Sunday, April 18, 2010

DeMint stalls vote on lesbian latina

Longest delay of an Obama judicial pick

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 9:10 AM

It would appear that a gay president isn't the only thing that Sen. Jim DeMint is afraid of. It seems he doesn't want gay folks on the judicial bench either.

With a window of opportunity before a summer of energy reform debates and Supreme Court hearings, Senate Democrats announced last week that they would finally begin apply pressure on Republicans currently stalling 22 of President Barack Obama's judicial appointments.

One of the first expected to finally win confirmation this week is D.C. Superior Court nominee Marisa Demeo, who has been waiting since last May, longer than any other Obama appointee. The vote has been held up solely by DeMint, who told the National Law Journal in February, "There are just a number of things that don't look like a fair-and-balanced approach that you'd like in a judge."

Demeo has been a D.C. magistrate judge since 2007, handling traffic and misdemeanor violations. She worked for the Department of Justice twice, in the civil rights division during the '90s and as an assistant U.S. Attorney from 2004 to 2007.

In the interim, she was a lobbyist and advocate for Hispanic causes, including work with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Saying that her record showed a "history of very leftist activism," DeMint would only say that "it's a lot more" than her work with MALDEF. Demeo is also an out lesbian. She's a member of the gay nonprofit Human Rights Campaign and GAYLAW, a group of gay Washington lawyers. She has also worked with the AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan and the gay Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.

DeMint's well-documented problem with gay people started when he suggested in 2004 that gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to teach. In an interview last December with the Bloomberg News Service, he said that he cringed at the thought of a gay president."It would be bothersome to me just personally because I consider it immoral," he said.

Of course, this wouldn't be a story of Washington obstructionism if there wasn't at least one hypocritical quote in the tombs. During President Bush's administration, Democrats threatened to use the filibuster to stall conservative appointments.

In 2005, DeMint argued that Democrats should respect the will of the people and allow a vote on judicial nominees.

"One of my goals as a senator is to confirm highly qualified judges by ensuring timely up-or-down votes for all nominees no matter who is president," he said. "Senators were elected to advise and consent, not to grandstand and obstruct." —Greg Hambrick

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

Classified Listings

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2018, Charleston City Paper   RSS