A lawyer named John Kenneth Bush has been nominated by Trump for a spot on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Michigan, and he has a long track record of quoting fake news and making outrageous claims in a blog he wrote under a pseudonym.
Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota chimed in, asking Bush about blog posts that cited alt-right reports containing conspiracy theories and false information, such as the claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.
In a testy exchange, Franken pressed Bush on how he decided which sources to rely on for information, pointing to one source which Franken called a “white nationalism” propaganda organ filled with “hate speech.”
Bush dodged the question several times, until Franken asked bluntly if Bush “felt free to put posts out that cited sources that you knew were not credible.”
“No,” Bush replied. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying that as a blogger, I was making political statements.”
That was his excuse, offered with a straight face: I was being “political” and a judge is never political, so it’s all cool.
Bush maintained that none of the beliefs he expressed in those posts would carry over to his conduct as a judge.
“Blogging is a political activity,” he said. “It is not appropriate to bring politics to the bench, and if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will not bring politics to the bench.”
If I were on the Senate Judiciary Committee, here’s the question I would have asked after he said that: “Mr. Bush, precisely how stupid do you think we are?” His blog promoted birtherism and all manner of bizarre, racist claims. He also has written that New York Times v Sullivan, an absolutely crucial ruling in protecting freedom of the press in this country, was wrongly decided. Trump is also on record wanting it overturned. It was a 9-0 decision, which tells you how far outside the judicial mainstream this guy is.