It is the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States”

Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse introduced a resolution that reiterates the unconstitutionality of disqualifying a nominee for public service based on their membership to the Catholic organization, Knights of Columbus, according to a report by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska introduced a Senate resolution Wednesday providing that it is unconstitutional to disqualify a nominee from public office based on their membership in the Knights of Columbus.

The resolution, which The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained in advance of its introduction, comes after Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California pressed a judicial nominee to the federal trial court in Nebraska about his affiliation with the knights, a Catholic mutual benefit society with almost 2 million members worldwide.

“It is the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States,” the resolution reads.

Article VI of the Constitution forbids the imposition of a religious test on prospective officeholders.

Resolutions of this nature are generally offered to support non-controversial propositions and are adopted by the unanimous consent of the chamber. “Unanimous consent” means that the Senate endorses the resolution without a vote.

As such, Sasse’s resolution is tactically shrewd: Democratic support of the resolution essentially rebukes Harris and Hirono, while opposition to the resolution presents obvious political consequences.

A Wednesday Marist poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus found that 85 percent of respondents — including 90 percent of Democrats — said religion should not be a factor when assessing someone’s fitness to serve in the federal government.

Last week, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) published an op-ed in The Hill lambasting, though not by name, those for “fomenting religious bigotry” by making an issue of judicial nominee Brian Buescher’s affiliation with the Knights of Columbus.


Two Senators in particular engaged in the horrendous line of questioning, Sen. Hirono (D-HI) and Sen. Harris (D-CA). Sen. Harris is expected to formally announce her presidential candidacy in the coming weeks.

Sen. Sasse publicly appreciated Re. Gabbard’s op-ed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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