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Will her faith be an issue during Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation hearings?

TMJ4's Charles Benson talks to a state Supreme Court Justice who says faith should be "off the table."
Posted at 6:45 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 19:45:13-04

Day one of U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats and Republicans expected to clash over her record but her religious beliefs have not come up so far.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with state Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn who thinks questions about Judge Barrett's faith should be, 'off the table'.
Justice Hagedorn narrowly won a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2019.

Opponents attacked his personal Christian views on issues like same sex marriage as unfit to serve on the bench.

While some Senate Democrats say Judge Amy Coney Barrett's faith, as a devout Catholic, is "immaterial" it did come up in a previous confirmation hearing.

"I obviously saw some similar kinds of attack against me in my race," said Justice Hagedorn, "and I think it's really important that we put that off the table as acceptable way to debate nominations."

Judge Barrett has been very open about her faith and outspoken about her opposition to abortion.

Justice Hagedorn says she should be judged on applying the law as it is written not her personal beliefs.

Benson: You say off the table, but one's faith can be part of the fabric of who they are, but is it also part into the foundation of their judicial beliefs?

Justice Hagedorn: It's true, one's faith is the foundation of who your are. It certainly is true for me. However that doesn't mean that's how you make judicial decisions.

If confirmed Barrett would be one of five conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court and she would give the high court a solid conservative majority.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has raised concerns about President Trump's promise to appoint judges who will overturn a women's right to choose in Roe v Wade.

"Now he has nominated an activist judge to do what he wants," said the Wisconsin Democrat, "instead of giving the American people a voice on these important issues first."

"We can talk about merits of judicial philosophy, we can talk qualifications," said Justice Hagedorn, but you can be a faithful christian and faithful judge and I think it's important to communicate that."

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