Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Does the Senate Now Require a Religious Test for the Judiciary?

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
---The Constitution of the United States
Okay, this is serious; a departure from the usual levity I try to maintain in these pages.
Recently, the nominee for the 7th Court of Appeals, Amy Coney Barrett, was undergoing the usual screening by members of the Senate regarding her suitability for the Federal bench when Sens. Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein asked how her being Catholic might affect her serving as a Federal judge.
In my opinion, these sorts of questions are highly inappropriate:
"Do you consider yourself an 'orthodox Catholic?" - Durbin

[And do you consider yourself a warranted, genuine Dick, Senator?]
And Dianne Feinstein implied that actual belief in the doctrines of one's faith are grounds for disqualification from public service. Yeah, I know; she's concerned that the nominee might be anti-abortion. The horror! The horror! 
Holy cow, people! We need an attitude check!

Or we're going to see questions like, "Do you consider yourself an 'orthodox Muslim" someday, or even "Do you practice what you preach?" Or try this on for size: "Are you, are have you ever been, a member of the ________ Church?"

I think the two poor, misguided Senators should write the First Amendment 100 times; and think of other ways to disqualify nominees that are still within the guidelines of the Constitution since that was likely their intention.

And Congress needs to get up front and list which churches are established, and which are not. Do Quakers pass? How about Seventh Day Adventists? To be right with the good senators, do I have to become a Holy Roller? Or a snake handler? Or a high church Episcopalian? Prithee, let us have guidance!

Disclosure: I am a Catholic, and I was not amused with the Senators' line of questioning.

Comment: I plan to confine posting on serious, controversial topics to Wednesday, if that's okay with everybody. So if you want Angel Light, there's still the rest of the week. One day a week being serious is heavy lifting for a blonde. 



12 comments:

Bilbo said...

Very well said, Angel! It's terrifying that many of our elected officials either don't understand the Constitution or choose to believe it doesn't apply to them. I was raised a Catholic, but am now a Seventh-Day Absenteeist who is appalled by the blatant and unconstitutional religiosity exhibited by many of our leaders. I look forward to your serious Wednesdays.

Grand Crapaud said...

Well said, Angel! Dick Durbin displayed his religious intolerance to all!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-federal-judge-catholic-kass-met-0913-20170912-column.html

Randomly Rachel said...

I guess those Senators believe in the Constitution; but fail to connect the dots between their belief and asking questions of that type. I wonder how people of various cults experience out ostensible freedom of religion. The comment on Holy Rollers was surprising. Do they get the same freedom of religion treatment as do Lutherans or Episcopalians?

Brandi said...

The fact is that in the good old USA some religions are more acceptable than others. Unfortunately. Yes, even in the West and North.

Cloudia said...

YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!

Mike said...

I would have expected better from Durbin and Feinstein.

Chuck Bear said...

Are there any senators from either side of the aisle that doesnt play fast and loose with the constitution?

John Holton said...

Ironically, Durbin is a Catholic. I don't recall anyone questioning his judgment when he became Cook County State's Attorney.

You'd expect two US Senators who have been hanging around the Senate like a couple of farts in an elevator to know Article 6 of that documert they had sworn to preserve, uphold, and protect:

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.

"No Religious Test" is pretty clear. But then, one wonders if anyone in Congress has even read the damn thing...

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse," except, apparently, if you're a member of Congress...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

What's this? A blog bit without any sexual innuendo? Nary a reference to a private part? OK, who are you really, and what have you done with EPT?

Actually, me likey. Looks like I'll be a "Hump Day Reader". (No. Leave that alone. Let's not go there and spoil things now.)

The primary reason people don't understand my political views is because I am a strict Constitutionalist, which is such a rare thing that it almost isn't really a "thing" anymore. And this is the reason that Democrats have called me a Nazi and a Tinfoil Hatter, and Republicans have called me a Leftist and a Libtard. They have trouble accurately labeling me because I am that thing hardly anybody is anymore and therefore they can't fathom where I'm coming from. (I sometimes worry that Ron Paul and I are the only true Constitutionalists left in this country.)

This line of religion-related questioning is no different than what Judge Neil Gorsuch endured while being confirmed for the Supreme Court. And again, it was primarily intended to determine how likely he might be to rule against abortion in future cases. So, there is nothing new here. And while I disagree with it, relatively speaking, this barely rises to the level of a pimple on a flea's butt when it comes to Constitutional transgressions We The People have had to survive.

The Grandpappy of all Constitutional transgressions -- the one that accounts for 80% of America's woes; the one which did us in and which will eventually utterly ruin our nation -- occurred way back in 1913. Above all others, THAT is the one that needs to be overturned if we are to ever have any "hope" of real "change" (people fell for that - SMH).

There are a great many books I could recommend pertaining to the Constitution as a whole (I'm no neophyte when it comes to this subject), but I would say to most people, "Start [Link:) HERE.

I like this new NON-LIGHT EPT. I hope to see more of her.

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Jono said...

They're politicians and can't help themselves. I remember a lot of people being concerned about JFK's Catholicism when that election was happening. I was more concerned with his wealth, but was convinced that he really was about service to his country. I was much too young to vote, but remember it well.

bakku-shan said...

A little convenient anti-Catholicism, perhaps. Politicians bend the rules to their advantage, like Henry VIII.

Atomic Dog said...

I would not trust either Feinstein or Schumer as far as I could throw either. Excresences in the Senate.