Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned President Joe Biden’s nominee Hampton Dellinger on a past tweet he made about Republicans and their stance on abortion in a recent hearing.
The story: Kennedy pointed to Dellinger’s tweet during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which took place on Wednesday.
Schiller, a former partner at Boies Schiller, was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.
In detail: Kennedy pressed Dellinger over a tweet he posted in 2019 in which he suggested that male Republican politicians were responsible for abortion bans in the U.S.
“Yes, there are some women GOPers and a tiny # of Dems who want government not women to control women’s bodies. But if there were no Republican men in elected office, there would be no abortion bans,” Dellinger wrote on May 18, 2019.
The Louisiana senator kicked off his questioning by noting that Dellinger has claimed he is nonpartisan.
“I was glad to hear you talk about being nonpartisan. You must have had an epiphany,” Kennedy told Dellinger.
He then read his 2019 tweet out loud.
“Did you write that?” Kennedy asked.
“Senator I do not recall that specific tweet but I do not deny writing it,” Dellinger said.
“You wrote it,” Kennedy noted. “Here it is bigger than Dallas.”
“Do you think that my votes with respect to abortion are based on the fact that I want to control women?” Kennedy asked.
“Senator, I can not speak to that,” Dellinger responded.
“Well, why’d you say it, in front of God and country?” Kennedy asked.
“Well Senator, I do believe that reproductive rights established in Roe v. Wade and then dealt with… other Supreme Court decisions are important…” Dellinger began.
Kennedy said that he agreed with that statement.
“But that’s not what you said, counselor. You said every Republican, other than the ones that you like, has their position on abortion because they’re misogynistic. Do you believe in God?”
Dellinger told Kennedy that he has “faith.”
“A lot of people have faith,” Kennedy shot back. “Did it ever occur to you that some people may base their position on abortion on their faith?”
“Senator, I sincerely appreciate people that have a different position on abortion …” Dellinger started.
“You sure don’t tweet it. Have you ever tweeted that?” Kennedy asked.
“I’m saying it now, under oath,” Dellinger answered.
“Yeah, you’re up to be nominated. You want me to vote for you,” Kennedy said.
Worth noting: A few media reports and Americans United for Separation of Church claimed that it is unconstitutional for a Senator to ask a nominee about their religious beliefs.
“That’s a flat-out violation of our Constitution’s promise that there is no religious test for public office. It’s also grossly hypocritical to witness Sen. Kennedy, who claims to be a champion of religious freedom, so blatantly deny that freedom to others,” said the group’s CEO Rachel Laser.
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