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Sen. Hawley: Judicial Nominee Bogren Displayed 'Anti-Religious Hatred’

Mark Jennings
By Mark Jennings | June 13, 2019 | 11:16 AM EDT

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and
his wife, Erin Hawley. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

During an interview on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) commented on the withdrawal of President Trump’s judicial nominee Michael Bogren, explaining that the nominee’s misunderstanding of religious liberty – Bogren had compared Catholicism to KKK racism – disqualified him from serving as a district court judge for the Western District of Michigan.

“I repeatedly gave him [Bogren] the opportunity to say he’d made a mistake, to say that that comparison was out of line,” Sen. Hawley told Tony Perkins, in reference to his questioning of Bogren during a May 22 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“It wasn’t just that comment,” Hawley continued. “He made these statements throughout the litigation [in East Lansing, Mich., case]. He made them to the press.

“He attacked this poor Catholic family personally," said Hawley, "drug their name through the mud, when he said they dress up their arguments in the--I’m quoting him right now--‘shimmering robes of righteousness.’

“That’s what he said about their faith," said Hawley. "You talk about just nasty, personal attacks.”

“He went on to say that they only followed their faith so selectively, so saying that they weren’t sincere in their beliefs, and he attacked them to the press,” said the senator. “I mean, it was really just a very bad performance. Exactly the sort of thing that the U.S. Supreme Court has said government officials should not do. They should not denigrate people of faith. The should not use comments that display anti-religious animus and anti-religious hatred, and that's what he did, and this is the right outcome."

Hawley concluded: “Someone who can’t see that this is wrong, who can’t see that this takes away or at least threatens the First Amendment rights of all of us, shouldn’t be on the bench.”

On June 11, Bogren sent a letter to the White House withdrawing his name for consideration of the judgeship.

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