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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, three times a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Mar 18, 2019

Despite the presence of Article VI to the Constitution, confirmation hearings for judicial nominees have continued to include questions pertaining to the nominee’s religious viewpoints. This is not fair, nor permitted by the Constitution. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


Confirmation hearings have been interesting of late. Some senators are asking questions of nominees that are more than tough. They are unfair.

My favorite example of this came when Sen. Cory Booker asked judicial nominee Neomi Rao whether she believed homosexuality is a sin.  That’s a question that seems out of line because it invites the nominee to assert a theological pronouncement. 

Senator Mike Lee thought so too.  He said, “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.”  Senator Lee then had to remind Sen. Mazie Hirono of Sen. Booker’s actual question about sin when Hirono shot back, “It is not that we all ask ‘do you think such and such is a sin, etc., etc.'”

These questions may in fact violate Article VI of the Constitution, which guarantees that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” 

Forcing citizens to adhere to a specific religious ideology—or none at all—violates the rights common to our humanity, rights endowed to us by our Creator.  Article VI exists to keep the halls of government open to an ideological variety of Americans. 

That’s something our senators would do well to remember.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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