Kavanaugh likely to face a religious test

John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist predicts that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will face the type of test that’s specifically forbidden in the U.S. Constitution.

In his remarks Monday night upon accepting President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh said this: “My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent, and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

You’d think that would be enough to settle the question of whether Kavanaugh is fit to be a Supreme Court justice: he obviously is. But he also said he is “part of a vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area,” which means there’s no question he’ll face stiff opposition from Senate Democrats. In fact, Kavanaugh will almost certainly face a religious test from Senate Democrats.

Never mind that religious tests are explicitly forbidden by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Senators are free to vote against any nominee for any reason, and Democrats these days have no special regard for the Constitution (recall that in 2014, every single Senate Democrat voted to “amend the First Amendment” under the guise of campaign finance reform in a failed bid to undo the Citizens United ruling).

In fact, religious tests have become a commonplace in Senate confirmation hearings in recent years.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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