Pro-life Trump judicial nominee Wendy Vitter clears Senate committee vote
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly voted to approve one of President Donald Trump’s latest judicial nominees on Thursday, bringing her one step closer to becoming a federal judge.
The committee voted 11-10 along party lines in favor of Wendy Vitter serving on the U.S. District Court in New Orleans, NOLA reported. Vitter is an attorney for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and the wife of former Republican Sen. David Vitter.
“I'm glad the committee looked past partisan political exercises and voted her through based on her excellent qualifications," Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, also from Vitter’s home state of Louisiana, said in response to the news.
Vitter has pledged to “put aside my personal, religious and political views” and judge every case that comes before her “based on facts presented to me in the law, that's what I'll do.” But Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, the only committee member to speak out against her this week, said it was an “insult” to take her words at face value in light of her pro-life record.
Vitter has received high praise from prosecutors, colleagues, and opposing attorneys for her legal capability and ethics, though Democrats and pro-abortion activists have taken aim at her history of pro-life advocacy.
Chief among the incidents Vitter’s foes have highlighted is her moderating a 2013 panel titled “Abortion Hurts Women” for Louisiana Right to Life. There, she condemned Planned Parenthood for “kill(ing) over 150,000 females a year,” a figure derived from the abortion giant’s admission that it performs more than 300,000 abortions a year, and estimates that nearly half of all annual births are girls.
Committee Democrats have also attacked Vitter over certain claims in a contraception brochure authored by one of the panelists, which Vitter said she was not aware of, and criticized her for omitting past abortion-related statements from her nominee questionnaire.
Pro-abortion lobbying groups have made defeating Vitter a priority, with Planned Parenthood launching an online advertising campaign and collecting more than 20,000 signatures, and NARAL declaring her “dangerous” to legal abortion.
Pro-life leaders have widely praised the president’s record on judicial nominees as fulfilling his campaign promise to select judges faithful to the Constitution’s original intent, including overturning Roe v. Wade. Vitter is likely to pass a final confirmation vote by the Senate, which only needs a simple majority. While the GOP’s 51-49 majority contains two pro-abortion Republicans who have derailed pro-life legislation, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have consistently supported Trump’s judicial nominees.