Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Orthodox Jews Protest Against Anti-Religious Bigotry in Judicial-Confirmation Process

In response to recent episodes of anti-Catholic bigotry on the part of Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has sent this letter to committee chairman Lindsey Graham and ranking member Dianne (“The dogma lives loudly within you”) Feinstein. An excerpt:

We write to you to express our grave concern with recent incidents of apparent religious intolerance in the proceedings of the Judiciary Committee.

Much to our surprise, in the course of the Committee’s consideration of some judicial nominees over the past year, some Senators on the Committee have suggested through their questioning that a nominee’s religious faith or membership in a religious organization disqualified the nominee.

This line of questioning amounts to a religious test for office – something which, as you know, is explicitly prohibited by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

While this objectionable line of questioning has, most recently, been put to nominees who are Catholic, we – especially as members of a minority faith community – must convey our alarm; for we know that intolerance applied to one faith community endangers the religious liberty of all faith communities.

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