Sen. Mike Lee has been fighting against the renomination of Chai Feldblum as EEOC Commissioner. Feldblum is the architect of President Obama’s radical LBGT agenda. She believes, among other things, that when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, sexual liberty should prevail in virtually all cases.
The confirmation of Feldblum looked like a done deal in December. However, key social conservative groups sounded the alarm, and Sen. Lee placed a hold on Feldblum’s nomination. It is stalled.
Now, however, I’m hearing (but haven’t been able to confirm) that a push is under way to steer Feldblum’s nomination through the Senate this week. She is packaged with two Republican nominees for Commissioner. To sweeten the deal, I’m told the Democrats will throw in the Republican nominee for EEOC General Counsel. This, they hope, will be sufficient to cause Sen. Lee to withdraw his hold. The four nominees could then be confirmed by unanimous consent.
But Republicans control the Senate. They have the power to confirm the two Republican nominees for Commissioner, plus the General Counsel nominee, without confirming Feldblum.
That’s why the Democrats agreed to the deal — that and the fact that Feldblum is super-smart, super-left, and super-knowledgeable about the EEOC and how to manipulate it. Through the deal, the Dems would get an enormous asset in the culture and social wars in exchange for permitting something they have no power to stop.
I think it’s also fair to question how much of a sweetener the nominee for General Counsel, Sharon Fast Gustafson, really represents. Gustafson is a plaintiffs’ employment discrimination lawyer. She’s a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), an organization that holds itself out as advancing employee rights. As such, she has fairly been described as an “unconventional” Republican nominee for the EEOC.
You don’t find many strong conservatives in NELA. I’ve never known any (but I don’t know Gustafson).
I’m not saying a Republican president should never nominate a plaintiffs’ lawyer to serve as EEOC General Counsel. Nor am I saying that Gustafson is a bad nominee. Good or bad, moreover, she’s Trump’s choice (or somebody’s choice on behalf of Trump) and barring exceptional circumstances, should be confirmed. Being a plaintiffs’ lawyer is hardly an exceptional circumstance.
But the issue here is whether Gustafson’s addition to the slate should be sufficient to cause Sen. Lee to withdraw his hold on Feldblum, given her track record at EEOC, including her willingness (if not eagerness) to trample on religious liberty. I don’t think it is.
That’s for the Senator to decide, but those who wish to offer him their view can reach his office at (202) 224-5444 or by email at www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact