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.
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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) embarrasses himself while questioning D.C. Circuit— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 5, 2019
Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao during her confirmation hearing
Booker: "Have you ever had any LGBTQ law clerks?"
Rao: "Senator, I've yet to be a judge. I don't have law clerks." pic.twitter.com/x48SZ3W6ig
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.
Unacceptable. ð¡ Sign the petition and tell the Senate to #StopRao's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: https://t.co/SmL8JS7by9 #NeomiRao #CoryBooker #CourtsMatter pic.twitter.com/0GSxTNgFSi— CREDO Mobile (@CREDOMobile) February 5, 2019
“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.