Catholic Male Judicial Nominee Attacked – OpEd


Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono have raised questions regarding the suitability of Brian C. Buescher to be seated as a federal district judge. They have a problem with his sex and his religion. Their concerns are so illegitimate that it raises serious questions about their ability to scrutinize Catholic males for any federal post.

Buescher belongs to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. Like most practicing Catholics, he is pro-life. According to Harris and Hirono, those two characteristics are troubling, and could be disqualifying.

Do Harris and Hirono have a problem with Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, or Women of Reform Judaism? Only Jewish women can belong to them.

Do they have a problem with the Catholic Daughters of the Americas? Only Catholic women can belong.

Do they have a problem with the League of Women Voters? Do they have a problem with the Daughters of the American Revolution, founded in 1890? Do they have a problem with the American Association of University Women, founded in 1881? All ban men from joining.

Senator Hirono is troubled that the Knights of Columbus supported California’s Proposition 8 (designed to limit the institution of marriage to a man and a woman). She calls this position “extreme.” Is she calling all of those who supported Proposition 8 “extreme”? That would include millions of traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Muslims—all of whom came together to win in one of the nation’s most liberal states.

Before being seated on the high court, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU. Applying the Harris-Hirono test—from a different perspective—this alone should have been a red flag. Would these women object if in the future such an affiliation might be considered disqualifying?

Senators Harris and Hirono are playing a game: they are engaged in selective religious profiling and sexism. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was not considered a problem with these senators, yet she is Catholic. But she is also reliably pro-abortion. End of story.

We saw this kind of religious profiling at work when Amy Coney Barrett was being considered for a federal appeals court post. Unlike Sotomayor, she is a pro-life Catholic. That’s all that counts.

It’s not just some Democrats who are out of line. Where are the Republicans challenging them on their religious profiling and sexism?

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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