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Links on R&P from around the web

Mariia Butina, Who Sought “Back Channel” Meeting for Trump and Putin, is Charged as Russian Agent

posted on July 17, 2018

The New York Times’ Matt Apuzzo, Katie Benner, and Sharon LaFraniere report that a woman was charged Monday and alleged to be a Russian operative seeking to influence American politics. They write, “At the behest of a senior Russian government official, the woman, Mariia Butina, made connections through the National Rifle Association, religious organizations and the National Prayer Breakfast to try to steer the Republican Party toward more pro-Russia policies, court records show.” They continue, “Ms. Butina is the 26th Russian – and the first one arrested – to face charges related to interference in the presidential election.”

Read at The New York Times

Even Never Trump Evangelicals Might Be Swayed by the Supreme Court

posted on July 16, 2018

The Atlantic’s Emma Green reports on the unity among evangelicals following the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Some evangelical leaders have traveled down what Green terms a “conciliatory path,” applauding the newly conservative Supreme Court made possible by Trump’s election while still lamenting the church’s involvement in politics. “Ultimately, this is what evangelical disagreements in 2016 election were about: how Christians witness their faith in public life, and the longstanding, outsized role of politics in the evangelical world, largely driven by the old religious right,” Green writes.

Read at The Atlantic

He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Become Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal.

posted on July 16, 2018

The New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman report on Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, “the highest-ranking Catholic official in the United States to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor.” Goodstein and Otterman report on McCarrick’s alleged adult victims as well; two men have alleged McCarrick made sexual advances toward them when they were seminarians. Goodstein and Otterman write, “But while the church has made strides in dealing with sexual abuse of children, it has largely avoided a reckoning over sexual harassment and abuse suffered by adult seminarians and young priests at the hands of their superiors, including bishops.”

Read at The New York Times

As Trump Picks Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Evangelicals Rejoice: “I Will Vote for Him Again”

posted on July 10, 2018

The Washington Post’s Julie Zauzmer reports on evangelical reactions following the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Many in the community see Kavanaugh as payoff for their strategic vote for Trump. Zauzmer writes, “For millions of evangelical Christians, President Trump’s announcement Monday night was the vision they held in their heads as they stepped into the polling booth almost two years ago: a Republican president, filling the Supreme Court with more conservative justices who might drastically curtail access to legal abortion and advance other conservative Christian priorities.”

Read at The Washington Post

Amy Coney Barrett Is Allegedly a Member of a Religious Group That’s Been Called a “Cult.” What Is It, Really?

posted on July 6, 2018

Slate‘s Ruth Graham reports on potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney’s Barrett’s membership in the group People of Praise. “Amy Coney Barrett, now a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, became a heroic figure to some religious conservatives during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall,” Graham writes. “Sen. Dianne Feinstein challenged the Catholic law professor about her religious beliefs, sneering—it seemed to many—that ‘the dogma lives loudly within you.’” Graham interviews Craig Lent, the current leader of People of Praise. She writes, “Lent sounded bemused by the national scrutiny the group has attracted lately. ‘In a certain sense it’s not really about us, although I owe members a good account if somebody asks me what this group is about.’”

Read at Slate

Leading Contender to be Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Faces Questions from Social Conservatives

posted on July 6, 2018

The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa and Josh Dawsey report that some social conservatives are critical about Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a frontrunner for the president’s Supreme Court nomination. They write, “Kavanaugh’s critics have pointed to a recent case involving a pregnant immigrant teenager in federal custody as reason to doubt his conservatism on the abortion front.” Though he voted against the teenager receiving abortion services, critics say he did not oppose abortion as strongly as another judge in the case. He has also been criticized on the right for decisions on healthcare and contraception access.

Read at The Washington Post

Where Are All The Women in Jewish Studies?

posted on July 3, 2018

For The Forward, Susanna Heschel and Sarah Imhoff argue there is a lack of female representation in Jewish studies. Heschel and Imhoff urge publishers, foundations, and higher education institutions to move away from female tokenism and strive for greater gender parity. Heschel and Imhoff write, “Given the growing number of women entering academic life, for senior male scholars not to include younger female scholars in conferences and anthologies limits women’s career paths and will ultimately diminish the debates that make a field vibrant.”

Read at The Forward

How Amy Coney Barrett Vaulted onto Trump’s Supreme Court Shortlist

posted on July 3, 2018

Politico’s Eliana Johnson reports on Supreme Court Justice candidate Amy Coney Barrett. Some Democrats are concerned that her religious beliefs will affect her decision on Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, Republicans argue for her appointment based on legal credentials, and as a political strategy. Johnson writes, “The argument from prominent conservatives is that if the court strikes down Roe v. Wade, something Democrats increasingly view as an inevitability, it should do so with a woman in the majority. And they say Barrett is the smart political play for the GOP.”


Kennedy’s Retirement from the Supreme Court Prompts Pro-Life Hopes

posted on June 29, 2018

Catholic News Agency’s Christine Rousselle reports, “The retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has led pro-life advocates to voice hope that his successor could help overturn Roe v. Wade in coming years.” Kennedy, often a key swing vote on the Court, submitted his resignation letter to President Trump on Wednesday. Susan B. Anthony List President Majorie Dannefelser said, “The most important commitment that President Trump has made to the pro-life movement has been his promise to nominate only pro-life judges to the Supreme Court, a commitment he honored by swiftly nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch.”

Read at Catholic News Agency

“What’s Next?” Muslims Grapple with Supreme Court Ruling That They Believe Redefines Their Place in America

posted on June 27, 2018

The Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner reports on how Muslim Americans affected by Trump’s travel ban are reacting to the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban. Some of those waiting for waivers to the ban wonder how they will reunite with family members stuck in banned countries. “Of course I want to stay here,” Mehdi Ostadhassan, an Iranian professor at the University of North Dakota, said. “My family wants to stay here. But for the sake of my career and my family, I think it makes more sense to leave the country.”

Read at The Washington Post