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Sen. Josh Hawley meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 1. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Axios that at next week's Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, he will call on Democrats to preemptively renounce any attacks on her Catholic faith.

  • "I want to hear that out of their mouths from every Judiciary Committee member," Hawley told me during an Axios News Shapers virtual event. "I'm going to call it out at every single opportunity."
  • "Silence is not enough," Hawley continued. "Silence is acquiescence. They've already trafficked in these stereotypes and this bigotry. ... So now it's not enough to go silent and say: 'Well, OK, maybe we'll emphasize something else."

The big picture: Hawley — who at 40 is the youngest senator, but who has made a name for himself by being aggressive on China, tech and economic populism — said Senate Democrats "have been attacking Judge Barrett left and right."

  • "They started it three years ago at her first set of confirmation hearings," for her current post as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge. "[W]e've seen a pattern from Democrats over the years — not just with Judge Barrett, but other judges up before the committee — where they have interrogated them on their faith."

Hawley said questions about her faith amount to "an attempt to impose a religious test that Article 6 of the Constitution explicitly says cannot be applied in this country."

  • "It's a form of religious bigotry," Hawley said. "[I]t's time for every single one of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to renounce it and to pledge that they will abide by the Constitution and they will not seek to impose religious tests."

Between the lines: Hawley knows the court from the inside: He was a law clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts.

  • "I did work in the building," Hawley said. "It was one of my first jobs out of law school. I actually met my wife doing that, Mike. ... We got married after our year of clerking together there on the courts."
  • "I've gotten to litigate, subsequently, at that court. I'm a member of the bar of the court. So, it's a place I know relatively well.

Hawley said Roberts "runs his chambers with great efficiency."

At the end of our conversation, the senator — who has two sons ages 7 and 5— announced that he and his wife, Erin, are expecting a third shortly after Election Day.

  • It's a girl.
  • "2020 has been a heck of a year," he said. "But for the Hawley family, it's a heck of a good year."

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Go deeper

Inside the GOP rebellion

Via CNN

Here's the thinking of Republicans who plan to object Wednesday to certifying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Biden — a band that's up to a dozen senators and at least 140 House members, backed by Vice President Pence.

The big picture: They know there's no state where the results are in any kind of doubt, and they know their protests won't change the outcome.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.