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ACLU Grinch Strikes Again!!

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Senator: Mr. Nominee, can you tell us your position on the death penalty?

Nominee: No, because that would be questioning my religious beliefs.

Senator: Well, can you tell us your position on the legalization of marijuana?

Nominee: No, that's questioning my religious beliefs, too.

Senator: It is? Why?

Nominee: It just is. To tell you why would get into my religious beliefs.


Kind of silly, but the point is that nobody (except Hatch) to my knowledge ever questioned any nominees about religious beliefs, per se. They asked them about Roe v. Wade. Every lawyer, much less every judge, has an opinion on whether that case was wrongly decided or not. There are certainly people who think it's wrong to try to find out how a potential judge will rule in any kind of case--but that's different from claiming that religious discrimination is going on.

Bonus question: Assume there are two nominees for the next Supreme Court vacancy. One is a devout Roman Catholic. The other is a former doctor who performed legal abortions. Which one is more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Bonus bonus question: Assuming both of the nominees in the prior question are equally qualified, do you think the President should flip a coin to decide which one to nominate?

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Whether carried on covertly or overtly; it's still religious beliefs they are questioning. How about their education, their prior judicial experience (how many reversals due to error, etc, etc). How a potential justice feels on any topic personally is irrelevant.

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I would think it is fair line of inquiry to ask questions related to personal beliefs to help determine if those beliefs are influencing a judge's rulings as opposed to ruling in accordance with the law.


Also, in Washington both parties are guilty of partisan politics. Neither has moral standing to point at one versus the other as far as I'm concerned. Recall in the early 90's William Weld(Republican) was refused even a hearing as Ambasador to Mexico by the Republican Chair of the Committee responsible for scheduling the hearings (I forget which one) mainly because Mr. Weld had the odacity as a Republican to have said something sympathetic about the possible medical use of marijuana and was well known for being pro-choice.


I have no doubt some Democrats are equally capable of petty partisan politics as well, but there are Republicans that are no better.




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If people want to see what a REAL religious test looks like:



Kansas City, Mo. A member of a panel interviewing applicants for a judgeship in eastern Kansas asked candidates if they believe in the Ten Commandments, surprising several lawyers who applied for the job.


"I was a little taken aback," lawyer Darrell Smith said. "It's my understanding that the Bill of Rights prohibits a religious test for an office of public trust."


Although Kansas law states "no religious test or property qualification shall be required for any office of public trust," Harrington said his question about the Ten Commandments was appropriate.


"The oath of office for district judge includes So help me God,"' Harrington said. "So why wouldn't the Ten Commandments be an appropriate question?"


Edward Bigus, an attorney who practices in Johnson County, disagreed.


"It shouldn't come up in any job interview," Bigus said. "I learned that in business law when I was an undergrad."


Dick Kurtenbach, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, said he was contacted about the judicial interviews.


"It does raise a potential civil liberties concern," he said. The ACLU plans to discuss the complaint at a meeting in early January -- two weeks after Sebelius is expected to select a judge.


"If these lawyers want to take some action, they're perfectly capable of doing so," Kurtenbach said.


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