You really caught my attention with the mention of Roger Severino. I have been following his toxic career at HHS, and occasionally writing about it, for years.

It’s jaw dropping to watch him use his position as the director of a civil rights division to restrict people’s civil rights.

I’m less familiar with Carrie Severino and the JCN, having focused more on the Federalist Society and what they’re doing to vet and promote conservative judges. Do you know how closely the two networks might be tied? Do you have a sense of which network might be more influential within Republican power circles?

As to people’s private religious beliefs being separate from their public duties, I’m sure that’s a principle that we can’t just abandon. But it’s mighty curious at the very least to watch conservative Catholics go to bat to enforce Catholic doctrines in ways that hurt women and LGBTQ people.

People choose originalist and other judicial philosophies for reasons. They aren’t just neutral ideas that sound compelling on their own right. They accomplish things.

From my perspective as a gay man, they accomplish my persecution by the powerful. To pretend that one’s private religious beliefs don’t influence one’s choices about judicial and political beliefs is facile.

So thank you for raising the issue.