I don’t care where you stand on Barrett’s religious views, but this is disingenuous and selective quoting. Read pages 86 through 91 of the actual report and you’ll see this exchange in context: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2021/20-1088_bp7c.pdf
She is not putting HER viewpoints out there. She’s asking a hypothetical question about the exclusion of private secular schools (that is, non-religion affiliated schools) from a publicly-funded program in Maine. In forming her question, she is asking how they know if a school that receives public funds (public or private) is being religiously neutral (taking an anti-religious view is NOT being religiously neutral). And Taub, the lawyer for the state, answers that they look at school curriclum.
Folks are making a mountain out of a mole hill here.
Transcript is as follows:
JUSTICE BARRETT: I have one – I have a question, but I have one quick follow-up to an answer you gave Justice Kavanaugh. You said that if a private secular school taught that all religions were bad, religions were bigoted, that they would not be eligible for participation in Maine’s program. Why? That’s not sectarian, is it?
MR. TAUB: Well, the – the goal of the program is religious neutrality. And so, you know, we’ve – we’ve never heard of a school that’s sort of antireligious, a school that teaches that all religion is bad. But – but it’s clear that such a school would not be religiously neutral. And so, because the whole purpose of the program is to –
JUSTICE BARRETT: But the statute says non-sectarian. It doesn’t say religiously neutral, right?
MR. TAUB: Well, that’s true. But – but I think that – that – that the spirit and purpose of the program – and – and – and we’ve talked about this with the commissioner of the Department of Education, and – and – and her position is – is the same as ours, that – that a school that is – that is antireligious is not religiously neutral, and so it would not qualify for this program.
JUSTICE BARRETT: Thank you. And my question is as follows. It kind of goes back to Justice Thomas’s questions about rough equivalent of a public school.
So all schools, in making choices about curriculum and the formation of children, have to come from some belief system. And in public schools, the public school – the school boards, the districts are making that choice, those choice of classes to be taught and the kind of values that they want to inculcate in the students.
Is there any kind of – I mean, how would you even know if a – if a school taught all religions are bigoted and biased or, you know, Catholics are bigoted or, you know – or we take a position on the Jewish-Palestinian conflict because of our position on, you know, Jews, right?
How would they even know? Because it’s my understanding that in choosing whether a non-sectarian school can be funded or not, you’re not engaging in that kind of oversight about what the belief systems are of the school. So long as they’re not sectarian, it’s a thumbs-up?
MR. TAUB: So I will answer that – that question, Your Honor. Obviously, I will answer your – your question, but – but I – I just – I just want to make this point first because this might be lost in – in the record.
Over 99.8 percent of children in Maine go either to a public school or one of what we call the Big 11, which are schools that enroll at least 60 percent publicly funded students but – but, in reality, enroll more like 95 percent publicly funded students. So it’s – it’s only .2 percent of students that are going to other private schools.
And the Department of Education is very familiar with the curriculum at the Big 11. So – so the Department is very comfortable that when it comes to those schools where almost every student is going, we know what’s being taught there.
But – but, to answer Your Honor’s question, there is a process that schools have to go through to become part of our program, and through that process, if a Department of Education official says – sees information that – that – that the school seems to be teaching antireligious views, that would raise a red flag, and – and that would result in the kind of inkling –
JUSTICE BARRETT: But it was my understanding that that wasn’t part of – just based on the record, and I may not understand it, but as it was laid out in the briefs, it was my understanding that if the school is accredited, that there weren’t particular curricula requirements the school had to satisfy to be eligible for participation in the program. You know, a school, for example, could be single sex. It didn’t have to be co-ed. And I assume all the public schools in Maine are co-ed.
I mean, it didn’t have to match up along all of those metrics and that there was no formal examination into what kinds of values that the school was seeking to inculcate in students.
MR. TAUB: That is true, but – but what the Department of Education does when it gets a new school apply is it does a little homework, and so it’ll go to the school’s website and say, okay, I’ve never heard of this school before, I want to learn a little about it. Or maybe it takes a look at the student handbook.
And, you know, if the first sentence in the handbook says that our school is designed to promote white supremacy interests or our school is designed to promote antireligion, that is going to be a flag that’s going to get tripped, and that’s going to result in the kind of inquiry.
So you’re absolutely right, Your Honor, that – that the schools are not submitting their curriculum to us as part of this process.
Oh, God, you are so right. We cannot give in to them, but at the same time we must never, ever, offend them or make them feel bad. And if we are unable to do this, then we are the problem.
Barrett is a known liar. The “mountain” you speak of is of her own making, how does any person take her word on any subject, and the “mole hill” is non-existent regarding her partisan SCOTUS machinations. Frankly she is full of shit 24/7.
What do you think of her conflation of “Jews” with Israel and/or Zionists?
The point was that it’s not her conflation but an example of what a school might say/teach.
Yes, the blood women forced to give birth when they don’t want to. But I have no confidence that men will be out in arms to defend women’s rights in this country. Because, as we’ve been told for decades now, it’s a marginal, “culture wars” issue…
so we should ignore the part that makes an antisemitic point to ignore her antisemitic hypothetical?
Thank you. Absolutely run-of-the-mill SCOTUS hypothetical.
The school in the example is anti-Semitic. Her bringing up the example as something you wouldn’t know how to screen for is not.
Talking about anti-Semitism as an issue is not anti-Semitism.
Many defenders of Israel don’t make the distinction…
In this particular exchange it does not come across as her conflation; she is presenting a bigoted school viewpoint, one that Taub himself recognizes and points out in his response where he says “if the first sentence in the handbook says that our school is designed to promote white supremacy interests or our school is designed to promote antireligion, that is going to be a flag that’s going to get tripped”.
I’m not arguing that she isn’t bigoted or biased. I’m arguing that this specific exchange doesn’t support the argument that she is such.
This was my first thought about the case.
Yes, her many fascist racist bigot dog whistles are well documented, and her complete disregard for truth is what’s really on trial here.
If you want to find her detractors your in the right place, finding Barrett’s champions here will be difficult, one hopes.
It isn’t just what she said but how she said it. From the transcript you provided:
In the first example, catholics as bigots, Barrett distances herself from the position. A type of bigotry that is probably a high priority for her, given her own beliefs. But she chooses Jews as the second example and puts herself in the group with a “position” on Jews. Not “they” or “the school” but “our” and “we.”
Well, I definitely like that we’re discussing whether context and precise pronoun use makes this one of many examples of a Supreme Court Justice’s bigotry or not. That doesn’t make me think of dictatorships where everyone is constantly looking at the despot’s hands and smile for the slightest sign of where the next axe is going to land, no sir.
She’s still conflating all Jews with Israelis. That was not necessary to make her hypothetical. At all.