View Full Version : Senate Confirms Judicial Nominee Attacked for Catholic Faith

07-29-2019, 05:39 PM
The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Brian C. Buescher as U.S. District Judge in Nebraska after the nominee had been pilloried by pro-choice Democrats from the Senate Judiciary Committee last December for his membership in the Knights of Columbus.

In their examination of the candidacy of Mr. Buescher for the district court, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) inquired whether belonging to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization, could prevent the appointee from hearing cases “fairly and impartially.”

The senators especially suggested that the Knights’ opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage could impair the candidate’s judgment.

Senator Harris asked Buescher whether he was aware that the Knights of Columbus “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality” when he joined the organization.

“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 said in reply.

For her part, Sen. Hirono said that the Knights of Columbus have taken “a number of extreme positions,” explicitly mentioning the Knights’ support for “California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”

Another pro-choice senator, Cory Booker (D-NJ), criticized Mr. Buescher’s overt opposition to abortion when he was running for Nebraska attorney general in the Republican primary election.

“Why should a litigant in your courtroom expect to get a fair hearing from an impartial judge in a case involving abortion rights?” Sen. Booker asked.

In his introduction to Wednesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recalled that the Constitution barred the use of a religious litmus test for federal posts.

“I can’t believe I need to repeat it here in the U.S. Capitol, but there is nothing about living out one’s faith that is disqualifying for public service. To the contrary, what the Constitution does forbid is imposing any kind of religious test for public office,” McConnell said.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from considering a person’s faith when assessing fitness to hold federal office. This clause is part of the original Constitution and has been a bedrock principle since the founding of the Republic.


07-30-2019, 01:33 PM
The Knights of Columbus is identified as a Catholic organization. I would assume that for the most part, any political positions they take are in line with the Catholic Church's positions.