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Defending Sen. Feinstein

September 28, 2017
Will Silverthorne
San Francisco

The Sept. 14 article by Kurt Jensen (“Catholic judicial nominee grilled by senators on her religious views”) is a hatchet job against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the best California senator ever – certainly the best representative in Washington that San Francisco ever had. What shouldn’t be a political situation was turned into one by Trump and the alt-right. And, our Catholic San Francisco joined right in or was so naive they just followed lockstep.

Every senator is duty-bound to investigate and determine the qualifications of all nominated federal judges. This is done in open hearing by the judicial committee of which Dianne is a member.

Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a law school professor, for a judgeship. She is a Catholic, has never been a judge and has no record of decisions on which senators could rely. She did, however, write a law review article in which she said, “Judges cannot – nor should they try to – align our legal system with the church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge. They should ... conform their own behavior to the church’s standard. Perhaps their example will have some effect.” And also, “... the general public are entitled to impartial justice, which may be something a judge who is heedful of ecclesiastical pronouncements cannot dispense” [81 Marq. L. Rev. 303 (1997)].

What does this mean for Barrett deciding capital punishment cases, LGBT issues, gay marriage issues, immigration, etc.? If ever there was a need to ask questions of a nominee, this was the one.

The questions Dianne asked were softball questions to allow Barrett to put her position on the record and clear the air.

I can only say good job, Dianne, and “blah!” to the Catholic San Francisco and the publisher/editor who failed to leave this article on the printing room floor.

God bless us all – we will survive.

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