Andrew McCarthy: ‘No, the Constitution Does Not Bar Religious Tests in Immigration Law’
Andrew C. McCarthy, Senior Fellow at National Review and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, writes in National Review that Donald Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration is not unconstitutional. McCarthy notes that “properly vetting would-be immigrants’ religious beliefs is not only legal — it would be wise and prudent.”
Of all the ignorant pronouncements in the 2016 presidential campaign, the dumbest may be that the Constitution forbids a “religious test” in the vetting of immigrants. Monotonously repeated in political speeches and talking-head blather, this claim is heedless of the Islamic doctrinal roots on which foreign-born Islamists and the jihadists they breed base their anti-Americanism. It is also dead wrong.
The clause said to be the source of this drivel is found in Article VI. As you’ll no doubt be shocked to learn, it has utterly nothing to do with immigration. The clause states, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (emphasis added). On its face, the provision is not only inapplicable to immigrants at large, let alone aliens who would like to be immigrants; it does not even apply to the general public. It is strictly limited to public officials — specifically to their fitness to serve in government positions. – READ MORE