FROM THE RIGHT

Conservatives, Catholics and People of Faith Need not Apply

By Bill Moore

Anyone who believes Christians and Conservatives are not under attack by the Left and its Democratic Allies are not living in the real World.  We have a  Democratic Senator using a Senate Rule not generally known to the Public to stop the nominations of highly qualified judges to the Federal Bench because they are People of Faith and Conservatives.  First let me explain the Senate rule.

Please understand this rule is not found in the Constitution but is a rule or tradition established by Senators.   In my opinion, it is to make their jobs easier.  Under the Traditions of the Senate, a nomination for a Federal Judgeship, US attorney or US Marshall will not be considered by the Senate unless both Senators from the state of the nominee turn in a “Blue Slip” signifying they approve of the nomination.  Consequently a single Senator may derail the nomination of a highly qualified Judge, Attorney or Marshall because of their non agreement with their beliefs, religious or otherwise. Therefore, a highly qualified person will not get their fair hearing by the Judiciary Committee or the full Senate at the whim of 1 Senator.

The decision to enforce this tradition is in the hands of the  Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It is currently under the control of Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.  Under his predecessor, Senator Warren Hatch, the system was relaxed allowing select hearings to proceed when home state democrats opposed the nomination.

Enter Senator Al Franken from Minnesota.  He is threatening to refuse a blue slip for David Ryan Stras. He is an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Stras has been nominated to be a Judge on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Trump.  Senator Franken objects to Stras because his role models are Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia.  Stras has earned the highest rating of the American Bar Association and has broad support in Minnesota having been re- elected by wide margins to the State Supreme Court.   Franken is concerned that based on who Stras clerked for he might have developed an ideology that he would impose on the people before him.  In short, cannot allow anyone on the bench with Conservative principles.

Franken then went on to join Senator Diane Feinstein (California) in attacking the Catholic/ Christian beliefs of another Trump nominee.  Judge Amy Coney Barnett has been nominated by President Trump to serve as a US Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She currently  is the Diane and M.O. Miller Research Chair of Law and Professor of Law at the Notre Dame Law School.  She also clerked for Scalia.  She is a practicing Catholic with a husband and 7 children.  Because of her Catholic/ Christian beliefs, coupled with her willingness to stand up for her faith, she is being labeled by Feinstein as a person ” where dogma lives loudly within you“.  Feinstein asserts her religious views prevent her from judging fairly.  Senator Dick Durbin also piled on.  As a catholic who does not agree with church positions he attacked Barnett because she described herself as an “Orthodox Catholic.” He feels that she is maligning Catholics who do not support the Church’s teachings on Abortion and  possibly Homosexuality.  Even though Barnett has said:  “It is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions whether it derives from faith or personal conviction”.  She also stated that a judge must recues themselves where their faith conflicts with their judicial responsibility.

One would think that would satisfy the Left but it did not.  Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, attacked Barnett calling her a “Catholic Judge” .   Not to be left out of the discussion, Senator Franken then attacked Barnett by claiming that she once made a speech at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty law firm.  In Franken’s opinion, that makes her unfit to serve as a judge.  Franken labeled the Alliance Defending Freedom as a Hate Group.

The ADF is an American conservative Christian non- profit organization.  They fight for training, and funding on the issues of “religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”  The ADF is headquartered in Scottsdale Arizona.  ADF beliefs include the use of invocations at public meetings and the use of religious displays (such as crosses and other religious monuments) on public lands and in public buildings.  It does oppose abortion, and holds the belief that healthcare workers have a right to decline participation in the performance of abortions and other practices an individual health worker finds morally objectionable.  It does oppose same sex marriage and adoption by same sex couples basing that on the belief that children are best raised by a married mother and father.  ADF believes that parents should be able to opt their children out of sex education in schools if it is counter to a family’s religious beliefs.

Franken based his charge on a statement from the Southern Poverty Law center, a far left advocacy group, who has stated that ADF is a hate group because it is anti LGBT.  They forget, or choose to forget, that ADF bases their stands on bible interpretations of their faith.  Because they believe that marriage is between a man and a women does not make them hate Gays.  Conservatives support many of these principles . That does not make them bigoted.

In fact Feinstein, Durbin, Franken, and Hirono are in my opinion guilty of hate and discrimination toward Catholics and Christians.  They are part of a scheme to deny representation in government to people of faith.  In particular they want to stop Trump nominees from starting to turn a decidedly leftist Judiciary Zback toward the center.

WE need to contact our Senators and tell them to stop the “Blue slip’ Senate Tradition.  Democrats are using this to stop Trump nominations to the Judiciary.  Up to this point only 2 of 23 nominations for Federal District Judges have been approved by the Senate.  There also remains another 30 Trump judicial nominees currently not being considered.  We will never be able to drain the swamp unless we break these log jams.

We also need to come together and work to ensure that we elect people of Faith in the 2018 election. Instead of allowing the Left to take positions that scream “People of Faith , Conservatives and Catholics need not apply”, we need to loudly say “In 2018, People who are anti -Religious, anti- Conservative and Anti -catholic  will not be elected nor re-elected.”  Together we can make a difference!!!!