September 28, 2020 | The New York Times
EPPC Cardinal Francis George Fellow Mary FioRito was featured in a September 28, 2020 New York Times article on Christian women inspired by the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
But for many conservative Christian women, the thrill of the nomination is more personal. Judge Barrett, for them, is a new kind of icon — one they have not seen before in American cultural and political life: a woman who is both unabashedly ambitious and deeply religious, who has excelled at the heights of a demanding profession even as she speaks openly about prioritizing her conservative Catholic faith and family. Judge Barrett has seven children, including two children adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down syndrome.
“I found some personal inspiration in Ginsburg — you couldn’t not,” said Mary Hallan FioRito, a conservative Catholic lawyer who graduated from law school in the early 1990s, referring to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “She made me know this is possible. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. Amy Barrett is the perfect replacement for Ginsburg because she, too, in a different way, is saying, ‘This is possible.’”
Judge Barrett first came to national attention in 2017, when Mr. Trump nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Several senators directly questioned her in her confirmation hearing about whether her Catholic faith would influence her decisions from the bench. “The dogma lives loudly within you,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told her.
That moment was galvanizing for women who saw themselves in Judge Barrett. “Among Catholic professional women who are moms, it just instantly resonated,” said Ms. FioRito, who lives in Chicago. “There’s such a groundswell for Amy, and a lot of it came out that anger and resentment for how she was treated.”