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Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) confronted Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday about her Party’s use of religious tests for judicial nominees.
“The problem with asking a nominee about the particulars of his or her religious beliefs is that those questions inevitably expose those beliefs as somehow a qualifier or a disqualifier for public office,” Lee, a Mormon, argued Thursday. “That is flatly inconsistent with at least the letter, at least the spirit, if not also the letter, of at least two provisions of the Constitution. I cannot fathom why this would ever make sense to do.”
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“So I would ask Sen. Hirono in what circumstance, in what way, shape, or form is asking Neomi Rao whether she believes particular conduct to be sinful an appropriate question to be asked in this committee–ever,” Lee continued.
“These probing questions – I – if you were to list all of the questions that we asked, they have to do with whether or not these nominees’ very strongly held religious views, as well as any other views, that may not enable them to be objective as judges in lifetime positions,” Hirono argued. “I think that’s a legitimate area of inquiry, and it is not that we all ask, ‘Do you think such and such is a sin, etc., etc.?’”
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“That was asked this week!” Lee responded vehemently. “This week, it was asked! I’m not making this up!”
Lee referred to Tuesday’s session of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Rao, President Donald Trump’s...
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