Cornelia Pillard — extreme and extremely disingenuous

Ed Whelan takes another look at Cornelia Pillard’s false and deceptive testimony to Congress during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Ed previously analyzed Pillard’s testimony regarding her writings about the novel theory that only abstinence-only sex education is unconstitutional, in certain circumstances. I discussed Ed’s post on that matter here.

Now, Ed has explored three additional areas where Pillard’s testimony was either false or misleading: (1) her denial that in her writings she has advocated “restyling the law” to ensure “contraceptive equality;” (2) her effort to dance around the question of whether she continues to believe that the Lutheran Church’s position the that Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their churches — which the Supreme Court adopted by a unanimous vote — constitutes “a substantial threat to the American rule of law;” and (3) her claim that she has not criticized laws that grant conscience rights to pharmacists and health care providers “to refuse to facilitate abortions or even to fill prescriptions for contraceptives if they are personally opposed to such practices.”

Ed shows that Pillard’s testimony on points (1) and (3) is false.

Even Senators who agree with some of the left-wing positions Pillard has staked out in her writings — I doubt that many Senators would be willing publicly to advocate all of them — should be reluctant to confirm a nominee who is so disingenuous about these writings. And, to take a more realistic view of the confirmation process, Senators who recognize that Pillard’s writings place her well outside of the mainstream need not base their opposition to her nomination solely on her extremism.


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