Religious Tests for Federal Office

Here’s what our Constitution says about religious tests for Federal office, from Article IV [emphasis added]:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Despite this, the Progressive-Democratic Party’s Senators, on two separate occasions, challenged judicial nominees over their religious beliefs.

The prior occasion was when Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) objected to Amy Coney Barrett and her nomination to the 7th Circuit.

Dogma and law are two different things.  And I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.

Progressive-Democrat Senator Dick Durbin (IL) challenged Barrett with his own religious test:

Do you consider yourself an “orthodox Catholic”?

Fortunately, Barrett was confirmed despite the slurs.  However, this turns out to be not an isolated incident; the religious test is the Progressive-Democratic Party’s actual, out loud position.

The Party also objected to the (Catholic) religion of current judicial nominee Brian Buescher, this time through the voices of Mazie Hirono (D, HI) and Kamala Harris (D, CA).  Here’s Hirono:

The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.

As if opposing same-sex marriage on religious grounds, especially in a purely State-level debate, is somehow extreme.  As if it’s in some way extreme to disagree with Heavenly Master Buddha Hirono.

Harris asked Buescher whether he was aware that the Knights of Columbus was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage at the time he joined.  As if that matters to a judge who is called to apply the law as it’s written, not at the Party demands it be applied.

I had trouble with the weakness of Buescher’s responses (it would have been good had he pushed back on this blatant bigotry and violation of the Senators’ oath of office), but that doesn’t excuse the religious bigotry so obvious in the Progressive-Democratic Party, nor does it excuse the lack of understanding of our Constitution or of the nature of oaths (as my friend Grim pointed out in his blog, Grim’s Hall).

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