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When senators ask a nominee about their religious beliefs, they should give this simple answer

February 20, 2019

By: Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute

Democratic senators have a new habit of asking judicial and executive branch nominees about their religious beliefs during confirmation hearings. Asking such questions violates the spirit, if not the letter, of Article VI of the Constitution. Future nominees should invoke Article VI as the shield it is intended to be.

Notwithstanding the Bill of Rights and other amendments, Article VI, clause 3, contains the Constitution’s only explicit reference to religion. It states:

“…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Despite this clear prohibition, Democratic senators have had no compunction using a nominee’s religious beliefs as a sort of litmus test for office.

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