Why conservatives should reject the Chai Feldblum package deal

Momentum is building against the renomination of Chai Feldblum as an EEOC commissioner. Glenn Beck has attacked the nomination. Various conservative organizations have called on their members to contact the White House to express opposition. The American Family Association, with Sandy Rios in the lead, has a petition opposing the nomination with more than 80,000 signatures. You can sign it by going here.

With the nomination on the rocks, Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women’s Forum, has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal urging conservatives to support it. She notes that Feldblum is part of a three-person slate of nominees that includes two Republicans. If the slate goes through, Republicans will go from a minority on the Commission (one member out of three) to a majority (three members out of five). Then, Lukas argues, they can reform the EEOC along conservative lines.

The argument has surface appeal. However, conservatives, and especially social conservatives, should reject it for three reasons.

First, Chai Feldblum is not an ordinary “progressive.” She’s the architect of the Obama administration’s hyper-aggressive LGBT policy.

Years ago, she declared war on religious freedom by rejecting the idea that religious liberty can ever be upheld when it stands as obstacle to gay “dignity.” The EEOC has made good on her declaration. For example, it has tried to render the Religious Freedom Restoration Act essentially a dead letter (through a procedural argument that even a leftist court of appeals panel dismissed) and has rejected efforts to balance gay rights and religious rights.

Moreover, Feldblum’s confirmation would carry over well into the next administration. If that administration is a Democratic one, she will almost certainly become EEOC chair. Then, she will push the EEOC even further to the left. That’s why Christian Adams says that, for the left, Chai Feldblum is worth three Republicans.

Second, Republicans should be able to confirm two Republican commissioners without accepting Feldblum. Confirmation requires only 50 votes. The GOP has those votes. Thus, it doesn’t need to make deals to confirm nominees.

It’s true that the Democrats have taken advantage of stalling tactics. But Senate Republicans can overcome these tactics by adjusting the rules and working more days.

Harry Reid “adjusted” far more venerable rules than the 30 hours of debate requirement the Dems are using now. Reid wouldn’t stand for obstruction and Republicans shouldn’t either.

It would also help if the Senate worked more days a week. Not working more prevents nominees from being confirmed while at the same time enabling vulnerable Senate Democrats to go home and campaign. (The Dems are defending many more seats than the Republicans this year).

Lukas, in essence, is calling on Senators like Mike Lee to set aside their principles to confirm Feldblum because the Senate leadership is unwilling to play hardball. It accuses him (though not by name) of standing in the way of a new day at the EEOC.

This is unfair to Senator Lee. It’s the Senate leadership that’s standing in the way.

Third, even if two Republicans aren’t added to the Commission, the administration can go a long way towards blocking EEOC overreach by firing Feldblum when her term ends in July. Lukas says Feldblum will be able to remain in that position as a holdover. Even if that’s the case, Trump has the authority to sack her.

Having fired so many friendly figures, Trump should have no compunction about firing a hostile one. Let’s not forget that Feldblum, in an act of defiance, took the president’s picture down from her office wall.

With Feldblum gone, the EEOC would have only two commissioners — another left-winger and a solid conservative. In that state, and once a new General Counsel is confirmed, it would likely do no new mischief.

Conservatives shouldn’t have to endure another term of Chai Feldblum, architect of Obama’s LBGT agenda and scorched earth warrior against all who resist it, because the Senate leadership won’t play hardball. And even if the leadership can’t be roused to do so, the EEOC can be reined in by the sacking of Feldblum when her term expires and the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee for General Counsel.

Thus, conservatives should keep opposing Feldblum’s nomination.

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