Senators Feinstein and Durbin attacked a judicial nominee from Notre Dame Law School for her Catholic beliefs
Indianapolis, IN – Today Luke Messer called on Senator Joe Donnelly to denounce Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin for their anti-Catholic and anti-religious remarks last week, and to return campaign contributions from political committees run by the two liberal Senators. Luke’s statement comes following a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing last week where Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor and nominee for the powerful Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was ridiculed for her religious beliefs by Democrat Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin.
The grilling by two leading Senate Democrats has been called “religious bigotry, pure and simple”by columnist Kirsten Powers. Notre Dame President John Jenkins sent an open letter to Feinstein saying “It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge.”
Both Feinstein and Durbin have been major contributors to Donnelly’s campaigns and were unapologetic after they earned wide criticism. Durbin’s explanation of his questioning to National Review made clear he was coming close to imposing a religious test. “I prefaced my remarks by saying that going into a person’s religion is not the right thing to do in every circumstance. But she’s been outspoken,” Durbin is quoted as saying.
Messer says Donnelly cannot have it both ways and should give back the money he has taken from the anti-Catholic liberals.
“Today, I am calling on Senator Donnelly to return the campaign contributions from Senator Feinstein and Senator Durbin, and pledge to not take any more money or attend any fundraisers with Feinstein and Durbin until they both apologize,” said Luke Messer. “Bigotry targeted at someone’s religion is beyond the pale.”
Feinstein’s attack on Barrett’s Catholic faith, was summed up in her sneer during the committee hearing: “The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”
Durbin specifically pried into the nature of Barrett’s religious beliefs, asking her “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” Seemingly alluding that the extent of her beliefs could impact her ability to serve on the bench.
Messer said, “Joe Donnelly should do the right thing. Condemn these remarks for what they are, unbridled bigotry, and prove he means it by returning campaign contributions from Senators Feinstein and Durbin. If he doesn’t, it will serve as more evidence he is out of step with Hoosiers and wedded to the liberal special interests that fund his campaigns. Amy Coney Barrett is highly qualified and she shouldn’t be ridiculed for her Catholic beliefs.”
According to Federal Election Commission reports, Senator Donnelly has received $10,000 from political committees led by Senator Feinstein and $15,000 from those of Senator Durbin.
Amy Coney Barrett is an associate professor of law at Notre Dame Law School. The entire full-time faculty of Notre Dame’s law school has signed a letter supporting her nomination, which was first encouraged by Senator Todd Young (R-I). On May 8, 2017 President Trump nominated Barrett to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the second highest court in the nation for Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.