Discrimination in Name of Religion

William Barr: The Wrong Choice For Attorney General

  Rob Boston

The U.S. Senate will likely vote on William P. Barr’s nomination to be attorney general early next month. Americans United believes the Senate should reject him.

Yesterday Maggie Garrett, AU’s vice president for public policy, sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking minority member, outlining our case against Barr.

The letter notes that Barr fails to respect religious freedom for all,  that he has supported using the concept of religious freedom as a justification for discrimination and that he believes public schools should be able to sponsor religious exercises – a fundamental violation of students’ individual right of conscience.

“As our nation’s top law enforcement officer and head of the Justice Department, Mr. Barr would have the responsibility of enforcing federal law, including the civil and constitutional rights that protect all Americans,” observes AU’s letter. “Yet, his prior writings and speeches, as well as his testimony before this Committee, demonstrate a troubling record on matters related to the separation of church and state. We are concerned that he will follow in the footsteps of former-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and erode important civil rights protections, especially those for LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and the nonreligious.”

AU has previously outlined our concerns about Barr. The case against him is strong and anchored in his own words and actions. Put simply, he lacks an understanding of why church-state separation is important and, equally troubling, he fails to grasp why secular government is essential for protecting our freedoms.

Jeff Sessions, Trump’s former attorney general, suffered many of the same defects. We shouldn’t repeat the same mistake. The country deserves an attorney general who respects our fundamental constitutional freedoms and who will protect the rights of everyone. That’s not William Barr.

Please tell your senators to vote no on the Barr nomination.

(Image: Screenshot from C-SPAN)


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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