Re­li­gious test for court nom­i­nees

Re “On law vs. re­li­gion, keep ask­ing,” Opin­ion, Sept. 15

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

There is one fun­da­men­tal rea­son oblig­ing Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein (D-Calif.) to query fed­eral judicial nominee Amy Comey Bar­rett about her Ro­man Catholic faith: the con­sti­tu­tional pro­hi­bi­tion against ap­ply­ing any “re­li­gious test” as a qual­i­fi­ca­tion for public of­fice.

Com­pelling cir­cum­stances con­front Fe­in­stein here. Bar­rett’s nom­i­na­tion came from a pres­i­dent who no­to­ri­ously pan­dered to de­vout con­ser­va­tives to win an elec­tion. Plus, the re­li­gious right long has been un­apolo­getic about seek­ing to pack the courts with jus­tices who pass their faith-friendly lit­mus tests.

Good for Fe­in­stein. Our Con­sti­tu­tion de­mands that she and other sen­a­tors spare no query that may re­veal Bar­rett’s in­cli­na­tion to af­firm the re­li­gious tests she passed to se­cure her nom­i­na­tion. Glenda Mar­tel Los An­ge­les

Pro­gres­sives with po­lit­i­cal power are rapidly chang­ing the tra­di­tional re­li­gious val­ues that were once taken for granted by most cit­i­zens.

Jews and Chris­tians know God does not change. He has let us know, through Moses and Je­sus, what is on his mind on mat­ters of fam­ily, mar­riage, sex, abor­tion and chil­dren. We have drifted far from the so­ci­etal norms of 60 years ago, when Wil­liam Bren­nan took his oath of of­fice as a Supreme Court jus­tice af­ter promis­ing fealty only to the law and not the doc­trines of his Ro­man Catholic faith.

Lately, both Fe­in­stein and Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) have chal­lenged the be­liefs of two Trump ap­pointees who hap­pen to be in­di­vid­u­als of faith. They are ig­nor­ing the Ar­ti­cle VI pro­vi­sion in the Con­sti­tu­tion that “no re­li­gious test shall ever be re­quired as a qual­i­fi­ca­tion to any of­fice or public trust un­der the United States.” El­iz­a­beth Nor­ling Long Beach

Any judge who cites a sub­jec­tive re­li­gious be­lief as the sole ba­sis for her find­ings is nei­ther ob­jec­tive nor of­fer­ing de­bat­able, de­lib­er­a­tive opin­ion. Con­se­quently, she re­veals her­self to be un­fit to serve on the bench.

Ev­ery judge’s rul­ing, even those cit­ing a re­li­gious be­lief, must be sup­ported by an at least equally com­pelling sec­u­lar ar­gu­ment.

Claim­ing a le­gal right or ex­emp­tion based ex­clu­sively on sanc­tity is a non­starter; sin and evil have no le­gal mean­ing. We do not live in a theoc­racy; our laws must pass sec­u­lar muster.

Keep ask­ing, Sen. Fe­in­stein. Arthur D. Wahl Port Huen­eme

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