6 Things to Know About Wendy Vitter and Her Confirmation Hearing

One of President Donald Trump’s most lasting impacts on the U.S. may be his appointments of far-right judges to the federal courts. A record number of vacancies remained when President Barack Obama left office — many due to the GOP’s insistence on blocking nominations through most of his tenure. Now, President Trump has been making appointments left and right, often inserting those pre-approved by social conservative organizations.

No doubt that is how Wendy Vitter, the nominee for the federal bench in the Eastern District of Louisiana, found herself in this position. But even among far-right appointees, Vitter has an unbelievable background.

Here are six things you need to know about Wendy Vitter and her nomination hearing.

1. She’s a general counsel for the Catholic Church.

According to a press release announcing her nomination:

Wendy Vitter serves as General Counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. She previously served in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, beginning as a law clerk and ultimately rising to chief of the Felony Trials Division.

2. She’s the wife of former Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, who was caught in a prostitution scandal.

As Politico reported in 2015:

After a single press conference in 2007 where he admitted to a ‘serious sin,’ the senator has steadfastly avoided the topic, even while easily winning reelection in 2010. But in the past two debates and in recent television advertising, Vitter has been forced to bring up the scandal, casting himself as a fallen man who has found redemption with the help of his wife and family.”

3. She thinks Planned Parenthood “kills” hundreds of thousands of women a year.

At a 2013 protest in Louisiana, Vitter said:

There are plenty of places locally that provide all of the mammograms and breast cancer screenings that women need. They will be here today, they will be here tomorrow to open their doors for anyone who needs breast cancer screening. Planned Parenthood says they promote women’s health. It is the saddest of ironies that they kill over 150,000 females a year. The first step in promoting women’s health is to let them live.

4. Oh, and birth control kills them, too.

NPR reports:

Vitter sought to distance herself from a brochure she had appeared to endorse while leading a panel at a pro-life conference in 2013. The panel was called “Abortion Hurts Women,” and the brochure promoted a variety of unsubstantiated claims linking birth control pills to breast cancer, cervical and liver cancers, and “violent death.”

On this last point — violent death — the brochure alleged that women who take oral contraceptives prefer men with similar DNA, and that women in these partnerships have fewer sexual relations, leading to more adultery, and ‘understandably … violence.”‘

5. She won’t denounce school segregation.

According to Newsweek, during her judicial hearing:

When Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked her if she supported the Supreme Court’s decision to allow desegregated schools in Brown v. Board of Education, she hesitated in her reply, stating: “I think I get into a difficult area when I start commenting on Supreme Court decisions—which are correctly decided and which I may disagree with. Again, my personal, political, or religious views I would set aside.”

6. She “accidentally” left a lot of information off her disclosure forms.

Huffington Post reports that after learning about Vitter’s previous speeches to anti-abortion groups:

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) asked Vitter directly if she omitted those materials “because they would cause you to face difficult questions, like the ones I’m asking, about your judgment and temperament at this confirmation hearing.”

Vitter said it was “always my intent” to be forthcoming and that the omissions were inadvertent. She repeated that she would keep her personal views separate from her job as a federal judge if she’s confirmed, just as she did in her role as a former assistant district attorney in Louisiana.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

86 comments

Jessica K
Jessica K3 months ago

Well, it would be nice idea for her or any judge to set their personal agenda aside in adjudicating cases. How often this happens, I have no idea, because judges aren't robots. But it still a premise advocated in the Constitution regardless of what happens in Planet Reality. Thanks.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 months ago

Amanda,
She is not evil. Nothing in this inflammatory and quite disingenuous articles would indicate that she should not be confirmed. Robin just thinks that anyone who does not think and believe the way she does, should not be in leadership positions. Sounds rather exclusionary and unaccepting if others. We need a broad mixture to ensure that all positions are heard.

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Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda M
Amanda M3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda M3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jaime J
Jaime J3 months ago

Thank you!!

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga3 months ago

noted

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Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride3 months ago

Thanks.

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Jaime J
Jaime J3 months ago

Thank you!!

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Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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