Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) grilled Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings when she was President Trump's 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee in 2017.
Her interrogation focused largely on Barrett's religious identity. Barrett is a Roman Catholic and strongly pro-life, two points that seemed to concern Feinstein, telling the nominee that the "dogma lives loudly" within her.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) didn't treat Barrett much better. He took Feinstein's lead and asked the nominee what exactly she meant when she called herself an "orthodox Catholic." The Democrats also demanded to know if Barrett believed, as they did, that Roe v. Wade was "super precedent."
Questioning Amy Coney Barrett’s faith, here’s a second clip from her 2017 confirmation hearing, featuring IL Senator Dick Durbin.pic.twitter.com/zJkX3VixuM— Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) September 21, 2020
And now that Barrett is the president's Supreme Court pick, we're waiting to see if Democrats are going to put her faith on trial again. But political leaders and observers predict that this line of attack is once again going to fall flat. On Fox News on Friday, former Democratic senator and vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman sounded off on the unfortunate tactic.
"I thought Sen. Feinstein's question in that case, was really improper. And was biased really," Lieberman told Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto. "Everybody brings to the Senate, to the Congress, to the Supreme Court, experiences and beliefs that they have...There's no reason why a religiously observant person should be accused more of dogma than somebody who is particularly ideological in a similar way."
"You can disagree with somebody based on whether they're pro-life or pro-choice," he added. "But when you start to say that you're against them because their religion, in this case, their Roman Catholicism determines their point of view, you're doing something really abhorrent that I think is bigoted, is un-American, and incidentally, is unconstitutional."
Several other observers have concluded that Feinstein's interrogation only elevated Barrett's status.
Let’s not forget to congratulate Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) for inadvertently elevating Amy Coney Barrett by attacking her Christian faith in 2017 - which no doubt helped to make this SCOTUS moment possible.— Emerald Robinson ?? (@EmeraldRobinson) September 26, 2020