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‘Catholics need not apply?’ Ad campaign targets Democrats for ‘religious litmus test’

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September 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Judicial Crisis Network is launching a ten-day, six-figure digital ad campaign targeting the Democratic senators who attacked a Trump nominee for being Catholic.

The ad shows Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, grilling U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Coney Barrett about being an “orthodox Catholic.” Barrett is a Notre Dame law professor.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

Barrett wrote an article about ethical dilemmas for Catholic judges who oppose the death penalty in certain cases.

“I believe that the views expressed in it are fully consistent with a judge’s obligation to uphold the law and the Constitution," the president of Princeton University wrote in Barrett’s defense. "As a university president committed to free speech, academic freedom, and religious pluralism, I must add that, in my view, Professor Barrett’s qualifications become stronger by virtue of her willingness to write candidly and intelligently about difficult and sensitive ethical questions."

The message from Senate Democrats is “Catholics need not apply,” the ad says.

“Their hypocrisy knows no limits,” it continues. “They attack a woman for her Catholic faith, make it a religious test, while they are afraid to call Radical Islam - Radical Islam.”

“The President of Notre Dame said these attacks on Catholic faith are ‘chilling to hear,’ and that Coney Barrett living her faith should ‘command respect, not evoke concern,’” the ad says. “He’s exactly right.”

The video encourages viewers to tell Democrats to “stop the hypocrisy,” and “end the religious tests.”

“Don't attack Catholics for being Catholic,” it finishes.

“This is going to be known as Feinstein’s Folly. Her line of questioning reeked of ‘No Catholics Need Apply,’ while ignoring Professor Barrett’s stellar qualifications, experience, and fierce commitment to defending the Constitution,” said Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network Chief Counsel and Policy Director.

“Feinstein was fundamentally at odds with our constitutional commitment to religious freedom, not to mention politically tone-deaf,” Severino continued. “More than one out of every five Americans is Catholic, and that includes a growing Latino population. A nominee’s faith should have nothing to do with his or her qualifications to be a federal judge. Period.”

Feinstein issued a statement to National Review denying that she was subjecting Barrett to a “religious litmus test.”

“Professor Barrett wrote an article, Catholic Judges in Capital Cases, where she suggested that a judge’s faith might affect their ability to rule in certain cases,” Feinstein wrote. “In that article, she wrote in part that ‘litigants and the general public are entitled to impartial justice, and that may be something that a judge who is heedful of ecclesiastical pronouncements cannot dispense.’”

“She also suggested that judges don’t necessarily have to follow precedent that conflicts with the original public meaning of the Constitution,” argued Feinstein. “Senators must inquire about these issues when considering lifetime appointments because ensuring impartiality and fidelity to precedent are critical for the rule of law.”

Feinstein’s office previously defended the senator’s line of questioning because it involved “women’s reproductive rights.”

“Professor Barrett has argued that a judge’s faith should affect how they approach certain cases,” her office said. “Based on this, Senator Feinstein questioned her about whether she could separate her personal views from the law, particularly regarding women’s reproductive rights.”

Feinstein’s comments about dogma living “loudly” within Barrett have inspired Catholics to make t-shirts and mugs bearing the slur. Being publicly Catholic is a good thing, they say, and the insult should be seen as a badge of honor.

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