Yahoo News Senior Political Correspondent Jon Ward discusses the importance of Mitch McConnell naming Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to fill the Supreme Court seat vacancy due to the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
JON WARD: I was told that Mitch McConnell spoke to the president over the weekend and basically suggested to him that he thinks Amy Coney Barrett is the best choice. He-- the person I spoke to said-- wanted to stress that McConnell was not opposing the other people, but simply saying he thinks Barrett is the best choice.
And there are a few reasons for that. She's already been through a nomination battle in 2017 to her spot on the 7th Circuit, a federal judgeship, and that was fairly contentious. And so she's been stress tested in the words of one person I spoke to.
And there's also the element of her religious faith. She's a very devout Catholic, and she has an interesting background. She was-- some of her formative years in the faith were with a group in South Bend, Indiana, called People of Praise, which is a very conservative, very devout, and uncharacteristic for charismatic Christian circles, pretty highly educated group of Christians. And that's unusual for a more Pentecostal approach to the faith. I just want to stress that.
And so she got some questions from Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2017 that were interpreted by Republicans as attacks on her faith itself. And so that's the way that Republicans see that a Barrett nomination could play out. They could use questions, even questions, much less criticisms of Barrett's faith to try to tap into the sense among a lot of conservative Christians that they're being persecuted and attacked for their faith.
And so there's that element, and there's also the element of retribution for the Republicans blocking Merrick Garland in 2016 and then pushing this nominee through in such short fashion so close to an election, which is hip-- a huge flip-flop by Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and other Republicans.