Gary Curtis: Religious testing unconstitutional

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

Were you as shocked as I was to recently watch Democratic senators on the Judicial Committee question judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religion as a modern litmus test for their approval or rejection?

Not all “dogma” is religious, and their liberal, progressive dogma was very apparent in their unconstitutional approach and bias toward this distinguished judicial nominee.

Rather than simply consider the professional achievements of a nominee for the federal judiciary – Notre Dame Law School professor Barrett –

Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin found her “controversial” and challenged her fitness to serve, mainly due to her Catholic faith.

Feinstein slyly observed that “the dogma lives loudly within” the Catholic mother of seven.

History observes that anti-Catholicism is one of America’s underwritten biases. One has to wonder whether there would have been more of an outcry if Professor Barrett had faced a similar grilling from Democrats if she were a Muslim or a Jew.

All Democratic committee members during the nomination hearing appeared to rely heavily on research done and selectively provided them by a leftist, activist resource.

Apparently, they carefully presented the Democratic members with only part of the religiously focused article that Professor Barrett co-wrote nearly 20 years ago, the subject of which was not selected by her but was assigned by a professor under whom she was working.

The article, “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” discussed how judges with strong religious beliefs should address death penalty cases.

Specifically, it related how they can recuse themselves if the law is contrary to their personal beliefs. But that never came out, did it?

The article specifically stated, “Judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.” Yet somehow, Professor Barrett was treated by the Democratic Inquisitors as if she wanted to turn the United States into a religious society, presumably answerable to the Pope!

This is as absurd today as it was when Jack Kennedy was running as the “first Catholic” for president. This offensive religious-testing is not only illegal (Article VI, Section 3) but appears to be part of a broader effort on the left to disqualify people with strong religious views from the public square.

Senator Feinstein’s partisan approach seemed to be of the same mentality as the discredited, leftist Southern Poverty Law Center’s current effort to brand any nonprofit organization or ministry that doesn’t agree with its uber-liberal agenda as “a hate group.”

While I admire these senior senators’ leadership in the area of national security, I submit that this distinguished Notre Dame Law professor

deserved better from them than repugnant religious testing and Catholic bashing.

Gary Curtis is a resident of Friendly Valley.

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