U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) raised concerns this month over Brian C. Buescher’s membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization. Buescher is an Omaha-based lawyer who was nominated by President Donald Trump to sit on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
Catholic News Agency reported on Hirono’s line of questioning:
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.”
They then report on what Harris asked Buescher:
In her questions to the nominee, Sen. Harris described the Knights as “an all-male society” and asked if Buescher was aware that the Knights of Columbus “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality” when he joined.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen this from the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Amy Coney Barrett received this kind of scrutiny as well.
This line of questioning demonstrates anti-religious bigotry, plain and simple. It’s unnerving that these two Democrats, who would probably cry foul if conservatives tried to unconstitutionally apply a religious test to judicial appointments that favored say evangelicals or faithful Catholics, seem to think it is ok to use a religious test for those who belong to groups they disapprove.
The hypocrisy lives loudly in these two Senators.