Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded on Sunday to claims that she’s anti-Catholic following her much-publicized grilling of Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
As Faithwire previously reported, the questioning at this month’s hearing appeared to center on Barrett’s Catholic faith and the perspectives that stem from it. Barrett is a law professor at the University of Notre Dame as well as a mother of seven.
“You are controversial,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said during the hearing, directing her remarks at Barrett. “You are controversial because many of us that have lived our lives as women really recognize the value of finally being able to control our reproductive systems.”
But it didn’t end there, with Feinstein pointing to Barrett’s speeches to express concern over how her faith might have an impact on her legal decisions. The senator at one point said “the dogma lives loudly within you.”
— Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) September 6, 2017
During a weekend appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Feinstein pushed back against claims of anti-Catholic bigotry and said she’s a “product of Catholic education.”
“I think Catholicism is a great religion,” she said, touting her relationships with Catholic leaders over the decades. “I have great respect for it.”
But when it comes to Barrett, Feinstein said that her concern was warranted, telling CNN that the nominee has “no real trial or court experience” and, as a result, “there is no record.”
“She’s a professor, which is fine, but all we have to look at are her writings,” Feinstein said. “And in her writings, she makes some statements, which are questionable, which deserve questions.”
Watch her respond below:
The Hill has more on the debate surrounding Barrett and an article she wrote nearly 20 years ago — a piece that sparked questioning by Feinstein and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) as well:
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett pushed back on a report from the Alliance for Justice that that says she believes a judge “does not have an obligation to faithfully apply the Constitution or laws when she personally disagrees with them.”
The Alliance for Justice report cites a 1998 law review article that Barrett co-authored. The article states, “we believe that Catholic judges (if they are faithful to the teaching of their church) are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty. This means that they can neither themselves sentence criminals to death nor enforce jury recommendations of death.”
For his part, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) seemed uncomfortable with the religious questioning, asking Barrett about the religious test clause in the Constitution and proclaiming, “I think some of the questioning that you have been subjected to today seems to miss some of these fundamental constitutional protections we all have.”