Hiking up Brownback Mountain

Sen. Sam Brownback, locked in a continual battle with James Inhofe of Oklahoma for the title of the Senate's loopiest anti-gay member, is now holding up one of Bush's judicial nominees because of a story that she presided over a lesbian commitment ceremony 4 years ago. Judge Janet Neff has received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is waiting for a confirmation vote from the full Senate, but Brownback has placed a hold on her nomination. And you'll love the reason:

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, an opponent of gay marriage who has presidential aspirations, said Friday he wants to know whether there was anything illegal or improper about the ceremony. He also said he wants to question Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet T. Neff about her views on gay marriage and how her actions might shape her judicial philosophy.

"It seems to speak about her view of judicial activism," Brownback said. "That's something I want to inquire of her further."

Commitment ceremonies are not legally binding, so there is no issue of them being illegal or improper. Brownback is simply blowing smoke. He's just bothered by the fact that Neff actually associates with lesbians, since in his view lesbians are evil. And of course, anyone who doesn't hate gays as much as he does is obviously a "judicial activist". I mean that just goes without saying. What an idiot.

And if he continues to hold up a vote, let's all remind him of what he said on May 24, 2005:

"All of the president's nominees-both now and in the future-deserve a fair up or down vote..."

Not that this sort of consistency matters to Brownback. The only consistency that matters to him is that he is consistently anti-gay and anti-anyone who isn't anti-gay.


More like this

I wrote a couple weeks ago about Sen. Sam Brownback holding up the nomination of a judge from West Michigan because she once attended a commitment ceremony for two lesbians. That judge, Janet Neff, has replied to Brownback's questions about the event but he still won't release the hold on her…
The LA Times has a story about some religious right leaders pushing for gays to be purged from the Republican Party. In the wake of the Foley scandal, there are increasing calls to get gay people out of the party entirely. "The big-tent strategy could ultimately spell doom for the Republican Party…
I can't be the only one who is sick and tired of hearing the right blather on about the "unprecedented" filibusters over a handful of Bush's judicial nominees. Bill Frist claims that the Democrats "radically broke with tradition and precedent and launched the first-ever filibuster of a judicial…
Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan for catching this article in the National Review Online, containing this quote: Fox News contributor Mort Kondracke put it best when he said last night, "I think it was totally underhanded -- the outing of Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter.... And it struck me as a low blow…

Consistency? You want...consistency.

Ed. You're a radical.

By Russell Claus (not verified) on 07 Oct 2006 #permalink

Yes, liberals are always consistent...they are always against a war, after they are for it; they are really pro life, except when someone else is not, and they are against higher taxes, except when they are for them.

By Christensem (not verified) on 08 Oct 2006 #permalink


In the words of Ed Brayton: "I'll take irrelevant for $100, Alex."

I hear the name, 'Senator Brownback' but it sticks in my head as 'Senator Brownshirt'...

Christensem wrote:

Yes, liberals are always consistent...they are always against a war, after they are for it; they are really pro life, except when someone else is not, and they are against higher taxes, except when they are for them.

If the most profound response you can come up is "I'm rubber and you're glue", I would sugges you're in the wrong place. Try Free Republic or the Democratic Underground, where such reasoning is considered logical and compelling.

Are there any current, planned, or possible judicial challenges to the idea of the signing statement as Bush uses it?

I'm not sure what a test case regarding signing statements would look like, but you'd think there would be a couple of national organizations who would be really happy if they could find one.

By Andrew McClure (not verified) on 08 Oct 2006 #permalink


I just realized I meant to post that last comment in the other thread. Sorry.

By Andrew McClure (not verified) on 08 Oct 2006 #permalink