The Founding Fathers were pretty clear when it came to religious freedom. Article VI of the Constitution mandates that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust."
Perhaps Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., missed that part.
The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein finds Trump's judicial nominee, Notre Dame Law School Professor Amy Coney Barrett, unqualified because the Catholic "dogma lives loudly" within Barrett.
But Feinstein's fears are not factual. They're smears, and her anxiety about good government isn't real. A thinly-veiled excuse for opportunistic bigotry, the Democrat has mischaracterized the record and religion of Barrett in order to impose a litmus test on a nominee she opposes politically. It's unconstitutional, and it's an alarming trend.
During the cross examination of Barrett, one thing became immediately clear: Feinstein hadn't done the required reading ahead of the hearing. That was evident when she pointed to a 1998 article co-authored by Barrett and published in the Marquette Law Review, entitled "Catholic Judges in Capital Cases."
The article Feinstein characterized as religious extremism actually advocates the opposite. It explores approaches for a judge to simultaneously hold the law and their convictions inviolable. She would have known this had she read the very first page where Barrett states unequivocally that "the general public are entitled to impartial justice."
If the senator was truly concerned with the possibility of personal theology eclipsing Constitutional law, she never mentioned it before. When questioning President Barack Obama's last two Supreme Court nominees, Feinstein never asked Elena Kagan about her Judaism or Sonya Sotomayor about her Catholicism.
It seems more than likely that Feinstein simply saw an opportunity to mischaracterize it to sabotage someone she disagrees with politically.
All the high-profile liberals are doing it these days.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., recently laid into Trump's pick for deputy director of the Office of Management and Business, Russ Vought, because of that nominee's religion. That budget wonk wasn't qualified, Sanders argued, because he believes that only Christianity offers salvation.
But of course, all religions make these exclusive claims. Liberals like Sanders and Feinstein aren't offended. They don't find the personal convictions of the Hindu or the Muslims or the Quaker unconscionable. They find the political and judicial views of conservatives intolerable, and when given the chance, they'll use religion against them.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.