The president of the University of Notre Dame called criticism of appeals court nominee Amy Barrett’s Catholic faith “chilling” in an open letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.).

Rev. John I. Jenkins sent the letter after Feinstein, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, criticized Barrett’s nomination in light of her Catholic faith. Feinstein asked Barrett, a Notre Dame law school professor, if she could be trusted to impartially weigh in on cases involving abortion, given the Church’s opposition to the practice.

“I would never impose my own personal convictions on the law,” Barrett said during a Wednesday confirmation hearing.

Feinstein remained unconvinced by such assurances, saying, “the dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern.”

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