It has often been said that the last acceptable bigotry in America is anti-Catholicism. If you wanted to see it on display you didn’t need to look much further that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing today for Notre Dame Law School Professor Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit. The problem is that Ms. Barrett, in addition to having clerked for Antonin Scalia, is a devout Catholic and mother of seven.
Here’s Dianne Feinstein:
— Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) September 6, 2017
When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.
Here’s Hawaii’s Mazie (Mazie, srsly??) Hirono:
I think your article is very plain in your perspective about the role of religion for judges, and particularly with regard to Catholic judges.
“Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”
Given that Durbin is allegedly Catholic himself, he seems to be asking if she actually believes any of that mumbo-jumbo.
Historically, this type of questioning has been out of bounds for a very good reason. These senators aren’t supposed to be allowed to consider it when making their decision on confirmation because, in particular Feinstein but also Durbin, is blatantly applying a religious test to Barrett. The subtext is “if you are a practicing Catholic who holds true to Catholic doctrine you cannot be a judge in the United States.”