Sen. Cory Booker (Photo: Twitter)

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Feb 07, 2019 by Alyssa Duvall

Sen. Cory Booker's Inquisition Of Trump's Christian Court Of Appeals Nominee Blows Up In His Face

While it's hideous—and illegal—for an interrogation based on sincerely held religious beliefs to even occur in our government, it sure is amusing when the inquisitor epically faceplants.

That's exactly what happened during the confirmation hearing of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao, a devout Christian who has made decades-old remarks about the sinfulness of homosexuality.

After treating the room to a sermonette on LGBT rights, Cory Booker, a Democrat senator from New Jersey asked Rao, “Have you ever had any LGBTQ law clerks?” 

Right off the bat, Rao, who has never been a judge and, therefore, has never employed clerks, responds with calm and class:

“Senator, I’ve yet to be a judge. I don’t have law clerks.”

Correcting his course, Booker asked Rao if she'd ever hired any LGBT individuals in any other capacity.

“To be honest I don’t know the sexual orientation of my staff," Rao answered, again displaying pure class in the face of such a bold line of questioning. "I take people as they come, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation.“

"I treat people as individuals,” Rao added, leaving me confused as to why the room didn't erupt into applause from the inclusivity-mongers present.

Booker had been made aware of the seemingly prophetic 1994 article Rao penned for the Yale Herald which reads, in part:

"Because homosexuality, unlike gender and race, concerns a socially unacceptable activity, many gays have responded to the demands of normalcy in radical ways… Homosexual activism in its most visible form engages mainstream society in a total cultural challenge. The ‘promotion of queer expression’ comes in the form of explicitly sexual printed material, as well as national rallies and marches."

Because of her past writings, Booker pressed Rao to answer whether or not she believed homosexuality is “immoral.”

“I am not sure the relevance of that,” Rao replied.

Unrelenting, Booker repeated his question: “Do you think gay relationships are immoral?”

“I do not,” Rao said.

“Do you believe they are a sin?” Booker continued, unsatisfied with her answer.

“You know, senator, my personal views on any of these subjects are things I would put to one side and faithfully follow the precedents of the Supreme Court,” Rao answered, demonstrating tremendous patience with the inquisition she was subjected to.

Booker went on to compare the LGBTQ movement to the Civil Rights movement and demand an answer of Rao, but she held firm and refused to divulge her personal convictions on the matter.

Texan Republican Sen. Ted Cruz responded to the farce and Booker's “hostility to religious faith” during Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I was deeply troubled a few minutes ago to hear questioning of a nominee asking your personal views of what is ‘sinful.’ In my view, that has no business in this committee,” Cruz argued. “[I] don’t believe this is a theological court of inquisition. I think the proper avenue for investigation of this committee is a nominee’s record.”

Reminding everyone of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s similar interrogation of then-judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett and citing Article 6 of the Constitution, Cruz scolded the lawmakers for applying what amounts to a religious test of any nominee for public office.



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