McKormick Professor of
Jurisprudence Robert P. George,
(CNSNews.com) -- Commenting on Sen. Diane Feinstein's (D-Calif.) repeated questioning about the Catholic faith of judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Princeton's McKormick Professor of Jurisprudence Robert P. George said Catholics must not "tolerate liberal bigotry," that Sen. Feinstein has shown her "true colors," and that she should "resign."
During the Sept. 6 hearing, Sens. Feinstein and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in particular peppered Barrett with numerous questions about her Catholicism and how it allegedly would affect her judgment on the bench.
Sen. Feinstein at one point said to Barrett, "When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you."
Feinstein added, "And that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country."
Sen. Durbin wanted Barrett to explain what an "orthodox Catholic" is, and he asked her, "Are you an orthodox Catholic." (She answered, "I am a Catholic."
In a Sept. 8 tweet, Prof. Robert P. George said, "This is disgusting. Catholics should not tolerate liberal bigotry a moment longer. Sen. Fenstein, you've shown your true colors. Resign!"
Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution states that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
That constitutional point was stressed in a Sept. 8 to the Senate Judiciary Committee by Christopher L. Eisgruber, the president of Princeton University.
"I write, as a university president and a constitutional scholar with expertise on religious freedom and judicial appointments, to express concern about questions addressed to Professor Amy Barrett during her confirmation hearings and to urge that the Committee on the Judiciary refrain from interrogating nominees about the religious or spiritual foundations of their jurisprudential views," said Eisgruber in his letter.
"Because religious belief is constitutionally irrelevant to the qualifications for a federal judgeship, the Senate should not interrogate any nominee about those beliefs," said Eisgruber. "I believe, more specifically, that the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s 'no religious test' clause."
"Article VI’s prohibition of religious tests is a critical guarantee of equality and liberty, and it is part of what should make all of us proud to be Americans," states the letter. Barrett "and other nominees ought in any event to be evaluated on the basis of their professional ability and jurisprudential philosophy, not their religion."
Amy Barrett is a professor at Notre Dame Law School and once clerked for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett was nominated by President Donald J. Trump for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Indiana.