In questioning judicial nominee Neomi Rao yesterday, Senator Cory Booker asked her repeatedly if she believed homosexual relationships to be sinful, and expressed surprise that she declined to comment on her personal views. Article VI of the US Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Inquiring about personal religious beliefs during a nominee hearing implies those would factor into the decision, which would violate that clause.
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, made the following statement:
“It is outrageous that Senator Booker would use religion as a weapon with which to exclude an eminently well-qualified candidate from public service, and not only because factoring in a candidate’s personal religious views violates Article VI of the Constitution. The Bible expressly declares homosexual activity to be sinful, so the Senator would apparently disqualify Moses himself, the original judge, from holding that office — much less anyone in our day who adheres to the same Biblical values that our nation’s founding fathers held dear.”