William B. Turner
Wow. Just wow. Trump appointee for a federal judge, Wendy Vitter, wife of Louisiana Senator and diaper fancier, David Vitter, had a hearing today as part of the Senate confirmation process.
You Christians have a lot to answer for.
Senator Blumenthal asked her if she believed Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. In case anyone doesn’t know, that is the decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that racial segregation in public education violates the U.S. Constitution. It is one of the leading African American civil rights cases in U.S. history, arguably the leading case, since it was the first one to chip away seriously at the principle of separate but equal, which the Court foisted on the country in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 – the idea that separate facilities for black and white people were acceptable, so long as they were equal, which they never really were, of course.
Hint: the correct, easy answer is, “Yes.”
She equivocated. She hesitated, then begged off answering by reference to her “personal political or religious views,” referring to the case as one “which I may disagree with”!
Okay, it absolutely is the case that, especially for Supreme Court nominees, the confirmation process does create an inherent bind because the ethics of judges require them only to render opinions on actual cases before them, but Senators want to ask them about hypothetical cases, and for ordinary federal judges, expressing their opinions on old cases can present a problem.
But not when the case in question is a sixty one year old civil rights milestone.
The only correct answer is yes. This is a no brainer, or it should have been.
She suggests that she disagrees with the idea that racial segregation violates the Constitution. This is stunning.
We should not find this surprising. Good Christians have lately been whipping out their religious views to try to justify discriminating against queers. The Supreme Court will issue a decision in a case where a good Christian chose to violate a state statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
They won’t admit it, but it is hard to avoid the surmise that discrimination against queers, besides reflecting the genuine beliefs of good Christians, also serves as a psychologically satisfying proxy for their continuing belief in the validity of racial discrimination, which they know they can’t get away with claiming these days. As this law review article explains, there really is no conflict between freedom of religious belief and practice, on one hand, and equal protection for queers, on the other.
But Christians like to use their religious beliefs as the cheap excuse to make other people miserable, so they claim that nondiscrimination laws infringe on their rights to practice their religion.
That is, their Christian beliefs require them to discriminate.
Apparently, in Wendy Vitter’s case, that includes racial discrimination.
Thanks, Christians. Good job.