat.”
In addition to making the case for the confirmation of “the principled, brilliant, conservative” Barrett to the Supreme Court, the vice president criticized the Democrats in Washington for “talking about adding seats to the Supreme Court in the biggest power grab in American history.” Pence highlighted the Democratic presidential ticket’s refusal to clarify whether or not they supported court packing.
“Joe Biden refused to answer the question in his debate with the president. Kamala Harris refused to answer the question during our debate,” he recalled. “The American people deserve a straight answer. When you’re running for the highest office in the land, the American people deserve to know whether you’re going to respect the highest court in the land.”
Barrett’s confirmation hearings began Monday. Feinstein and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee did not focus extensively on Barrett’s religion in their opening statements, instead warning that her confirmation to the Supreme Court would put the future of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in jeopardy. Democrats also argued that it is unfair to hold confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee so close to a presidential election.
The confirmation hearings are scheduled to conclude on Thursday and the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Oct. 22. If a majority of senators on the committee vote to advance her nomination, the full Senate will weigh in on her confirmation shortly thereafter. Since the Senate is controlled by Republicans, Barrett is expected to have enough votes to secure confirmation.
Should Barrett get confirmed, she would become the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the second woman appointed by a Republican president to hold the position of Supreme Court justice. Barrett would become the third Supreme Court justice appointed by President Trump, making him the first U.S. president since Ronald Reagan to appoint more than two Supreme Court justices.