United States Sen. Ben Sasse urges the Senate to reject as religious bigotry questions asked of a Nebraska federal judicial nominee.
Sasse takes to the Senate floor claiming questions of whether U.S. District Court nominee Brian Buescher would be unduly influenced by his affiliation with the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus violates his First Amendment rights.
“And just as the First Amendment prohibits the government from dictating anyone’s religious beliefs, so to the Constitution explicitly rejects religious tests for federal office,” Sasse tells colleagues.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, both Democrats, questioned Buescher during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his work with the Knights of Columbus, focusing on the Knights’ stances on such hot button issues as same-sex marriage
Sasse, a Republican, says calls that the Knights are extreme and questions of whether they would dictate how Buescher rules from the bench have no place in the confirmation process.
“If a senator has a problem with this resolution, you’re probably in the wrong line of work, because this is what America is. This is a super basic point: no religious tests,” Sasse says.
The resolution won approval without objection.
President Donald Trump nominated Buescher to take the place of Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp, who has taken senior status.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]