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Stop The Nomination of Far Left Attorney Michael Bogren For Federal District Judge

Michael Bogren
As a general rule, the lawyers and judges President Trump has nominated to the federal bench have – at least on the surface – been conservative or conservative-leaning originalists in their judicial philosophy. Once in a while a nominee who does not meet those essential qualifications slips through the screening process and ends-up with a nomination; such is the case of Michael Bogren, nominated for a District judgeship in the Western District of Michigan.

Our friend Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review reminded us that Bogren was the attorney representing East Lansing, Michigan, in a case where the city has been sued for religious discrimination.

As Horowitz pointed out, under questioning from Senator Josh Hawley, Bogren stated he believes in the latest trend of governments discriminating against Catholic adoption agencies or businesses because, in his estimation, “discriminators need not apply.”

According to Bogren’s thinking, government contracts should be open to all citizens, and many citizens are allowed to bring discrimination lawsuits based on nonsensical and frivolous claims. But somehow when cities like East Lansing openly say they will not do business with a farmer who doesn’t host gay weddings on his property, that is perfectly fine.

Steve Tennes was kicked out of the Lansing farmers’ market for his religious beliefs and, as Mr. Horowitz pointed out, is now suing in the very federal court where Bogren seeks a judgeship. Bogren represented East Lansing and wrote a brief comparing government’s termination of contracts with Tennes to the government barring work with the KKK, a group that discriminates based on immutable traits. “The message isn’t Catholics need not apply,” Bogren said. “The message is discriminators need not apply … This is not about religion. This not about speech.”

To his great credit, Senator Josh Hawley confronted Bogren with those comments this week at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Bogren reiterated that “the point I was trying to make was that religious beliefs trying to justify discrimination – if extended to sexual orientation, which the city of East Lansing protects – could be used to try to justify any other sort of discrimination, whether it be gender or race.”

Bogren said very clearly, “I stand by those comparisons” of religious beliefs against gay marriage to discriminating based on race and gender.

You can watch the back-and-forth between Hawley and Bogren here

Hawley concluded, “I am shocked by the statements that I read in your briefs; I’m shocked by this kind of language. I’m particularly shocked by it in light of the Supreme Court’s clear teaching that this kind of animus and these kind of hateful comparisons are out of step with the protections of our law.” Referring to the landmark Supreme Court ruling last year, Hawley said, “The Masterpiece Cakeshop case turned on these issues, it turned on this kind of animus. The fact that you stand by these comments is extraordinary to me.”

In terms of religious liberty, this, as Daniel Horowitz put it, “is the whole enchilada.”

Governments are codifying the homosexual – and the transgender – agenda into civil rights, thereby trampling the foundational freedom of religion in this country observed Mr. Horowitz. Once we accede to the point that sexual behavior is just like race, that would mean that even private businesses who are not seeking government work but just merely want to be left alone would also be forced to directly serve homosexual weddings.

We urge all CHQ readers and friends to make two phone calls today: One to the White House at 202-456-1111 to demand that the President withdraw the nomination of Michael Bogren as federal District Judge for the Western District of Michigan; the second call we urge you to make is to Senator Josh Hawley’s office (the toll-free Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) to thank him for standing for religious liberty and to urge him to put an indefinite hold on the Michael Bogren nomination.

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