If Democrats Flip the Senate From a Republican Majority, What That Would Mean for Catholics?

Tags: Currents Catholic, Crux, Election, Elections, Elections 2020, Faith, Pro-Life, Senate

By Emily Drooby

Some U.S. Senators held onto their seats and other seats were flipped as Democrats attempted to take back the U.S. Senate, which before Election Day had a Republican majority.

They need four seats, three if Joe Biden wins the election, because his vice president would break a Senate tie.

Democrats picked up two seats: one in Colorado and one in Arizona

But Republicans offset one of those losses with a win in Alabama. It looks like two races in Georgia will likely go to a runoff in January.

All signs point to Republicans retaining a narrow majority of the Senate. With the House retaining a Democratic majority and a possible Biden presidency, conservatives holding the Senate would be key for many Catholics worried about issues like abortion funding and religious freedom.

One example is the Equality Act, which makes sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes. U.S. Bishops think its passage could roll back key religious freedom protections. The GOP led Senate has blocked it in the past, but it would be a risk again if the Senate flipped Democratic.

Losing the Senate could also mean losing Hyde Amendment protections, which stops federal funding of elective abortions. Pro-lifers fear this could lead to another round of COVID relief that includes funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

The Senate also approves federal judges, which is very important to many Catholics as issues like abortion and freedom of religion often hinge on those appointments.

During his first four years of presidency, Donald Trump made over 200 appointments to the Federal courts and three to the Supreme Court.

Having a conservative majority in the Senate would allow lawmakers to fight against liberal judicial nominations.