A Michigan lawyer nominated by President Trump to be a federal judge was grilled by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) Wednesday after he seemingly compared a Catholic family’s beliefs to that of the Ku Klux Klan in a legal brief.
Freshman Sen. Hawley accused lawyer Michael Bogren of extreme acts regarding whether the city of East Lansing could prohibit a family from attending a farmer’s market because it did not allow same-sex marriages on its property.
Hawley stated Bogren partook in “impermissible hostility” toward religious views when he represented East Lansing in court.
“You think those things are equivalent. You think that the Catholic family’s pointing out the teachings of their church is equivalent to a KKK member invoking Christianity [to justify hatred],” Hawley asked Bogren.
After Hawley asked him if he would like to denounce his earlier remarks, Bogren declined.
“The fact that you stand by these comments is extraordinary to me,” Hawley stated with frustration.
Bogren attempted to explain his remarks and said he was trying to strongly advocate for his client, which legal experts explain is a lawyer’s obligation, and no reason to disqualify a lawyer from becoming a federal judge. However, he went on to explain that if religious beliefs can justify discrimination to same-sex couples, it can also be used to discriminate against others based on race and gender.
“From a legal perspective, senator, there is no difference,” Bogren told Hawley. Conservatives strongly disagree with that position, given that various laws forbid racial discrimination, but the Constitution ensures the right to freely live out your religious faith.
The case Hawley referred to, where Bogren served as the city’s lawyer, stems from East Lansing’s decision to prevent Country Mill Farms from participating in a local farmer’s market.
Breitbart News was told that Bogren was recommended by Democrat Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Sources tell Breitbart News that Bogren was actually recommended by Michigan’s senators, who are both Democrats, and that the White House deferred to them on their recommendation.
It is standard practice for a White House to make deals with senators for trial judge positions in those senator’s home state.
Since taking office, President Trump has built a consistent record of nominating conservatives for the federal bench. Experts who spoke with Breitbart News for this story emphasized that one questionable lower-court nominee is no reflection on the vetting process put in place by President Trump.
More information on the East Lansing case Hawley referenced can be found here.