Re­li­gious test­ing un­con­sti­tu­tional

The Signal - - OPINION - Gary CUR­TIS Gary Cur­tis is a res­i­dent of Friendly Val­ley.

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.

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