“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.”