Senate Candidate Demands Tammy Baldwin Stop Blocking Judicial Nominee Over His Faith

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Posted: Mar 02, 2018 1:50 PM
Senate Candidate Demands Tammy Baldwin Stop Blocking Judicial Nominee Over His Faith

Leah Vukmir, a Wisconsin Republican running for Senate, wants a fair hearing for Gordon Giampietro, nominated by President Trump to fill a federal district court seat.

A recent BuzzFeed article highlighted a few of Giampietro's supposedly controversial remarks about gay marriage, Obamacare and birth control. Baldwin's staff is quoted in the piece questioning his nomination in the context of these comments.

“These extremely troubling statements were not provided to the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission when it considered candidates for this vacancy," the spokesman wrote. "Both what was said, and the fact that it was not disclosed to the Commission, raise serious questions about whether this nominee would be able to serve as a fair and impartial judge on a federal court."

Giampietro did not disclose his past comments in his application to the Wisconsin federal nominating commission. In an attempt at transparency, Giampietro released his application Thursday, but Baldwin's team remains skeptical he will able to serve in an "impartial" manner.

Vukmir explained why this is wholly unfair to the nominee.

“As a Greek Orthodox woman, it is alarming that senators like Tammy Baldwin would be willing to block judicial nominees because of their faith,” Vukmir said in a statement Thursday. “America was built on the principle that people of faith can abide by their conscience while serving the interest of the public. Sen. Baldwin should be ashamed of her willingness to let politics get in the way of filling vacant seats on the court.”

She went into detail in her direct appeal to Baldwin to keep her own "radical views" out of it.

As a Christian, I am writing to ask you to drop your opposition to Gordon Giampietro to be a judge on the district court. Most recently, the Catholic Bishops of Wisconsin asked you to give Mr. Giampietro a fair hearing and not to discriminate against him based upon his deeply held religious beliefs.

Senator Baldwin, you should not block a highly qualified judge to serve this country and administer justice simply because they have faith and a strongly held belief about the rule of law and the constitution. You were elected to the Senate not to impose your own radical views of the judiciary on this nation, but to ensure qualified nominees sit on our judiciary. 

The founders never intended for senators to act on anti-Christian bigotry when determining if a judicial nominee is qualified to serve. Your opposition to him on this basis sends a terrible message to people of faith across Wisconsin and sets a terrible precedent.

I hope you will reconsider your position and allow Mr. Giampietro to be considered by the full Senate Judiciary committee.

Giampietro is not the only Trump judicial nominee who faced Democratic obstruction for his or her religious beliefs. Amy Coney Barrett was interrogated by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) last year for publishing papers that contained pro-life language.

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"The dogma lives loudly within you," Feinstein declared, while her colleagues had the gall to ask Barrett if she was an "orthodox Catholic."

Barrett was ultimately confirmed to the 7th circuit court.

Even Neil Gorsuch, when he was still a nominee for the Supreme Court, was grilled by Feinstein over the abortion issue. Feinstein informed him at one point that Roe v. Wade is "super precedent." He kindly explained that he would defer to the Constitution in the cases he considers, not his personal convictions.

We also learned this week that some Democrats are blocking Trump nominees due to the color of their skin.