US News In the Bible Belt, Catholics divided in the face of Trump's choice for the Supreme Court

10:35  28 september  2020
10:35  28 september  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

Supreme Court: supported by the Republicans, Trump will appoint his candidate on Saturday

 Supreme Court: supported by the Republicans, Trump will appoint his candidate on Saturday © Provided by Le Point Despite the outrage of the Democrats, Donald Trump will present a candidate on Saturday to succeed the progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court , with a consolidated majority in the Senate , determined to vote on its confirmation without waiting for the outcome of the US presidential election. The Democrats are headlong, arguing that we would have to wait for the November 3 election, which will pit Donald Trump against Joe Biden, before any vote.

In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett, a federal appellate judge and Notre Dame law If her Senate confirmation is successful before the November election, the appointment would mark Trump ' s third Supreme Court pick in one

The long-term academic, appeals court judge and mother of seven was the hot favourite for the Supreme Court seat. Barrett lives in South Bend, Indiana , with her husband, Jesse, a former federal prosecutor who is now with a private firm. The couple have seven children, including two adopted

  Dans la Bible Belt, les catholiques partagés face au choix de Trump pour la Cour suprême © Provided by Le Point

Some hail his religious "fervor", others believe that his appointment is hasty: at the end of mass Sunday, outside a Catholic Church in Mississippi, worshipers split over Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Donald Trump on Saturday appointed this 48-year-old conservative magistrate, a practicing Catholic and opposed to abortion, to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court of the United States .

In the running for his re-election, the president relies on the Republican majority in the Senate to confirm his choice before the ballot on November 3 and to anchor the high court permanently to the right.

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But in the week ahead of his announcement, Trump continued to sow doubt and uncertainty about the election. And Barrett' s nomination -- just eight days A consequential pick for the high court . While he was stirring more chaos, Ginsburg' s death created another welcome distraction for Trump -- a chance

Confirmation battle could help sway a critical voting bloc in the swing states.

He thus hopes to galvanize the most religious voters, in particular all those who want to see the Supreme Court reverse its judgment of 1973, Roe v Wade, having legalized the right of American women to terminate their pregnancy.

"Abortion is a central issue, a lot of my friends are going to vote Republican for that reason," admits Kathleen Feyen, 87, leaving Christ the King Church in Jackson.

With or without a steeple, huge or tiny, dapper or faded, hundreds of churches of all faiths stand at almost every crossroads in this Mississippi town, one of the most religious states in the United States. , in the south of the country.

According to the Pew Institute, 82% of its three million inhabitants have no doubts about the existence of God, three quarters pray at least once a day, and 59% believe that abortion should be illegal in in most cases.

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If the Republican nominee for the Supreme Court is a woman, this could also be a way for him to appeal to female voters. The highest court in the US is often the final word on highly contentious laws, disputes between states and the federal government, and final appeals to stay executions.

Toobin: The Supreme Court is not paralyzed by a vacancy. On Monday, Trump did not read from the Bible nor offer words of prayer for the cameras gathered around. Even some of Trump ' s Republican allies in Congress expressed disagreement with Trump ' s decision to attend the church.

"I too am against abortion", confides Kathleen Feyen, reflecting the official position of the Catholic Church. “But that's not the only problem, because we also kill people by not taking care of them,” adds this little white woman.

For her, Christian charity requires "focusing on the poor and needy" but Donald Trump's government "does not do it at all" and "people are dying because they do not have health insurance ".

Echoing the President's Democratic rival, Joe Biden, she therefore believes "that it would have been necessary to wait until after the election to appoint a new judge to the Supreme Court".

"Seven children"

A few steps away, a group of black women, anxious not to be named, note that Amy Coney Barrett "is not yet a judge" and hope that the senators will block his nomination.

But, reflecting the divisions of Catholics nationwide, not all faithful are of this opinion. Derek Singleton, a very elegant civil servant in a bright green suit, thus praises "a fervent Catholic who lives her faith" and does not just wave it.

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In recent years, the court has expanded gay marriage to all 50 states, allowed for Mr Trump ' s travel ban on mainly The choice of Judge Barrett puts Democrats in a tricky position. They have to find a way of undermining support for the nominee without seeming to attack her Catholic faith or personal

In 2018, when Trump named the conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony “I must tell you the intolerance expressed during her last confirmation about her Catholic faith, I really Supreme court justices can serve for life and have the power to shape American society itself over a

"She has seven children. Do you know a lot of good Catholics who have seven children?", Notes this black sexagenarian. "She looks very smart, she should do well" at the Supreme Court, he adds, also judging that abortion is "morally wrong".

Like him, many African Americans in Mississippi are conservative in terms of values, even if, here as elsewhere in the United States, "they tend to vote for the Democrats," underlines historian Stephanie Rolph.

Anxious not to offend an electorate he cultivates, Joe Biden has also been very discreet about the right to abortion in his reactions to the appointment of Judge Barrett. Conversely, he often flaunts his Catholic faith, the religion of about 20% of Americans.

But for George Jones III, a 77-year-old African-American convert to Catholicism, it does not matter more than Judge Barrett's values, because, in his opinion, it is not good to mix religion and politics.

"There is a constitutional standard on the State and the religion of which it is necessary to follow all the dimensions", he recalls in reference to the first amendment which guarantees the freedom of religion but also provides for its separation from the State.

Besides, he is very happy that among Catholics, "we do not talk about politics during mass".

09/28/2020 04:59:03 - Jackson (United States) ( AFP ) - © 2020 AFP

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