I'm glad to see I was not the only one surprised (though, on reflection, I guess I should not have been) that Judge Roberts' Catholicism was so openly questioned during the hearings.
As noted in the link above, Ms. Feinstein was especially abrasive.
"In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy's faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one's religion. . . . My question is: Do you?"
It would seem to me, that in linking her statement to JFK she hoped to hide the obvious intent of her questioning.