WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate voted along party lines on Thursday to approve the judicial nomination of a Kentucky lawyer who wrote blog posts under a pseudonym that equated abortion with slavery, questioned climate change and denounced gay marriage.
All Democrats, including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, voted against confirming Louisville attorney John K. Bush to become a judge on the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. All Republicans including Ohio’s Rob Portman backed the nomination.
Brown argued in a speech on the U.S. Senate floor that Bush should not be confirmed because of posts on the Elephants in the Bluegrass blog where he espoused “extreme political views” on health care, campaign finance, climate change and LGBT rights.
Bush was endorsed by Republicans including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, who called him “an impressive nominee with a strong legal ability and a thoughtful demeanor.”
During his confirmation hearing, Bush told the Senate Judiciary Committee that his political views wouldn’t affect his legal rulings, but many advocacy groups were skeptical.
“Federal judges must be impartial and fair – two qualities that Mr. Bush clearly lacks,” said a statement from Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “He has a demonstrated record of hostility to the principle of equal protection under the law, and his confirmation undermines the judicial branch and rule of law.”
On John K. Bush’s confirmation: “The GOP continues to support Trump’s extreme agenda by confirming dangerous ideologues to our courts.” pic.twitter.com/XiSVgx6LIq
— PFAW (@peoplefor) July 20, 2017