I’ve written about a lot of Trump’s appalling nominees for the federal bench, but I somehow missed that he had nominated Wendy Vitter, wife of disgraced former Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, the diaper-fetishist who was a regular client of the DC Madam. But that isn’t the most noteworthy thing about her right now. In her confirmation hearing this week, she refused to say whether school segregation was unconstitutional.
“Do you believe that Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided?” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked Trump judicial nominee Wendy Vitter.
“Senator, I don’t mean to be coy,” Vitter responded, “but 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.”
“My personal, political or religious views I would set aside,” she continued, saying that if she were confirmed she would uphold the “binding” decision.
I think we can take this as an admission that she thinks it was wrongly decided because, more than probably any other Supreme Court ruling in history, Brown is seen as a litmus test. It’s so universally accepted at this point that no serious candidate for the bench could claim it was wrongly decided. That has led many a conservative originalist to invent a totally non-originalist argument to justify claiming they think it was rightly decided (while never admitting that they had to abandon their whole theory of constitutional interpretation to do so, of course).
She could easily have offered up such a rationale, or simply said yes, she thinks it was rightly decided, and moved on. But she didn’t. Instead, she took the already ridiculous claim that nominees can’t or shouldn’t comment on a case that might come before the court and dramatically expanded it to the utterly ludicrous claim that she can’t comment on cases decided more than six decades ago and long settled as a matter of law. She isn’t playing coy, she’s hiding something.
Let’s also note that Vitter, who is currently the general counsel for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, has never had a problem arguing that Roe v Wade was wrongly decided, so clearly she doesn’t have a problem doing so, she only objects to doing so if the answer will hurt her ability to be confirmed.
And I simply cannot resist recalling how Vitter said in the late 90s that if her husband cheated on her, she wouldn’t forgive him like Hillary Clinton did with Bill’s affairs, she would go Lorena Bobbit on him. And then her husband was found to be a regular client of a prostitution ring in Washington, DC and Louisiana. The press conference they held was hilarious as she declared that she was still “proud to be Mrs. David Vitter.” You could almost see the gun to her back.