On June 11, Michigan attorney Michael Bogren withdrew his nomination for the federal bench. The Trump nominee was being considered for a seat on the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan. The Catholic League fought his nomination from the get-go, and we were very pleased with the outcome.
We were particularly pleased to note that the Detroit News flagged our campaign against him. We twice contacted key senators, and enlisted the support of our base. Bill Donohue discussed this issue on Fox News radio, and his statement was featured on the front page of Newsmax.com. Here is how our effort unfolded.
On May 22, during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bogren said there is no difference between Catholic farm owners refusing to rent their property for the purpose of a gay wedding and the Klan’s right to discriminate against blacks. When asked to clarify what he meant, he stuck to his guns: the teachings of Christianity on marriage are morally equivalent to the Klan’s racist ideology.
On May 23, we contacted every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing our concerns about the propriety of having someone like Bogren become a federal district judge. We asked that Bogren retract his vile analogy.
On June 5, we issued a news release asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Bogren. We did so in support of Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley, both of whom pledged to reject his nomination. Donohue also wrote to Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging him to join Cruz and Hawley in voting against Bogren. We asked our supporters to contact Graham (listing an email contact).
As Donohue pointed out in a news release on June 5, Bogren’s logic was deeply flawed. Worse, he had a chance to clear his name by insisting that he was only making a legal analogy and in no way was making a moral comparison between the teachings of Catholicism on marriage and the Klan’s racist ideology. His decision not to do so was not a wise choice.
After withdrawing his name, Bogren defended himself, protesting that he is not a bigot. We never called him one. The reason we didn’t want him on the federal bench is because his judgment is impaired. The Catholic Church is deserving of religious liberty guarantees as encoded in the First Amendment because it promotes freedom; the Klan is a hate group that practices terrorism against blacks, Jews, and Catholics. There is no legitimate comparison.
This was an important victory, and we are pleased the media recognized the prominent role that we played.