In recent years there has been public debate about the role of religious faith in the performance of judicial duty, especially the role of the Catholic faith in the performance of the duties of a federal judge. During my confirmation hearing in June 2003, a few members of the Senate Judiciary Committee raised questions about my "deeply held '' beliefs, and whether I was "asserting an agenda of [my] own, a religious belief of [my] own, inconsistent with separation of church and state." When Chairman Hatch responded to these statements by asking me about my religion and then asserting that "in every case" he could see, I had "followed the law regardless of [my] personal, deeply felt, strongly felt religious beliefs," two other Senators objected to Chairman Hatch's reference to my religion.

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