The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance a Catholic law school professor's nomination for a federal appeals court along party lines, after last month's hearing when Democrats grilled her over her faith.
Senate Democrats repeatedly questioned Amy Coney Barrett, who President Trump nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Midwest, over her practice of her Catholic faith during Judiciary Committee hearings on her nomination.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who voted with his GOP colleagues in support of Barrett, said Thursday he was "surprised and disheartened" by the Democrats' questions involving Barrett's religion.
"Their questions strongly implied that she's too Catholic for their taste, whatever it means to be 'too Catholic,'" Grassley said. "I mention this because I fear the committee is heading down a dangerous road if we continue to ask nominees questions like this.
"And yet I saw members seeking to understand just how Catholic Professor Barrett considers herself, as if this is relevant to assessing her credentials to be on the bench. I don't think an evaluation of how religious a nominee is — or isn't — should ever be part of our evaluation."
Barett's nomination will proceed to a full vote by the Senate.