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Concerns of 'anti-Catholic bigotry' as judicial nominee questioned about faith


Professor Amy Coney Barrett Courtesy of the University of Notre Dame Law School CNA

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Washington D.C., Sep 7, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- A Catholic nominee to a federal circuit court faced hostile questions about her faith from U.S. senators on Wednesday, prompting outrage from Catholic leaders.

“This smacks of the worst sort of anti-Catholic bigotry,” Dr. Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at The Catholic University of America, told CNA of questions asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of Amy Comey Barrett, a Catholic lawyer nominated to be a federal circuit court judge.

“Senator Feinstein's shockingly illegitimate line of questioning sends the message that Catholics need not apply as federal judges,” added Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association.

Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday at her confirmation hearing to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals.

In the past, Barrett had clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and has twice been honored as “Distinguished Professor of the Year” at Notre Dame.

However, as she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, some of the pointed questions directed at her by Democratic senators focused on how her Catholic faith would influence her decisions as a judge on cases of abortion and same-sex marriage.

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