Family Research Council Documents Pattern of Unconstitutional Religious Tests Against Nominees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2019
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Joshua Arnold, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

Washington, D.C. – Family Research Council released a new publication today that documents ten incidents in the past two years where U.S. senators have interrogated nominees concerning their personal religious beliefs.    

The questioning of 12 senators is examined in “Rebels Without A Clause: When Senators Run Roughshod Over the 'No Religious Test' Clause of the U.S. Constitution.” Those senators include: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and then-Senator Al Franken.

Alexandra McPhee, Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy for the Family Research Council, made the following comments condemning unconstitutional religious tests:

“What is the state of our nation when elected officials feel comfortable suggesting that a nominee is less qualified for office because they have deeply held religious convictions?

“This is not a one-off coincidence. We’re seeing a pattern of questioning that targets nominees because of their religious beliefs. These senators are probing nominees about their theology, their congregation memberships, and their affiliation with faith-based organizations only to portray them as unqualified for office. They are employing unconstitutional religious tests and ignoring Article 6 of the Constitution.

“We need to push back against the idea that faith should be kept only in one’s home or house of worship. We want people to use this tool to put names to offenses, to know who exactly is perpetrating these unhealthy ideas about religion, and to take that knowledge into the voting booth,” concluded McPhee.

Click here to download “Rebels Without a Clause: When Senators Run Roughshod Over the ‘No Religious Test Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Click here to listen to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) discuss with FRC President Tony Perkins why religious tests for judicial nominees are “wildly inappropriate.”