We Used To Call Them Conflicts Of Interest

Ephrom Josine
4 min readOct 8, 2020


I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a group of people before who look at getting struck with illness as evidence God is on their side, but if the 2020 Republican Party can do anything, it’s create more atheists in a year than Christopher Hitchens did in a lifetime. To be blunt, I think every Republican Senator could go to Capital Hill covered in boils and see it as a sign of good luck — but that’s just me.

Speaking of religion and Barrett, a new report from The Guardian finds that her connections to the Catholic group People With Praise are still greater than previously thought. As they documented:

Public records examined by the Guardian show that Barrett, a conservative 48-year-old appeals court judge who has been put up to fill the vacant seat left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, lived in a nine-bedroom South Bend, Indiana, residence owned at the time by Kevin Ranaghan, a religious scholar and a co-founder of Barrett’s faith group, during law school.

The revelation offers new clues about the possible influence of the People of Praise, and one of its leaders, on a woman who may shape the direction of the supreme court for the next 40 to 50 years. Barrett has said she is a “faithful Catholic” but that her religious beliefs would not “bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge”.

Public records — and a record of a speeding ticket — show that Barrett’s husband, Jesse, apparently also lived in the home in the years before their 1999 marriage. The public records examined by the Guardian show where individuals receive their mail, including bills. It is difficult, based on the records alone, to determine when precisely individuals lived in the residence. The database shows no other residence for Amy Barrett at that time.

Might I remind you all, Former Colorado Governor and current Democratic Senate Nomination John Hickenlooper was torn apart both by the media and the RNC for taking a limo ride paid for by a farmer — earlier this year. That was a serious ethics violation, we were all told, and Hickenlooper should drop out of the Senate race as a result. Thankfully Hickenlooper didn’t take the bait and now it looks like he’s going to beat Cory Gardner come November.

The Republican Party lost it over a man taking a limo ride from a farmer, but we’re suppose to look the other way as Barrett gets various gifts and goodies from a Catholic organization. Tell me, how do we know she is going to act neutrally in case this organization is ever part of a court case? We have ethics laws, in large part, to make sure that representatives and political leaders can remain neutral when deciding what the best course of action for the country is.

The Republican Party is trying to frame this as the party of Al Smith, John F. Kennedy, John Kerry, and Joe Biden (who was only denied communion in 2019 after holding the same opinions and being openly Catholic for almost five decades) being a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots. In truth, the distrust regarding Barrett has nothing to do with her being Catholic — anti-Catholic sentiments (which have historically been led by Republicans) have never been lower than they are now, and the Catholicism of Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh were never once mentioned during their hearings — although in the case of Thomas and Kavanaugh the Senate had some more important things to worry about. It’s not even that “the dogma lives loudly” within her, she can have whatever religious convictions she wants. The issue is that her religion does not make her impartial, which is the standard for a judge, especially the highest one in the land. She can claim she’s neutral all she wants, but our politics does not, in large part because it cannot, run on an honor system. Is anyone really expecting me to believe that if the People Of Praise were to be part of a Supreme Court case, Barrett would be willing to vote against them?

I should make it clear what I believe should be done to Barrett, because there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the position of her critics. To put it simply, I do not want her to be confirmed, I do not want her to hanged at a tree, I do not want her to be lynched for her Catholicism, I simply do not want her to be one of the nine most powerful people in the United States of America. I’m sure Barrett is a great person, I’m sure she’s a great appeals judge, however, she simply has too many conflicts of interest to be trusted as one of the nine most powerful people in the nation.



Ephrom Josine

Political Commentator; Follow My Twitter: @EphromJosine1