While most of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been stellar men and women, a handful have not. A very small number didn’t seem to have the experience needed or were coasting on some kind of personal tie with the White House. One was turned away for having defended his state’s voter ID law in court…the level of pain tolerance among GOP senators is not all that high. But the most troubling has been the story of Michael Bogren.
Bogren is the nominee for the Western District of Michigan and came under heightened scrutiny by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley because of his defense of the city of East Lansing, MI, a losing defense, one might add, in a religious discrimination lawsuit. This was my post, Josh Hawley Barbecues One Of President Trump’s Judicial Nominees For His Anti-Religious Bias, and this was Hawley:
Earlier this week, two other GOP senators, Ted Cruz and Thom Tillis, came out against him. See Bipartisan Opposition Seems To Doom This Trump Judicial Nominee’s Chances For Confirmation. Earlier today, his nominee was effectively killed when Lindsey Graham did not bring his name up for a vote:
Senate Judiciary Cmte set to vote on a host of judicial nominees Thursday. Absent from this list: Michael Bogren, the Michigan attorney whose nomination is opposed by @HawleyMO and Cruz. https://t.co/6CXKkP8Cdo
— Bryan Lowry (@BryanLowry3) June 11, 2019
Now it is official, Bogren has withdrawn his name from consideration. This from his cousin, Margot Cleveland, who writes for The Federalist.
THREAD: I just learned that my cousin, Mike Bogren, has sent White House a letter withdrawing his name from consideration of the district court position. For those celebrating this as a win for religious liberty, it is not–it is a Pyrrhic victory at best. Here's why. 1/
— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) June 11, 2019
THREAD: I just learned that my cousin, Mike Bogren, has sent White House a letter withdrawing his name from consideration of the district court position. For those celebrating this as a win for religious liberty, it is not–it is a Pyrrhic victory at best. Here’s why. 1/
2/ Initially, let me say that I understand the concerns. If I did not KNOW Michael, I would likewise have shared concerns that zealous representation of the City of East Lansing, as his briefing demonstrated, might mean the attorney making those arguments held a disregard
3/ for people of faith. But as Mike made clear, his words were not his personal views, but his legal advocacy. Conservatives by condemning Mike have condemned other conservatives representing conservative causes. The Left could have easily have branded Mike an anti-Semite for
4/ defending a Methodist summer resort’s desire to maintain its Christian identity. What we saw then-Senator Al Franken do to Amy Comey Barrett isn’t a patch on what is to come when, God willing, she is nominated to the high court. But then again, that’s how the Left operates.
5/ MOST, thankfully, on the right did not descend to that left. But some have. I have seen people I respect calling Mike an anti-Catholic bigot. And that is shameful. You might disagree with his decision to represent a client, or the arguments made, but unjustly slandering
6/ a good man, is something we should never do in the defense of religious liberty. Judgeship or none, is of no matter; but reputation is. As I was asking my son to pray for Mike this weekend, and he asked why, I simplified the situation, and in his innocence he asked,
7/ “Why doesn’t he tell people he likes Catholics?” Life isn’t that simple-you can’t repair a man’s reputation tarnished by soundbites with a simple statement of the truth. And finally, while this is something only a few close to Mike would know from discussion of courts and
8/8 the constitution, and judges and justices over the years, the true losers will be those seeking refuge from persecution because of their faith because a judge okayed by two Democratic Senators is on the bench and Mike isn’t. END
I see this much more from the POV of Hawley and Cruz. Bogren was not a city employee, he was a partner in a law firm so, to a great extent, his participation was optional. I don’t know what steps Bogren took to settle the case, not that I think wokeness can be reasoned with, but, given the ass-whipping East Lansing took, it would have been sound legal advice. Even in court, attacking the veracity of the religious convictions of the family in question and directly comparing the Catechism of the Catholic Church to KKK teachings was over the top and scorched-earth, even by the standards of a vigorous defense.
There are a lot of lawyers out there who would not have used the same tactics in a crappy case that was doomed from beginning. We don’t have to settle for an otherwise nice guy who will resort to demeaning religious beliefs in order to win a dog of a case.