The Omar Principle

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is criticizing “pearl-clutching” Republicans for complaints about Democrats’ treatment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Omar imagined the reaction of Republicans “if a Muslim woman was nominated to SCOTUS.” For their part, Republicans might imagine Democrats raising questions about the Muslim woman’s religion as they have with Judge Barrett. 

Senator Dick Durban (D-Ill.) in 2017 asked Barrett if she considered herself an “orthodox Catholic.” So Durbin might ask a judge we will call Aisha Abdullah, “do you consider yourself a Sunni or a Shia Muslim?” Imagine that Aisha Abdullah had been appointed to a district court by President Barack Hussein Obama, so her views on the law are rather important. 

Imagine Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a Yale Law graduate, asking Judge Abdullah, “What is your view of Sharia law, and does it have any place in American jurisprudence?” Abdullah’s perspective would be of great public interest. 

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 2017 told Barrett “the dogma lives loudly in you.” Imagine Feinstein telling Abdullah her writings and speeches suggest that “Islamic doctrine lives loudly within you,” with examples. 

It was Feinstein, recall, who introduced the nation to Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed that President Trump’s then-nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, sexually abused her when they were in high school. Imagine Feinstein raising a similar issue with Abdullah. 

“Verse 4:34 of the Quran says ‘Men are in charge of women’ and ‘righteous women are devoutly obedient.’ If men fear disobedience from their wives, the Quran says ‘forsake them in bed and strike them.’ Judge Abdullah, how would this affect the way you rule on domestic violence and sexual abuse cases?” 

Feinstein might continue, “Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim religion, married a 6-year-old girl and consummated the marriage when she was 9-years-old. Judge Abdullah, did Mohammed, peace be upon him, ever do or say anything with which you disagreed?” 

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), aged 80 and serving in the Senate since 1974, voted against the African American Clarence Thomas in 1991. On Tuesday, Leahy brought up Democrats’ calls for Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself specifically from any election-related cases because the president is “counting on you to deliver him the election.”  

Imagine Leahy asking, “Judge Abdullah, do you see a need to recuse yourself in cases dealing with Muslims running for public office or charged with terrorist offenses?” This would be more than a casual question. 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who claimed Tuesday that Barrett is part of a plot to overturn major cases, might ask Judge Abdullah: “Medina Surah 9.5 commands Muslims to ‘kill the infidels wherever you find them,’ take them captives, and so forth. How would that affect the way you handled a case on terrorism involving Muslims? Say, such as the attack in San Bernardino in 2015?” 

On Tuesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told Barrett, “Yes Judge, I think this hearing is a sham. I think it shows real messed-up priorities from the Republican Party.” With Judge Abdullah, Klobuchar might take up a theme closer to home.

“Judge Abdullah, Representative Ilhan Omar, like you, a Muslim, is on record saying that 9/11 amounted to ‘some people did something.’ How would you describe what happened on September 11, 2001? And is it ever accurate to link terrorism with Islamic radicals?”

Klobuchar might continue: “Judge Abdullah, in 2012 Representative Omar accused Israel of ‘evil doings’ and charged that Israel had ‘hypnotized the world.’ Do you agree, and has Rep. Omar ever said anything with which you disagreed?”

The senator from Minnesota might also ask the Muslim high court nominee: Judge Abdullah, Representative Omar is under fire for immigration fraud that could potentially get her deported. If such a case came before the Supreme Court, would you recuse yourself? I yield back my time, Mr. Chairman.” 

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) might then say, “Judge Abdullah may answer the question.” 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images