Democrats Are Increasingly Comfortable With Religious Tests

By David Harsanyi

“Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” Sen. Dick Durbin asked yesterday of Notre Dame Law School professor Amy Coney Barrett, a nominee to a federal appeals court.

Since this sentence features a punctuation mark expressing uncertainty, and Durbin waited for an answer, we can only assume it was pertinent to the confirmation. That is problematic, considering 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 that it’s “never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions whether it derives from faith or personal conviction.”

Barrett’s Catholicism, though, would come up a number of times during the hearing, and in far more troubling ways.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein claimed (incredulous italics all mine). “And that’s of concern when you come …read more