The president of the University of Notre Dame has taken California Sen. Diane Feinstein to task for suggesting a nominee's faith made her unfit for the federal bench.
During a confirmation hearing the Democratic senator told Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame and a Trump judicial nominee, "When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country."
Barrett was also grilled by Democratic Senators Al Franken and Dick Durbin, who asked if the professor was an "orthodox Catholic" and how her Catholic beliefs might influence her decisions as a federal judge.
Feinstein was widely condemned for what some called anti-Catholic bigotry and bullying.
In a public letter to Feinstein, Notre Dame President John Jenkins wrote, "It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge."
"I am one in whose heart 'dogma lives loudly,' as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation," Jenkins wrote. "Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology."
Jenkins said it's "chilling" to think the Feinstein could disqualify someone from serving as a federal judge, merely because they're a person with deep faith.
"I ask you and your colleagues to respect those in whom 'dogma lives loudly'—which is a condition we call faith," he said. "For the attempt to live such faith while one upholds the law should command respect, not evoke concern."