'Absolutely nuts' to grill judicial nominees over KofC membership, Sasse says

Catholic News Agency | 6/7/2019 | Staff
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Washington D.C., Jun 7, 2019 / 12:34 am (CNA).- In his opening question for Peter J. Phipps, a judicial nominee for the United States Third Circuit court, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) started with what he called “a hard question.”

“Are you now or have you ever been involved in the organization of a fish fry?”

Phipps - Fries - Consumer - Consumers

Laughing, Phipps responded that he had been involved in fish fries as a “consumer,” one who usually brings a few other consumers with him, he added.

The question was a poke at other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who have in recent years grilled potential judges over their membership in the Knights of Columbus, well-known for its fish fries and other philanthropic activities in the Catholic Church.

Phipps - Questions - Member - Knights - District

Phipps confirmed to Sasse that he had also fielded questions about being a member of the Knights during his district court nomination in May 2018.

“Do you know why?” Sasse asked. “Because I’m confused. This is a new tradition around here evidently, trying to figure out if people are members of religious organizations. Do you know what the point of the questions for the record about your membership in the Knights of Columbus was?”

Sir - Phipps

“No sir, I do not,” Phipps responded.

It is not the first time a judicial nominee has been questioned by the Senate committee over their membership in the Catholic organization. Brian C. Buescher, a nominee for United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, was questioned in December about whether being a member of the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially.”

Responses - Sasse - Wednesday - June - Phipps

In responses to Sasse on Wednesday, June 5, Phipps described the Knights of Columbus as a Catholic charitable organization that was founded not just to encourage community among church goers, but to “ensure that if a father had died, that the Knights would...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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