New Ad Deploys JFK on Anti-Catholic Bias to Defend Barrett’s Faith

October 2, 2020

A new television advertisement is using a speech by the late John F. Kennedy warning the nation against anti-Catholic bigotry to protect President Donald Trump's latest Supreme Court nominee from attacks on her faith.

The conservative Judicial Crisis Network is behind the ad that includes footage of Kennedy arguing that "while this year it may be a Catholic, against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been and may someday be again a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist."

"Today I may be the victim," Kennedy continues. "But tomorrow, it may be you."

The ad comes ahead of what is expected to be a contentious Senate hearing. Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have histories of scrutinizing judicial nominees' religious beliefs, including Barrett's when she was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The Judicial Crisis Network announced that the advertisement is part of a $10 million ad buy focusing on three states: Colorado, Iowa, and West Virginia. The ad will also air nationally.

"Democrats should take some advice from John F. Kennedy and stop attacking people of faith," Judicial Crisis Network president Carrie Severino said in a press release. "Religious tests were wrong 60 years ago and they are just as wrong today."

The advertisement's audio comes from Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960. Kennedy is the only Catholic president in America's history, though that would change if Joe Biden wins the election in November.