A federal appeals court nominee broke down in tears during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, reacting to a scathing letter against his confirmation by the American Bar Association after it conducted 60 interviews and concluded that he was “not qualified” for the judicial branch. Lawrence J.C. VanDyke grew emotional, with his face turning red as he defended himself against the letter’s conclusions that he could would not treat LGBTQ litigants fairly.
“I do not believe that,” VanDyke said. “It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God,” adding, “they should all be treated with dignity and respect.” The rare outburst comes as the ABA is under continued attack from conservatives who question its methodology and argue that the group that has rated potential nominees for decades is biased against conservatives.
About those motherfucking fake tears:
Mr. VanDyke has represented, given speeches to, and worked for the homophobic Alliance Defending Freedom. Mr. VanDyke has attacked LGBTQ equality on multiple fronts throughout the past 15 years, beginning with a strident, anti-marriage equality op-ed he wrote in 2004.
He asserted that “children on average fare best in stable, two parent families” and “[t]his, combined with the correlative evidence of the decline in the family unit in Scandinavia, where de facto same-sex marriage has been around for about a decade, does provide ample reason for concern that same-sex marriage will hurt families, and consequentially children and society.”
He complained that in Canada, “courts are forcing same-sex marriage on the populace;” in England, “police investigated a bishop for his advocacy of the view that homosexuals can leave the homosexual lifestyle;” and that “Sweden has just passed a sweeping ‘hate crimes’ law forbidding criticism of homosexuality.”
He declared that “the trend of intolerance towards religion as homosexual ‘rights’ become legally entrenched is not merely an overseas phenomenon,” and he criticized the “chimera of ‘tolerance’ affiliated with homosexual rights.”
In 2010, Mr. VanDyke authored an amicus brief in the case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, where he argued that college student groups had a First Amendment right to exclude LGBTQ students from membership. The Supreme Court rejected that position and ruled in favor of LGBTQ students. It is telling that on his Senate questionnaire, Mr. VanDyke listed this as one of the ten most significant cases of his career.
In 2013, while serving as the Montana Solicitor General, Mr. VanDyke advocated for joining amicus briefs that attacked LGBTQ equality. In his brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, where he defended state bans on marriage equality, Mr. VanDyke argued that “a state’s decision to ratify the sexual union between a man and a woman confirms a deeply significant understanding of human relationships and encourages such unions as the standard for the human family.”
In his brief in United States v. Windsor, Mr. VanDyke defended the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the federal government from recognizing any marriages between gay or lesbian couples for the purpose of federal laws or programs, even if those couples were considered legally married by their home state.
Mr. VanDyke’s brief stated that “opposite-sex couples are the only procreative relationships that exist, which means that such couples are the only ones the government has a need to encourage.” The Supreme Court rejected Mr. VanDyke’s discriminatory arguments in both of these cases.
Trump judicial nominee Lawrence VanDyke was rated unqualified by the American Bar Association, citing interviews with legal peers, who said he was accomplished, but “arrogant, lazy and an ideologue.” https://t.co/TbOZHT2L7W
— Bloomberg Law (@BLaw) October 30, 2019
.@ABAesq‘s politically motivated & biased attempts to smear the qualifications of an impressive and qualified judicial nominee are not within the best interests of the American people. After my Q&A w VanDyke today at @senjudiciary, I look forward his confirmation. pic.twitter.com/97m07IgmGA
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 30, 2019
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 30, 2019