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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 HironoSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Trump lawyers center defense around attacks on Democrats Hillicon Valley: Democratic senators unveil bill to reform Section 230 | Labor board denies Amazon request to delay local union vote | Robinhood lifts restrictions on GameStop, other stocks 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 TapperEx-Trump press secretary criticized for stirring up QAnon on Twitter Maryland GOP governor says he would have voted to convict Trump Democratic senator defends decision not to call witnesses: 'They weren't going to get more Republican votes' 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 DurbinPartisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Democrats ask FBI for plans to address domestic extremism following Capitol attack MORE (D-Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinProgressive support builds for expanding lower courts Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill What exactly are uber-woke educators teaching our kids? MORE (D-Calif.) brought up her religion. 

Hirono said Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley to vote against Tanden nomination Grassley says he'll decide this fall whether to run in 2022 Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation MORE (R-Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTomi Lahren says CPAC attendees clearly want Trump to run in 2024 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' 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 GinsburgMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general A powerful tool to take on the Supreme Court — if Democrats use it right Fauci says he was nervous about catching COVID-19 in Trump White House MORE last month.