Cory Booker makes series of ‘troubling’ fails grilling judicial nom. Ted Cruz chimes in … sets him straight

(Image: screenshot)

Sen. Cory Booker failed to trip up a high-profile judicial nominee who expertly schooled him after he grilled her on diversity and her religious beliefs.

The New Jersey Democrat was also called out by Sen. Ted Cruz after getting egg on his face for trying to confront the nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. during confirmation hearings Tuesday.

Following a heated exchange over the nominee’s position on LGBTQ rights, the “I am Spartacus” senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate asked Neomi Rao if she had ever had any LGBTQ law clerks.

“Have you ever had any LGBTQ law clerks?” he asked.

“Senator, I’ve yet to be a judge. I don’t have law clerks,” Rao responded simply.

The fact that Booker is in the esteemed position of grilling a judicial nominee, but doesn’t seem to grasp the basics of how the law works was not lost on many:

Yes, it only went downhill from there.

“Sorry, someone working for you,” Booker clarified.

“To be honest I don’t know the sexual orientation of my staff,” Rao replied. “I take people as they come, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation. I treat people as individuals.”

Before getting to that point, the combative question-and-answer session had already escalated as Booker asked Rao, who currently leads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, about a negative article she had written in 2008 criticizing the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas legalizing same-sex sexual activity in every U.S. state and territory.

“Are gay relationships in your opinion immoral?” Booker asked.

“I am not sure the relevance of that,” Rao replied, as the Democrat repeated the question.

“I do not,” Rao said.

“Do you believe they are a sin?” Booker pressed.

“My personal views on any of these subjects are things I would put to one side,” she countered.

Amazingly, Booker continued to push the issue.

“So you’re not willing to say here whether you believe it is sinful for a man — two men to be married? You are not willing to comment on that?” he asked, as the nominee assured him her personal views would not interfere with her intention to “faithfully follow the precedent.”

Cruz eviscerated Booker and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee for “hostility to religious faith” following the display which many called out as being unconstitutional.

The Texas Republican slammed the “mischaracterizing or twisting nominee’s records or views” which he argued should not “be an avenue for persecution.”

“You know, we have seen a growing pattern among Senate Democrats of hostility to religious faith. I have to say I was deeply troubled a few minutes ago to hear questioning of a nominee asking your personal views on what is sinful. In my view that has no business in this committee,” Cruz said. “Article 6 of the Constitution says there should be no religious test for any public office.”

“We have also seen Senate Democrats attack what they have characterized as religious dogma. We’ve seen Senate Democrats attack nominees for their own personal views on salvation. I don’t believe this is a theological court of inquisition,” he said, pointing to a nominee’s record as the “proper avenue for investigation.”

“So, Ms. Rao, let me talk about your record and let me ask you about your actual record, which is what this committee should be looking at,” he continued, “not our own personal religious views or your religious views whatever they may be.”

Twitter users couldn’t agree more.

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