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Hawley, Sasse Unleash On Harris, Democrats, Media For Treatment Of Barrett

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Republican senators Josh Hawley and Ben Sasse criticized Democratic and media treatment of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Monday morning.
  • Both senators decried attacks on Barrett’s Catholic faith and said that religious freedom is a fundamental American principle that has come under attack from Democrats.
  • “This committee isn’t in the business of deciding whether the dogma lives too loudly within someone,” Sasse said. “This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad and which religious beliefs are weird.”

Republican senators Josh Hawley and Ben Sasse criticized Democratic and media treatment of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Monday morning.

Both senators decried attacks on Barrett’s Catholic faith leading up to her confirmation hearings, which began Monday on Capitol Hill. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy Says People Are Scared Amy Coney Barrett Will Cause Discrimination Against Women)

“We’ve gotten to read a lot about you in the press and in particular about your religious beliefs,” Hawley told Barrett. “One attack after another in the liberal media. One hit piece after another. Many echoed by members of this committee.”

He continued: “We’ve read stories about your Catholic lifestyle. Stories about how you raise your children. Stories about how you adopted your children. Stories about your Catholic doctrinal beliefs, over and over and over questioning whether you have, I guess, the independence to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court.”

Hawley said that 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris suggested that Brian Buescher was unfit to serve as a federal judge due to his association with the Catholic Knights of Columbus. (RELATED: Pence Highlights Harris’ Attacks On Kavanaugh, Democratic Attacks On Amy Coney Barrett)

“That’s right, you heard me correctly,” he said. “Senator Harris and others on this committee have repeatedly questioned judicial nominees fitness for office because of their membership in the Knights of Columbus.”

Hawley also noted that Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern,” saying that Feinstein’s comments referenced antiquated “terminology of anti-Catholic bigotry.”

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Both Hawley and Sasse said that religious freedom is a fundamental American principle that has come under attack from Democrats.

“This is an attempt to broach a new frontier, to set up a new standard,” Hawley said. “Actually it’s an attempt to bring back an old standard that the Constitution of the United States explicitly forbids. I’m talking about a religious test for office.”

Sasse said that “how you worship is none of the government’s business.” (RELATED: ‘Kavanaugh Sleaze Machine Is Back’ — Conservatives Slam WaPo Story Calling Amy Coney Barrett A Handmaid)

“Government can wage wars, write parking tickets but they can’t save souls,” he said. “Government is really important, war is important, parking tickets are important but your soul is something that the government can’t touch.

“So whether you worship in a mosque, a synagogue, a church, your faith or your lack of faith is none of the government’s business. It is your business and your family’s and your neighbor’s and all sorts of places where people break bread together.”

The Nebraska senator said that religious liberty is a “fundamental American belief” that is “clustered in the First Amendment.” (RELATED: Media Outlets Link Catholic Group Associated With Amy Coney Barrett To ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’)

“This committee isn’t in the business of deciding whether the dogma lives too loudly within someone,” Sasse said, referencing Feinstein’s comments. “This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad and which religious beliefs are weird.”

“I want to say as somebody who is a Christian, we have a whole bunch more really weird beliefs, forgiveness of sins, virgin birth, resurrection from the dead, eternal life,” he continued. “A whole bunch of really crazy ideas that are a lot weirder than some Catholic moms giving each other advice about parenting.”

He continued: “Yet there are places where this committee has acted like it’s the job of the committee to delve into people’s religious community. That’s nuts.”

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