Dem senators flirting with a religious test for judicial nominees
The ugly specter of religious bigotry reared its disgusting head during Senate confirmation of the nomination of Brian Buescher for a federal judgeship. The Constitution’s Article VI, Clause 3 clearly specifies that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” but that must be news to Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris.
Ed Condon of the Catholic News Agency reports:
A judicial nominee faced questions from Senators this month about whether membership in the Knights of Columbus might impede his ability to judge federal cases fairly. The Knights of Columbus say that no candidate for public office should have to defend his membership in a Catholic service organization.
Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised concerns about membership in the Knights of Columbus while the Senate Judiciary Committee reviewed the candidacy of Brian C. Buescher, an Omaha-based lawyer nominated by President Trump to sit on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
Senators also asked whether belonging to the Catholic charitable organization could prevent judges from hearing cases “fairly and impartially.”
In written questions sent to Buescher by committee members Dec. 5, Sen. Hirono stated that “the Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Hirono then asked Buescher if he would quit the group if he was confirmed “to avoid any appearance of bias.”
“The Knights of Columbus does not have the authority to take personal political positions on behalf of all of its approximately two million members,” Buescher responded.
“If confirmed, I will apply all provisions of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges regarding recusal and disqualification,” he said.
Brian Buescher (courtesy photo)
This is another indication of the severe leftward realignment of the Democratic Party, jettisoning a century-long alliance with Catholics. When I was raised in a Democrat family, I was taught that only Democrats were tolerant enough to nominate a Catholic for president. First Al Smith of New York, who was defeated, and then, when I was a teen, the election of John F. Kennedy solidified the notion that Democrats were the tolerant party.
That was then, this is now. This is not your father’s or mother’s Democratic Party. And is certainly not mine.