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LGBT Rights Groups Adamantly Oppose Judicial Nominees

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 25, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If attorneys John Bush and Damien Schiff were running for office, they might have been well-suited to serve in the Republican-controlled Congress.

Bush has made politically polarizing comments about issues such same sex-marriage, abortion, and women's rights. Schiff has publicly disparaged gays and even said states should be allowed to criminalize consensual sodomy.

But Bush and Schiff are in the running for judicial appointments. President Trump likes them for the federal courts; LGBT rights groups, not so much.

"Two Greatest Tragedies"

In a letter to the Senate, 27 organizations are urging Democrats to reject the nominees.

"Bush has expressed biased and offensive positions on wide-ranging issues," they wrote. "He likened abortion to slavery, calling these issues 'the two greatest tragedies in our country.'"

The letter also rails against Bush for mocking climate change and claiming that Democrats were trying to "substitute woman for Black." He celebrated the apparent repeal of the Affordable Care Act by proclaiming, "the witch is dead."

Bush, a Kentucky litigator, has been nominated to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served on the court's advisory rules committee from 2012 to 2015.

Provocative Bloggers

Bush and Schiff have faced tough questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee over their blog posts. Bush writes under a pseudonym for the political website, "Elephants in the Bluegrass," but Schiff has been more transparent in his blogs.

For Schiff, that was a problem. He called Justice Anthony Kennedy, who present for the hearing, a "judicial prostitute."

He accused Kennedy of "selling his vote" to the majority "in exchange for the high that comes from the aggrandizement of power and influence, and the blandishments of the fawning media."

Schiff, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation in California, has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

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