On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questioned a Biden judicial nominee over her discrimination against religious individuals in past legal work.
Hawley asked the nominee, Loran AliKhan, if she believed it was wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of religious faith, to which she replied, “Absolutely, senator.”
“Why did you argue that religious services and religious people pose a greater risk of infection than people gathered to argue for defunding the police?” Hawley asked.
AliKhan claimed that she only made discriminatory arguments because she was representing her client – just before defending the discriminatory arguments – saying that it was her “role to defend those” positions.
“Why’d you make that argument?” Hawley pressed. “This seems like a strange argument to me that religious people are somehow, what, more infectious than folks who have other ideological positions? I don’t get it.”
AliKhan then defended the arguments, claiming that since religious people sing “epidemiologists thought [they] could transmit COVID at a higher rate.”
“You didn’t put any scientific evidence in the record for it,” Hawley pointed out.
AliKhan said she didn’t use scientific evidence in her arguments because “those were fast moving cases and they weren’t going to full briefing and full summary judgment with a record.”
“That’s not what the district court said,” Hawley noted. “The district court said that you engaged in and your client engaged in, and you defended discrimination on the basis of religious belief. That you offered no scientific evidence for it that you pressed these arguments over and over and over without any foundation.”
“Frankly, I’m disappointed that you made those arguments,” he concluded. “You can choose what arguments to make. I’m disappointed you made those arguments. I’m disappointed you persisted in defending them here today. And for that reason, among others, I will not support your nomination.”
Senator @HawleyMO: "Do you think it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of religious faith?"
Biden’s district judge nominee for D.C Loren AliKhan: "Absolutely."
Senator Hawley: "Then why did you argue that religious services and religious people pose a greater risk of… pic.twitter.com/lqMPt3Q8x4
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 7, 2023