Despite a highly successful White House program of selecting extremely well qualified jurists and pushing their nominations through the Senate, there have been flies in the ointment. As best I can tell, five of Trump’s nominees have been forced to withdraw.
- Brett J Talley. The ABA hated him and he didn’t disclose that he was married to the chief of staff of the guy, Don McGahn, who was in charge of Trump’s judicial selection program.
- Jeff Mateer. Some years ago he said mean things about transgender delusionists.
- Matthew Spencer Petersen. Had never tried a case and couldn’t define basic legal terms.
- Thomas Farr. He’d worked for Jesse Helms and defended North Carolina’s voter ID law.
- Ryan Bounds. While in college he’d expressed doubts that the racial separatism sought by a lot of black and Hispanic students was a good thing.
Now another one may be ready to join them.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about a Trump nominee named Michael Bogren who had his butt handed to him by Josh Hawley in his confirmation hearing. Bogren had defended the city of East Lansing, MI, in a religious discrimination lawsuit…that it eventually lost. The crux of the matter was that the city barred a farmer who did not live in the city from being able to participate in the farmer’s market in the city because he would not allow gay weddings on his farm. In the view of Hawley, he was a little too enthusiastic as he compared the Catholic Church to the KKK.
At National Review, Ed Whelan, who I usually like to read, took the absurd position that comparing an article of faith in a religion with the beliefs of the KKK was okay so long as you were a lawyer defending a client. And there was a behind the scenes deal of some kind which Hawley’s principled questioning threatened to upset.
When Hawley rebutted the article, Ted Cruz weighed in.
.@HawleyMO is right. The nominee didn’t just represent a client; at his confirmation he affirmatively declared “there is no distinction” btwn Catholic teachings and KKK bigotry. I’m a NO. And POTUS should withdraw the nomination. https://t.co/Y9j3iKdEmm
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 31, 2019
On Monday, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis also said he will not support Bogren.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had 12 GOP and 10 Democrats, so losing three GOP votes should be fatal as nearly all votes in that committee have been party line.
I think Hawley is exactly right.
The DC Establishment wants people of faith to shut up. Our Constitution guarantees us more. I won’t support for a lifetime appointment to the bench someone who compares faithful Catholics to the KKK & ridicules them as haters. https://t.co/7GlikcG8Mo
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 31, 2019
The DC establishment has treated religion as the punchline in a joke for far too long. They drag it out to fire up the base and then tell us to pay no attention when one of the good ol’ boys treats people of faith with contempt. Bogren had two choices to make. He didn’t have to take the case as his law firm had other partners. When he did take the case he didn’t have to go scorched earth and ridicule the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs as well as their own adherence to those beliefs. A warning needs to be sent to this and future White Houses that those days are gone forever.