in the vicinityVideoDems challenge Trump judicial nominees about Knights of Columbus membership
The following questions of several Democratic senators about the impartiality of the Trump judicial nominees Brian buescher and his relations to the Knights of Columbus, a non-profit Roman Catholic organization, the Republicans and various religious leaders hit back Monday against “religious fanaticism.”
“This is not just said about the Knights of Columbus or Catholics, this is a constant attack from the extremist left of the Democratic party to silence people of faith and lead you from” entry into the public service on the basis of their religious beliefs,” Penny Nance, President of Concerned women for America, a Christian women’s activist group, in a written statement.
“It is pure and simple religious bigotry,” Nance adds.
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Sens., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, recently concerns about buescher membership as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee ‘ s report of his nomination by President Trump to sit on the U.S. district court in Nebraska.
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) first reported the news of their concerns.
In a series of questions sent to Buescher, Hirono asked if his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him hearing of cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he is at the end of his membership in the organization.
“The Knights of Columbus has a number of extreme positions,” said Hirono in the questionnaire. “For example, there was supposed to be one of the top authors in the California Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Harris meanwhile, in their questions to the candidates, called the Knights of Columbus, “an exclusively male society” and asked, Nebraska lawyer if he was aware that the group he came up with the anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage. The California senator to the Supreme knight Carl A. Anderson’s statement that abortion amounted to “the killing of innocents on a massive scale” – and asked, Buescher, when he agreed with the statement.
“The Knights of Columbus do not take the authority to, the personal political positions as a representative for all of its two million members,” Buescher wrote in response to the queries. “If confirmed, I the provisions of the code of conduct for United States judges in relation to alienation and disqualification shall apply.”
Prominent Republicans and religious leaders supported buescher in the face of questions.
“We hope that in the eyes of the Democrats, they are not to be disqualified to be a judge, because of their religious affiliations and beliefs,” tweeted GOP South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. “The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic non-profit organization, in fact, beliefs about marriage & abortion.”
“Do not tolerate negative court judicial nominees, because the works of charity and the personal religious opinion,” wrote Graham in a follow-up tweet.
“The Black Church is very worried, because we know that, if elected leader attack Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus for the faith of reliability Christian principles, then all the people who believe that are in danger,” Rev. Eugene F. rivers III, civil rights activist and Director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, said in a statement.
“There is no place for a religious test, like this in our country,” he continued. “Our Constitution prohibits it, and elected politicians should know better than to try to impose.”
This is the kind of thuggish behaviour we expect from third world dictators, not the United States senators.
— Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission
“This is the kind of thuggish behaviour we expect from third world dictators, not the United States senators,” Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Human Rights Commission, said in a statement. “The fact that this attack on Catholics comes from the party of John F. Kennedy, who was the pride of a knight of Columbus, is particularly shocking and egregious. There should be no religious test in America, and I urge my Democratic friends to this tactic, in the religious discrimination, the people, to destroy nomination for public office.”
“Alarming questions from the Senate Democrats, that they are becoming more and more comfortable with imposing religious tests for Federal judicial nominees,” the office of sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, tweeted over the weekend.
Kathleen Blomquist, a spokeswoman for the knights of Columbus, ravaged the questions of Hirono and Harris as a throwback to the past, the anti-Catholic rhetoric.
“Our country is the sad history of anti-Catholic bigotry contributed to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and we are proud of the many Catholics to wear the overcame this hurdle so much to our country,” she told the CNA.
Despite the specific questions to the nominees, and the impact of the interrogations, Knights of Columbus, Senior Vice President Kevin Shinkle said the organization appreciates the support she has received.
“The Knights of Columbus is grateful for the support of so many people who recognize that our charitable efforts and they understand that the mainstream religious beliefs, should not someone disqualify her country,” Shinkle said in a statement to Fox News.
Fox News’ Andrew O’reilly contributed to this report.