The U.S. Senate opened hearings today on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Missouri’s senator on the Judiciary Committee made his opening statements –- focusing on her religious affiliation.
Senator Josh Hawley said that Barrett has been questioned about her faith before in other hearings and outside of the committee.
“Judge Barrett is a Catholic. We all know that. She is a devout Catholic. We all know that. She and her husband have chosen to raise their family according to their Catholic beliefs, in faithful fellowship with other Catholics. We all know that. Heck, 65 million Americans are Catholics and many, many millions more are Christians of other persuasions. Are they to be told that they cannot serve in public office?” Hawley said in his opening statements.
A majority of the current U.S. Supreme Court Justices are Catholic.
Hawley said that he looks forward to hearing her legal views and philosophy. He has backed off from earlier statements about wanting to know her specific stance on the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America.
He accused Democrats of trying to bring back a colonial standard that was banned by the Constitution in Article 6.
“Freedom of conscience and religious liberties undergirds [sic] all of our other rights,” Hawley said.
“I hope that when we look back at the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Barrett … that was the year that the attempt to bring back religious tests for office was finally stopped.”
AUDIO EXCERPT OF SEN. HAWLEY’S OPENING STATEMENT: