If the national media are to be believed, the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States is cause for concern among those calling for equal rights for all - including LGBTQ people, minorities, and others who have been in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump's draconian policies.
But those who fear Barrett will help roll back Roe v. Wade and other "progressive" rulings may as well brace themselves, because she will likely be seated before the election. And in the case of a contentious result similar to that of George W. Bush v. Al Gore, there's a good chance Trump will get another four years - maybe more.
Though it smacks of hypocrisy given what the Senate did to Barack Obama's nominee months before the 2016 election, that body has the votes to install Barrett, barring unforeseen ship-jumping. Her religious proclivities may be troubling, but she doesn't have the baggage Brett Kavanaugh has, and despite the efforts of Democrats, the man who supposedly engaged in toxic behavior while intoxicated now wears the robes. So does Trump's first pick, Neil Gorsuch, who is blemish-free.
When Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas began making overtures about overturning Roe, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch didn't weigh in. It's difficult to predict what the latter men will do, since they haven't been on the bench long enough to accrue a clear record. But Gorsuch has surprised critics by turning criminal law on its head in the McGirt case, which reaffirmed the Creek Nation - and by extension, other tribes - never relinquished "reservation" rights. Since Trump has fought for years against tribes regarding exclusivity in casino operations, he couldn't have been happy about that decision.
Catholics who adhere to most tenets of the faith, rather than a select few, are bothered by Barrett's public image. She is said to support the Pauline tradition of "submitting" to her husband, which makes his views on key issues germane. This belief is embraced by many evangelical congregations, but it is not part of modern Catholic theology. While the Catholic Church still refuses to ordain women, it upholds equal opportunity in every other aspect of life, including jobs, and calls for women to receive the same pay as men.
There are other ways in which some Catholics misrepresent the faith. The church eschews many planks of American conservatives, and upholds values deemed "liberal" in the U.S. - and that has caused thousands of radical right-wingers to abandon the faith. The church - and certainly Pope Francis - supports rights for undocumented immigrants and universal health care, and condemns racism. The pontiff has given his blessing to Black Lives Matter, and has complained the U.S. church is "obsessed" with abortion, contraception and gay marriage while ignoring other "pro-life" teachings. And despite claims of Trump fans that Francis endorses him, the pope has been critical of the president - specifically, on Trump's immigration policies and his unkind rhetoric against so-called "enemies." Recently, Francis refused to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the Vatican accusing the administration of using religious freedom as a wedge to attract voters.
The disingenuous nature of certain Catholics notwithstanding, the best Barrett's naysayers can do is to hope she turns out not to be as bad as they fear. Or, they can take the step suggested by GOP senators themselves, and vote out those who confirm her. That won't remove her from the bench, but it will send a strong message about what the public really wants.