Santorum Says Not Appropriate To Ask SCOTUS Nominee About Religion

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Posted: Jul 05, 2018 5:00 PM
Santorum Says Not Appropriate To Ask SCOTUS Nominee About Religion

Monday, July 9, is the day that President Trump is set to announce his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Fox News is reporting that President Trump has interviewed all the candidates that he intends to. One of them he has questioned twice, according to CNS News

One of the most likely nominees amongst media speculation is Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana. Barrett is a graduate of Notre Dame and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She was recently confirmed to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Barrett is a popular choice amongst conservative issues, but apparently her pro-life views, and her Catholicism make her a controversial choice. 

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is now a Senior Political Commentator for CNN, appeared on CNN’s "New Day" with John Berman Thursday.  Santorum is also a devout Catholic like Barrett, as well as a pro-life conservative.

"Is there any appropriate way to talk about religion and faith in a confirmation hearing or with prospective justices?" Berman asked Barrett. 

"No, I don't think there is, "only because everybody has a set of values and principles,” Santorum. Some are based in biblical principles, some are based in Koranic principles, some are based in the Talmud -- those are all legitimate.

And by the way, some people have principles that are not based in faith at all. We don't ask people about that. If you're an atheist, we don't say, well, you know, what is your dogma? People are allowed to have their faith interests. You need to look at their record. You need to look at...how they act in jurisprudence…but when it comes to a vote on someone, you look at their jurisprudence and you look at their record and you look at how they've applied principles of constitutional law. That's--that's the focus, ” said Santorum.”

“What about a ‘devout Muslim,’ Berman asked. You would want to know, I think...if their faith in Islam would supersede their legal thinking, correct?" Berman asked.

"Again, I think that would be reflected in their body of work," Santorum replied. And so, yes, you certainly would look at that in context -- how is their faith potentially coming through?

But, you know, I think it's important to understand, people of little faith or, you know, atheists or people who are not particularly religious don't get asked these questions…And that's really not ever been asked is, you know, everybody has a set of guiding principles. Hers happens to be her Catholic faith. That's, by the way, very well known and very public about what the church teaches.

Whereas a lot of people come before these committees -- you have no idea what their faith or system of beliefs that they're infusing. So I think actually having someone with a fairly clear and public record of faithis a little cleaner than the rest of these nominees that don't have that."