By Brian Oxenhandler
After waiting months to ask Kenneth Lee, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the 9th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday wasted no time confronting Lee about decades-used writings on urge, HIV and LGBTQ points.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee’s ranking member, talked about that she changed into as soon as disillusioned that Lee, a Los Angeles legal honorable and broken-down counsel for the George W. Bush administration, had been granted a hearing the least bit and hoped that his nomination by no methodology makes it to a vote.
She cited his failure to flip over extra than 75 documents as phase of his confirmation questionnaire, alongside side college writings about AIDS, political correctness and feminism.
Feinstein questioned Lee about a bit of writing he wrote in 1994 by which he claimed that “nine out of 10 participants with AIDS are homosexual or drug customers.” Lee expressed remorse and embarrassment over the article and talked about his views bear changed. He renowned that at 18 he “didn’t know science.”
“I absolutely wouldn’t write that at the unique time,” Lee talked about. “I if truth be told remorse writing that … Having a peek at that now, 26 years later, I’m merely embarrassed by it.” Lee talked about that he is aware of someone living with HIV, and the root that that individual may per chance per chance learn his previous writings changed into as soon as “mortifying.” He additionally talked about his writings were a “erroneous are attempting” to reinforce the Reagan administration’s coverage on HIV.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., requested Lee, “Manufacture you judge that discrimination or oppression against LGBTQ participants is merely a ‘Marxist paradigm?’” relating to one more one among Lee’s articles from 1995. Lee answered “absolutely now not,” alongside side that he had finished honorable bono work for LGBTQ clients and made sure to recruit LGBTQ attorneys at his guidelines company.
Ahead of Lee’s Senate confirmation hearing, his two dwelling deliver senators, Feinstein and Kamala Harris, Democrats who each take a seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, known as on him to withdraw his nomination.
“Mr. Lee’s repeated failure to assemble responsive provides to this committee is a breach of the committee’s standards and processes — it’s miles not a partisan agonize,” they wrote in a joint utter this week.
In an earlier utter, the 2 senators talked about it changed into as soon as “exhausting to evaluate” that Lee’s “omissions were accidental.” They added his failure to flip over controversial writings that reward vulgar views must be disqualifying.
Loads of Lee’s writings were published in The Cornell Overview as an undergraduate.
In a 1994 article titled “Homosexual Office Opens,” Lee antagonistic the outlet of an LGBTQ resource middle on campus, announcing it changed into as soon as now not main for the rationale that college changed into as soon as already funding LGBTQ groups. He known as the choice to beginning the workplace “extra political than anything” and talked about that it changed into as soon as to soothe “militant” student activists who had been denied a homosexual dorm.
In a single more article from 1994, he bashed AIDS education posters in the cafeteria as “propaganda on the subject of as pernicious to your well being as the meals,” while declaring that “private responsibility” — in lieu of hopelessly inserting “our faith on a vaccine” — changed into as soon as wished to clear up the HIV epidemic. He additionally wrote “homosexuals are extra promiscuous than heterosexuals” and “to build far from AIDS, one has to handiest abstain from drug-use and promiscuity. So easy, but so exhausting to take.”
Lee additionally stirred controversy with op-eds about urge and gender. In a 1993 article, he talked about, “Cries of racism normally stem from isolated incidents or from unreliable reports in accordance with statistical chicanery.” In that same article, he claimed “prices of sexism normally amount to nothing but beside the level pouting.”
Lena Zwarensteyn, director of the Stunning Courts Campaign for the Leadership Convention on Civil and Human Rights, which launched an beginning letter opposing Lee’s nomination, talked about she is now not assured Lee will seemingly be an honest jurist.
“It be if truth be told exhausting to evaluate that any LGBTQ one who would dawdle thru those courthouse doors would feel take care of they would presumably well be heard moderately,” she talked about. “As a exchange, they’d potentially feel take care of they’ll seemingly be one among those participants he is branding a militant homosexual activist who’s coming into his courtroom and irritating … equal justice below guidelines.”
Carrie Severino, chief counsel and coverage director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Community, told Politico that “liberals are smearing Ken Lee, hoping he will seemingly be judged completely on the premise of immature college writings.”
“But as a honorable, Ken has earned praise and admiration from across the political spectrum on memoir of he is a ideal lawyer whose dedication to public service demonstrates that he is merely the roughly one who must be serving on the Ninth Circuit,” Severino added.
The 9th Circuit, basically basically based in San Francisco, covers all or phase of nine western states and represents on the subject of 20 percent of the American population. Trump has normally attacked the 9th Circuit for its choices against his administration, even calling it a “complete & complete catastrophe” on Twitter. Trump additionally lately predicted the court would block his nationwide emergency declaration.
Justice Roberts can notify what he needs, however the 9th Circuit is a complete & complete catastrophe. It’s out of build an eye on, has a corrupt recognition, is overturned extra than any Circuit in the Country, seventy nine%, & is frail to rep a nearly assured result. Judges must now not Legislate Security…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
Zwarensteyn talked about this court is “an unheard of fascination for this president whose many egregious, xenophobic, racist insurance policies were struck down by the 9th Circuit.” She claimed the president is fixated on reworking the 9th Circuit and having the Republican-controlled Senate usher in extremist jurists so “they’ll assemble thru the courts what they’ll now not halt by map of coverage.”
Simplest three federal court nominees earlier than Trump’s presidency were confirmed with even one dwelling deliver senator objecting, in accordance with Zwarensteyn. She talked about it’s motive for ache that every of Lee’s dwelling deliver senators oppose his nomination.
Despite the troubles of Feinstein and Harris, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talked about closing week that he’s “now not overly timid” about Lee’s previous writings.
A vote on Lee’s confirmation has now not but been scheduled. 4 Republican votes may per chance per chance be wished to pause his nomination, assuming all Democrats oppose him.