Washington, D.C., March 1, 2018 – Alliance for Justice today released a report on the record of Wendy Vitter, Donald Trump’s nominee for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“We were deeply concerned to note the glaring omissions in Wendy Vitter’s responses to the Senate Judiciary Questionnaire required of all federal judicial nominees. Whether this was done accidentally or intentionally, it raises serious questions about integrity, professionalism and thoroughness that should not arise with regard to a potential federal judge. It’s also notable that these omissions seem to include some of her more controversial appearances and statements.”
In the course of reviewing Vitter’s record, AFJ discovered several omissions. AFJ’s report notes that when Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, had to supplement his original questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee, there was an outcry from committee Republicans who stated that Liu’s “unwillingness to take seriously his obligation to complete these basic forms is potentially disqualifying and has placed his nomination in jeopardy.” Then-Senator Jeff Sessions went so far as to suggest that Liu had committed a felony.
Among other things, the AFJ report finds:
- Vitter omitted information about a panel she led on “Abortion hurt[ing] women’s health,” in which she endorsed distributing materials that claim that abortions cause breast cancer and that “the pill kills.”
- Vitter omitted a speech at a rally against the construction of a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Orleans.
- Vitter omitted a speech to the Northeast Louisiana Tea Party, as well as statements and at least one ad made on behalf of the political campaign of her husband, former U.S. Senator David Vitter.
- Vitter worked for the Orleans Parish D.A. office under District Attorney Harry Connick, whose tenure was the subject of intense controversy due to repeated failures to disclose evidence to the defense and resulting exonerations of numerous persons who were falsely convicted.
- Vitter criticized the placement of Syrian refugees in Louisiana. Her position stands in contrast to that of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, even though she was working as general counsel to the archdiocese at the time. The Archdiocese of New Orleans issued a statement supporting the work of Catholic Charities in aiding the refugees and citing the Catholic Church’s “long history of resettling families fleeing violence in their home countries.”
AFJ strongly opposes Vitter’s confirmation. Read the full report here.