Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has made her devout Catholic faith a matter of public debate. While some of that debate has bordered on anti-Catholic bigotry, other commentary suggests that citizens simply want to know whether Barrett’s faith would influence her decisions as a justice. I see no reason to think that it would.
Let me start with my own experience as a person of faith who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for 15 years. During those years, I gave dozens of talks at law schools, colleges and universities. The biographical introduction that typically preceded my remarks unavoidably announced my religious commitments. Before becoming a judge, I had been the general counsel of a prominent religious university, published on religious themes, and even taught courses in scriptural studies and theology.