Republican Sen. Josh Hawley put on a master class in how to handle President Joe Biden’s attempts to stock the federal bench with leftists with no respect for religious freedom.
In a grilling Wednesday of Loren AliKhan, Biden’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, it took Hawley only a few questions to remind Americans how hostile Democrats became toward the First Amendment under the pretext of protecting the country from the COVID-19 pandemic.
And he left AliKhan speechless in the process.
In the questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hawley, in his first term representing Missouri in the Senate and an outspoken advocate of religious freedom, started with AliKhan’s acknowledged history of fighting religious liberty cases in court.
But he homed in on her failed defense of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s attempts to keep the Capitol Hill Baptist Church from conducting services during the COVID era — while Bowser herself was joining protesting mobs much larger than the congregation.
Check it out here:
AliKhan made a show of spouting legal jargon to paper over her defeat in the Capitol Hill Baptist case.
“We lost because, applying the strict scrutiny test, the court concluded that the restrictions were not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest,” AliKhan said.
Hawley was having none of it.
“Because …?” he asked.
AliKhan, who is now a sitting judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals but was solicitor general for D.C. at the time of the case, was silent for seconds that felt like hours, before offering, “Senator …”
Hawley cut her off.
“Oh, come on judge, don’t make me do this,” he said. “Do you want me to go through it for you?
“You lost this because Mayor Bowser was going to mass protests, herself personally, with thousands of people … I want to be clear, that is totally fine. You want to protest, go for it. I think that’s totally fine. That wasn’t the problem here.
“At the same time she was doing that she was prohibiting churches, religious people, from gathering socially distanced outside, wearing masks, and the district court said ‘You can’t do that, that’s discrimination. You can’t separate people out based on their ideological beliefs, their positions.’ You can’t do that, right?”
There was some back and forth after that, but Hawley had made the point.
Toward the end of the questioning, though, he drove it home with a vengeance.
“The district court said you engaged in, and your client engaged in and you defended, discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs. That you offered no scientific evidence for it. That you pressed these arguments over and over and over without any foundation,” he said.
“Frankly, I’m disappointed that you made those arguments … I’m disappointed that you persisted in defending them here today.
“For that reason, among others, I will not support your nomination.”
That, in a nutshell, is how progressives need to be dealt with in general, but particularly when it comes to limiting the spread of their poison in the federal courts.
They need to be called out. Their hypocrisy needs to be put on public view, with the facts and their record. And they need to be rejected — publicly and firmly in a way any fair-minded American, regardless of political views, has to understand.
If nothing else, the COVID experience demonstrated how willing Democrats are to use the flimsiest of excuses to crack down on opponents’ freedom while cutting supporters limitless slack. Everyone knew it. Everyone saw it. And everyone needs to understand that arbitrary government power is the definition of tyranny.
What’s particularly troubling is that the promotion AliKhan is seeking could sit her on the very court that rejected her discriminatory arguments in the October 2020 ruling.
If AliKhan were on the court when one of her fellow traveling leftists had made the same argument, is there any serious question that she would accept it?
Former President Donald Trump’s judicial selections were among the proudest points of his presidency, with jurists dedicated to the text of the Constitution taking seats where they will be able to protect American liberties. The Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022 proved how important the power of judicial appointment is.
With Joe Biden in the White House, exactly the opposite is occurring, with progressives like AliKhan being named for posts where they will have the ability to inflict the scourge of leftism for generations to come.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, like the Senate overall, is in the hands of Democrats, so it’s entirely possible AliKhan will be confirmed to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.
But the master class Hawley put on on Wednesday won’t be wasted if Republicans apply the lessons it contained.
Heading into the 2024 election, Americans need to be reminded over and over again of the damage Biden and Democrats have done to the country since January 2021 and the danger they pose to the country’s future.
And Loren AliKhan’s nomination is a textbook case.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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