The Latest: Cornyn differs with Moore on Muslims in Congress

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2017 5:38 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate's consideration of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees (all times EDT):

5:40 p.m.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas says he disagrees with Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has said Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

Speaking at a GOP news conference on judicial nominees, Cornyn said that just because he and Moore are both Republicans "doesn't mean you agree 100 percent with what some other office holder or candidate for office feels, so I would disagree with that statement" by Moore.

Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, endorsed Moore last week. The former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice faces Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Cornyn and other Republicans decried Democratic criticism of one of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees as anti-Catholic bigotry.

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5 p.m.

Republican senators are framing Democratic criticism of one of Donald Trump's judicial nominees as an attack on her religious faith.

The GOP-led Senate is expected to support a motion Monday to limit debate on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

During her confirmation hearing, Democratic lawmakers questioned whether her personal views would override her legal judgment.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the Democratic lawmakers engaged in "ugly, anti-Catholic rhetoric."

Joshua McCaig of the Catholic Bar Association says that when he watched Barrett's confirmation hearing, "my heart sank."

Democratic lawmakers repeatedly rejected the claim they were applying any sort of religious test to Barrett's confirmation.

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is having more success getting judges confirmed than Democrat Barack Obama did at this early stage in their presidencies.

That disparity is expected to increase this week as the GOP-led Senate pushes through more of Trump's choices.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the stage for votes on four of the president's appellate court nominees and one district court nominee starting Monday night. In doing so, he declared that Democrats would be unsuccessful in stopping their confirmation.

McConnell's frustration stems from Democratic insistence on using all the time Senate rules allow for moving to an up-or-down vote on a nominee. It also ignores the many ways Republicans blocked Obama's choices.