Democrats Are Increasingly Comfortable with Religious Tests
September 8, 2017
"'Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?' Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) asked Notre Dame Law School professor Amy Coney Barrett, a nominee for a federal appeals court, on Wednesday.
"Since Durbin inquired in the form of a question, we can only assume that Barrett’s answer was pertinent to the confirmation. That is problematic, considering that the Constitution explicitly states that no religion — not even a belief in orthodox liberalism — should be a prerequisite for holding a federal office.
"'When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,' Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) claimed. 'And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.'
"What dogma is Feinstein talking about?
"For one thing, Barrett’s real sin, as it were, isn’t that her faith might get in the way of doing her job, but that chances are exceptionally high she will take her oath to defend the Constitution far more seriously than Feinstein does. When the California senator claims to be troubled by Barrett’s 'dogma,' what she was really saying was: 'You clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, which means you’ll probably take the Constitution far too literally. Yet, at the same time, you hold heretical personal views on the only two constitutional rights that my fellow liberals are dogmatic about: abortion and same-sex marriage.'
"… Senator Al Franken (D., Minn.) asked Barrett about speaking honorariums she received from the religious-liberty nonprofit … (The group was recently smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group for pursuing religious-freedom cases in court.)
"'I question your judgment,' the former star of Stuart Saves His Family lectured the mother of seven.
"If a nominee’s beliefs conflict with the Constitution, it’s important for those vetting the nominee to find out. But for Feinstein, the very presence of Catholicism is 'concerning.' So the problem here is that the dogma of Sanders and Feinstein is becoming increasingly hostile toward orthodox faiths, not the other way around."
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