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Rolling Stone alleged that the Supreme Court was unduly influenced by prayer with religious groups in a lengthy article published on Wednesday.
Political correspondent Kara Vogt writes that Peggy Nienaber, vice president at Faith & Liberty, admitted that she prayed with Supreme Court justices in a video that was secretly recorded after the Roe v. valley.
“This disclosure was a serious matter on its own terms, but it also indicated a significant conflict of interest,” Vogt wrote. “Ninaber’s Liberty Concealer often sues the Supreme Court,” Vogt wrote.
“In other words, sitting Supreme Court justices prayed with evangelical leaders whose superiors brought cases and arguments to the Supreme Court,” she added.
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While Liberty Concealer filed a friendly memorandum in support of Dobbs’ case that overturned Roe v. Wade, was not directly involved in the actual case. More than 130 organizations and other people have submitted friendly summaries in support of the cause, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Religion was also not mentioned in the June 24 final decision.
Although the article relied heavily on Nyenapper’s unofficial comments, Nyenapper later released a statement confirming that she was talking about her past experiences with the judges rather than an ongoing relationship.
“My comment was referring to past history and not the practice of the past several years,” Nenber said. “During most of history through early 2020, I met many people who wanted or needed to pray. Since early 2020, access to the Supreme Court has been restricted due to COVID. It has been many years since I have prayed with Justice.”
Vogt’s article also cited Rob Schenk, who originally founded the Ministry group in the 1990s, and denounced this behavior.
“I was sure, while we did this, that it would be a positive contribution to our public life,” Schenk said. “It didn’t have the effect I thought it would. In some ways, it paved the way for Roe’s reversal, which I now believe is a social disaster.”
However, Schenk left the group in 2018 and stated that he has no knowledge of their internal behavior now.
However, Schenk’s descriptions of how prayer worked were given credence by Vogt, who wrote honestly:
Schenk explains: “Praying with the judges was to do a kind of ‘spiritual conditioning.’ The intent was always to encourage conservative judges by giving them some kind of spiritual support — to give them assurance that not only were there a large number of people behind them, but in fact, There was divine support for very strong and unapologetic views of them. Prayer is a powerful communication tool in the biblical tradition: the speaker assumes the mantle of God, and disagreement with the prayer offered is like sin. “It is not uncommon to interrupt or challenge prayer,” explains Schenk. Not something he might consider. Your faithful Supreme Court justice.”
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Despite the title, the article eventually admitted that the prayer does not constitute a “conflict of interest” for the judges.
“Prayer per se is in no way a conflict of interest for judges, not even with a group like Faith & Liberty that has business before the court,” says Russell Wheeler, visiting fellow for Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. “Judges are allowed to visit there with whomever they wish in their private rooms. , and communicating with interested parties throughout the history of the Court,” Vogt wrote.
She concluded by citing the concerns of Supreme Court expert Adam Winkler that the religion of Supreme Court justices can nonetheless influence their choice of cases.
“For Winkler, the biggest concern is not prayer, but the decisions ‘of a religious nature’ that he saw emanate from the Supreme Court with that term, referring not only to Roe’s reflection but also to opinions allowing for the free and unchecked exercise of First Amendment rights,” Winkler says. : “The problematic aspect is not whether they pray, but it seems that many judges are committed to reading their religion in the constitution.”
Twitter users later criticized the article for misunderstanding the concept of prayer.
“That’s uh not what people think,” CNN correspondent Mary Catherine Hamm wrote in a tweet, “The speaker assumes the mantle of God, and disagreement with the prayer offered is akin to sin.”
“I prayed?! Immediately dismiss them,” FBI reporter David Hersani wrote, sarcastically from the article.
Conservative writer Chad Felix Green wrote on Twitter, “I like that the left thinks this is shockingly controversial.”
I wrote. Beckett Adams, Washington Examiner columnist, “A crazy violation of a longstanding precedent that prevents judges from praying?”
“How long until we find out that Rolling Stone has lied about this as well?” Grayson Quay of The Spectator tweeted, citing past times the magazine has published misinformation.
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