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 HironoSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill White House gets back to pre-COVID-19 normality 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.” 

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

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperPolice investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Mississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid 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 DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinYouth climate activists march outside California homes of Pelosi and Feinstein Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (D-Calif.) brought up her religion. 

Hirono said Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections MORE (R-Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East 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 GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE last month.