Julie Kay writes for Law.com:
[S]everal applicants interviewed by the Daily Business Review complained that JNC members have asked them:
- Whether they are active in their church.
- Whether the candidate is a "God-fearing person."
- How they feel about the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling striking down a Texas law criminalizing homosexual activity.
- How they would feel about having the Ten Commandments posted in their courtroom.
In an interview, the Rev. Dozier, a non-practicing attorney, acknowledged asking some of the questions. But he defended their appropriateness. "I want to know the applicants' spiritual makeup," Dozier said. "It tells me a lot about a person. I think a judge should be God-fearing. ... This country is founded on the principles of Christianity, not the principles of Buddhism, not the principles of Judaism," the South Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted him as saying Nov. 30, 2003. "I don't believe the developers of the Constitution would want us to compromise our Christian values."
Dozier is vehemently opposed to homosexuality, which he called in the Nov. 27, 2003, issue of New Times Broward Palm Beach "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit." Dozier said he has received complaints from "atheists" who heard about his line of religiously oriented questioning during JNC interviews. But he argues that religion belongs on the bench. "There is no such animal as separation of church and state in the Constitution," he said.
Dozier does not deny asking Broward General Master Marina Garcia Wood how she felt about the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Texas prohibition against homosexual activity. "I am totally against that ruling," Dozier said. "We cannot have a judge who feels sodomy is OK." ... Last year, after voting to recommend one candidate for a Broward judicial vacancy, Dozier said he was surprised and disconcerted to get information that the person is gay. "If I had known, I would have taken the opportunity to search further and investigate," he said. "It's up to us to ask questions and investigate."
Some people have expressed surprise about such questions, but I'm not surprised at all. It was recently reported that judicial candidates in Kansas have been asked about whether they believe in the Ten Commandments. President Bush has stated that "we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God."
It can't be surprising that Bush's brother Jeb would feel similarly and would appoint religious leaders to the committees charged with interviewing and evaluating judicial candidates. The appointment of a non-lawyer Reverend to such a committee signals that candidates will be evaluated according to religious as well as legal standards. The choice of which religious leaders to put on these committees is a sign of what sorts of religious beliefs the government favors. This is what President Bush and his supporters want for America and they have never made much of an effort to hide that.