By Maureen Ferguson

The religious beliefs of nominees have suddenly become fair game in the judicial confirmation process. Consider the frosty line of questioning Sens. Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono recently leveled at a federal judicial nominee.

In a questionnaire for federal court nominee Brian Buescher, Ms. Harris pointed out that, “Since 1993, [he has] been a member of the Knights of Columbus.” This membership leads her to ask Buescher: “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” And based on his membership with the Knights, she wondered whether he believed that abortion is “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale”?

Ms. Hirono went a step farther and asked Mr. Buescher whether he plans, if confirmed, to “end his membership with [the Knights of Columbus]” to “avoid any appearance of bias.”

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