Article by Bryan Howard
February 8, 2019
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee called out Democrats at the Senate Judicial hearing for inappropriate religious test questions. Lee noted that these questions are not only immoral, but unconstitutional in an attempt to shame someone for being religious. Lee in particular set his sights on Hawaii Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono.
Lee stated, “You can’t openly, publicly question a nominee about that nominee’s religious beliefs, about what he or she believes to be sinful conduct without subjecting that nominee to ridicule and simultaneously demeaning some of the fundamental tenets of our constitutional republic. You can’t ask a nominee questions like those to which Neomi Rao was subjected just the other day and those that I’ve seen asked of some of our other nominees and then later ask the question ‘how did we get here?’”
Lee continued, “I can’t fathom a circumstance in which it’s ever appropriate for us to ask a nominee about his or her religious beliefs about whether x, y or z is a sin.”
Lee said, “I urge you to consider the fact that we should never expose someone to shame, ridicule or scorn on the basis of their religious beliefs and I ask that we refrain from doing so in this committee. We should never again ask someone what they regard as a sin or other particulars of their religious beliefs. It’s nobody’s darn business. It’s certainly not the business of this committee.”
Lee finished, “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. That is flatly inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”