Captain Ed rightly takes Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to task for criticizing a federal judge nominee for being present at a Massachusetts “commitment ceremony.” Senator Brownback apparently takes an issue with a federal judge being at such a ceremony.
Judge Neff did nothing illegal. She attended a private function for the daughter of a longtime friend. Last I checked, Sen. Brownback has the right to wag his finger at the Judge’s behavior, but that is not grounds for disqualifying her for the federal bench.
The fact that Sen. Brownback is asking Neff to recuse herself from any case involving same-sex unions is not only patently silly, but also a likely violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. Making a judge beholden to a member of the legislature on a political promise is certainly unethical, and Brownback should be ashamed for even suggesting such a thing.
Brownback may be trying to court social conservatives, but he’s shot himself in the foot with everyone else. His aspirations to the Oval Office were always a longshot, and this little outburst illustrates exactly why.