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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for the US Supreme Court, meets with Senator from Louisiana Bill Cassidy ((off frame)(R-LA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October, 1, 2020. (Photo by JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Judicial Crisis Network is enlisting John F. Kennedy's voice in a new ad defending Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett against concerns that her Catholic faith will guide her judicial decisions.

Details: The ad relies on then-Senator Kennedy's famous speech on religious tolerance ahead of his election as the nation's first Catholic president.

  • "Today I may be the victim," Kennedy told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September 1960. "But tomorrow it may be you."

Reality check: While most Supreme Court justices have been Protestant over the course of U.S. history, Catholics currently comprise a majority of the nation's high court.

The big picture: "JFK" is the latest ad in a $10 million blitz by the conservative group as they brace for contentious confirmation hearings starting Oct. 12, just three weeks before election day.

  • Reserving time in Colorado, Iowa and West Virginia, JCN is hoping to sway senators from those states to support Barrett and secure her confirmation.
  • Organizations on both sides of the aisle are spending millions to try to influence lawmakers in the fight to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat and energize socially-driven voters ahead of November.

The backdrop: The Trump campaign and conservative groups have been sensitive to speculation by Democrats about how Barrett's own faith could impact rulings.

  • Democrats fear going too hard on Barrett in her confirmation hearings could backfire but that's also because she's a woman.
  • They plan to give Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris a spotlight to shine attention on Barrett's history on health care and labor rights.

Go deeper

Democrats fret about Garland for attorney general

Judge Merrick Garland. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

If Joe Biden picks Merrick Garland to be his attorney general, he could cost his party control of one of the most important judicial appointments in America — and many Democrats do not want the president-elect to take that chance.

How it works: Biden still hasn't named his choice to lead the Justice Department, and if he taps Garland, it would open up his seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If Democrats don’t win both Georgia Senate runoff seats next month, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would almost surely prevent the president-elect from filling it.

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.