Should people who have the gall to actually believe the “dogma,” or the teachings, of their particular religion be disqualified from serving as a judge?
Apparently, Diane Feinstein thinks so, but somehow we doubt she would have asked a Muslim judge the questions she asked President Trump’s U.S. Court of Appeals nominee Amy Barrett, who happens to be a law professor at Notre Dame.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein told Barrett, according to the Daily Caller. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”
“It is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions, whether it derives from faith or personal conviction,” Barrett responded.
The ominous line of questioning drew the ire of many, most recently University of Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins, who penned a scathing letter to the California senator.
— Michael J O'Loughlin (@MikeOLoughlin) September 9, 2017
“It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge,” wrote Jenkins. “I ask you and your colleagues to respect those in whom ‘dogma lives loudly’ — which is a condition we call faith. For the attempt to live such faith while one upholds the law should command respect, not evoke concern.”
This line of questioning isn’t unique to Feinstein. When asked if she was an “orthodox Catholic by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D), Barrett responded, “If you’re asking whether I’m a faithful Catholic, I am, although I would stress that my own personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
From the letter:
Professor Barrett has been a member of our faculty since 2002, and is a graduate of our law school. Her experience as a clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is of the highest order. So, too, is her scholarship in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law and statutory interpretation. I am not a legal scholar, but I have heard no one seriously challenge her impeccable legal credentials.
Your concern, as you expressed it, is that “dogma lives loudly in [Professor Barrett], and that is a concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.” I am one in whose heart “dogma lives loudly”, as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation. Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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