Fox News posted an article today about the confirmation hearings for Omaha-based lawyer Brian Buescher who is nominated for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.
The article reports:
Two Democratic senators are scrutinizing a federal judicial nominee over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, drawing a stern rebuke from the Catholic organization.
Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, raised concerns about Omaha-based lawyer Brian Buescher’s membership as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s review of his nomination by President Trump to sit on the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, as first reported by the Catholic News Agency.
In a series of questions sent to Buescher, Hirono asked whether his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he would end his membership in the Roman Catholic charitable organization.
“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono said in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Have we reached the point where taking a Biblical stand on marriage is considered extreme? I guess so.
The article continues:
Harris, in her questions to the nominee, called the Knights of Columbus “an all-male society” and asked the Nebraska lawyer if he was aware that the group was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage when he joined. The California senator also referenced Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s statement that abortion amounted to “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale” and asked Buescher if he agreed with the statement.
Buescher responded that his involvement in the group consisted mostly of charitable work and community events at his local Catholic parish. He indicated he would abide by judicial precedent regarding abortion.
The Knights of Columbus maintained that its positions reflect Catholic teachings, and suggested that the senators’ scrutiny amounts to criticism of the Catholic faith.
Senator Harris wants to run for President. I am sure that in challenging the right of a member of the Knights of Columbus to sit on a U.S. District Court will win her votes on the extreme left. However, I am not sure it will win her votes in mainstream America. This is the equivalent of a religious litmus test of a nominee, which is unconstitutional and illegal. Being a member of a recognized church group should not disqualify a person nominated for a U.S. District Court.