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Hirono commits to avoiding 'irrelevant' questions about Barrett's religion during her confirmation hearing

Hirono commits to avoiding 'irrelevant' questions about Barrett's religion during her confirmation hearing
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort FCC reaffirms order rolling back net neutrality regulations MORE (D-Hawaii) committed on Sunday to avoid asking “irrelevant” questions about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religion during her confirmation hearing this week.

The Hawaii Democrat told CNN’s “State of the Union” that questions about Barrett’s Catholicism are “immaterial” and “irrelevant.”

“Her religion is immaterial, irrelevant,” she said. “That is what I said. And so that is my position. I am totally focused on what this nominee sitting there as a justice is gonna do in striking down the Affordable Care Act. That’s what I’m focused on.” 

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“I’m not gonna be asking her questions about her religious views,” she added. “They’re irrelevant.”

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperFeehery: The best and the brightest Trump is cruising for a bruising Meadows doubles down on White House pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' MORE asked Hirono if she thinks her Democratic colleagues will “bring up her faith or religious views.”

“I think it’s the Republicans who are going to bring up that particular issue,” she said. “Why? Because they don’t want to face up to the fact, they don’t want to tell the American people that they’re about to vote for a person who's going to take away their health care.”

Tapper pointed out that when Barrett was being confirmed for her current position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Democrats like Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinMurkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett MORE (D-Calif.) brought up her religion. 

Hirono said Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIn partisan slugfest, can Chip Roy overcome Trump troubles? Cruz: Hunter Biden attacks don't move 'a single voter' GOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation MORE (R-Texas) also “asked about her writing.”

“So the writing of a nominee that you get asked, so we ask. I ask, and that’s it,” the senator said.

Barrett’s confirmation hearings are set to begin this week in an attempt to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court before Election Day that was left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBarrett starts fraught first week as Supreme Court faces fights over election, abortion rights Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Barrett to use Supreme Court chambers previously used by Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE last month.