Democrats Comfortable with Religious Tests

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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.
At least Durbin’s query about “orthodox” Catholicism was based on some concocted apprehension about Barrett’s ability to overcome faith to fulfill her obligations as a judge. The professor, who apparently takes both the law and her faith seriously enough to have pondered this question in writing, told Durbin, “Any kind of conviction, religious or otherwise, should never surpass the law.” But Barrett’s Catholicism would come up a number of times during the hearing, and in far more troubling ways.

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