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More senators should ask Trump nominees about faith and the law

To the editor: There is one fundamental reason obliging Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) to query federal judicial nominee Amy Comey Barrett about her Roman Catholic faith: the constitutional prohibition against applying any “religious test” as a qualification for public office. (“Forget the critics, Feinstein did the right thing by questioning a judicial nominee on her faith and the law,” Opinion, Sept. 15)

Compelling circumstances confront Feinstein here. Barrett’s nomination came from a president who notoriously pandered to devout conservatives to win an election. Plus, the religious right long has been unapologetic about seeking to pack the courts with justices who pass their faith-friendly litmus tests.

Good for Feinstein. Our Constitution demands that she and other senators spare no query that may reveal Barrett’s inclination to affirm the religious tests she passed to secure her nomination.

Glenda Martel, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Progressives with political power are rapidly changing the traditional religious values that were once taken for granted by most citizens.

Jews and Christians know God does not change. He has let us know, through Moses and Jesus, what is on his mind on matters of family, marriage, sex, abortion and children. We have drifted far from the societal norms of 60 years ago, when William Brennan took his oath of office as a Supreme Court justice after promising fealty only to the law and not the doctrines of his Roman Catholic faith.

Lately, both Feinstein and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have challenged the beliefs of two Trump appointees who happen to be individuals of faith. They are ignoring the Article VI provision in the Constitution that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Elizabeth Norling, Long Beach

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To the editor: Any judge who cites a subjective religious belief as the sole basis for her findings is neither objective nor offering debatable, deliberative opinion. Consequently, she reveals herself to be unfit to serve on the bench.

Every judge’s ruling, even those citing a religious belief, must be supported by an at least equally compelling secular argument.

Claiming a legal right or exemption based exclusively on sanctity is a nonstarter; sin and evil have no legal meaning. We do not live in a theocracy; our laws must pass secular muster.

Keep asking, Sen. Feinstein.

Arthur D. Wahl, Port Hueneme

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