JAY SEKULOW, ACLJ
Two leftist Senators just attacked one of President Trump’s judicial nominees because she is a Christian. This is anti-Christian bigotry. The message of the Left is clear: Christians need not apply. This behavior was unacceptable in 1776, and it is unconstitutional today. Being a Christian should never disqualify anyone from public office. We demand an apology. We demand an end to this unconstitutional bigotry.
President Donald Trump nominated the highly qualified Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Among her many accolades, Professor Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. She also happens to be a devout, pro-life Roman Catholic.
Earlier this week, Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) turned a routine Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Professor Barrett into a religious inquisition. Senator Feinstein called Professor Barrett’s Christian faith a “concern” and snidely declared that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Senator Durbin insultingly asked if Professor Barrett considered herself “an orthodox Catholic” and refused to accept her answer.
Think about that for a minute. Two senior U.S. Senators attacked a Christian woman’s faith in an open hearing, mocking her beliefs and outright insinuating that she was unfit to serve on the bench because she dare be a Christian.
This kind of bigoted, anti-Christian discrimination has no place in the U.S. Senate.
So just what was so concerning and dogmatic to Senator Feinstein? Professor Barrett’s conclusion, in a twenty-year-old law review article, that Catholic judges who have a deeply held religious belief in the sanctity of all life, from birth to death, and who are concerned about the moral implications of imposing the death penalty should recuse themselves from death penalty cases at sentencing. A mainline Catholic belief. How scandalous.
Professor Barrett never said Catholic teaching should supplement the law or that her faith should have any bearing on the outcome of a case. In fact, she said the exact opposite: “It is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions, whether it derives from faith or personal conviction.” What Professor Barrett said was absolutely legally and constitutionally correct. That’s the ethical standard.
By attacking Professor Barrett for her faith, Senators Feinstein and Durbin turned the Constitution on its head. The Constitution is crystal clear: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Yet, even after the hearing, Senator Durbin maintained “that going into a persons religion is not the right thing to do in every circumstance” but it was in this case. That’s absurd and constitutionally ignorant. Judging someone’s fitness for office based on their religion is “not the right thing to do” in any circumstance. Period.
Imagine if Professor Barrett was an Orthodox Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or a Muslim. Imagine the utter outrage of the Left. But because she is a Christian, it’s ok? Outrageous.
But unfortunately, this is not the first time the Left has put a Christian nominee for public office on trial for their faith. On June 7, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) declared Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to become the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, unfit for office. Why? Vought’s Christian faith. Senator Sanders accused Vought of Islamophobia because of an article he wrote saying the Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation. Apparently, the mere act of believing in Christ is grounds to bar someone from public office.
It is almost as if the Left has never heard of Article VI of the Constitution or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Maybe they just don’t believe those protections apply to Christians. Such anti-Christian bigotry and political hypocrisy is dangerous. We must not allow it to continue.
We demand Senator Feinstein and Senator Durbin apologize to Professor Barrett and to the American people. They have violated her rights and this nation’s first freedom: the freedom of religion. No American may be denied public office solely on account of their faith.
Let me be clear. The Left’s anti-Christian bigotry will fail. Professor Barrett, a highly qualified candidate for the federal bench, will soon be Judge Barrett. The American people will not stand for this blatant religious bigotry. It’s time we speak out. Take action with us.
The Left’s utter disdain for Christians will not be tolerated any longer.
Stop Senate Bigotry Against Christian Judges
Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, a number 1 New York Times-bestselling author, and a respected broadcaster. Jay Sekulow is an attorney with a passion for protecting religious liberty – freedom – democracy. For nearly a quarter of a century, he’s been on the front lines – working to protect religious and constitutional freedoms in the courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. At the Supreme Court of the United States, Jay Sekulow has argued 12 cases – including several landmark cases which have become part of the legal landscape in the area of religious liberty litigation.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.