Trump judicial pick breaks down when pressed on LGBTQ views thumbnail

Trump judicial pick breaks down when pressed on LGBTQ views

A federal appeals court nominee broke down in tears during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday when confronted with a scathing letter from the American Bar Association that deemed him “not qualified.”The association cited the record of the nominee, Lawrence VanDyke, on LGBTQ issues, along with allegations that he’s “arrogant,” “lazy” and “an ideologue.”“Some interviewees raised concerns about whether Mr. VanDyke would be fair to persons who are gay, lesbian, or otherwise part of the LGBTQ community,” said the ABA’s letter, based on dozens of interviews with lawyers and judges in a position to assess VanDyke’s “professional qualifications. “Mr. VanDyke would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.”VanDyke, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, one level below the Supreme Court, struggled to speak during Wednesday’s hearing after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., asked him about the ABA’s concerns that he would not be fair to LGBTQ people if confirmed.“No, I did not say that,” VanDyke said tearfully, after 15 seconds of silence. “I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God. They should all be treated with dignity and respect.”When Hawley asked if he could commit to treating every litigant “with respect and with dignity” if confirmed, VanDyke answered: “Absolutely, Senator.”The Morning RundownGet a head start on the morning’s top stories.“I would not have allowed myself to have been nominated for this position if I did not think I could do that,” he said.When Hawley pressed VanDyke as to whether his answer included “members of the LGBT community and any other community that has been historically disadvantaged in this country,” VanDyke once again responded affirmatively.‘Demonstrated history of animus’Despite VanDyke’s stated commitment to treating LGBTQ litigants fairly, some advocates were skeptical about whether he would fairly serve all constituents of the 9th Circuit, which is based in San Francisco and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.“We’re deeply concerned about the nomination of VanDyke, because he

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