Senate confirms Trump judicial nominee who refused to say if 'Brown v. Board of Education' was correctly decided

Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Donald Trump's pick for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Wendy Vitter, whose refusal to say whether a landmark civil rights opinion was correctly decided angered Senate Democrats. Vitter -- who is the general counsel of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans -- was confirmed to the lifetime position by a 52-45 vote. Last year, during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vitter was asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal if she thought Brown v. Board of Education -- the landmark opinion from 1954 that struck down school segregation and the "separate but equal" doctrine -- was correctly decided.Vitter, in that exchange, would not answer the senator's question."I don't mean to be coy," she said, "but I think I can get into a difficult, difficult area when I start commenting on Supreme Court decisions -- which are correctly decided and which I may disagree with. Again my personal, political or religious views I would set aside -- that is Supreme Court precedent. It is binding. If I were honored to be confirmed, I would be bound by it and of course, I would uphold it."Asked again by Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, if she thought Brown was "correctly decided," Vitter again declined to answer him, saying she didn't think she should comment on which cases she agreed with for fear of starting down a slippery slope.In follow-up written questions submitted after the hearing, Vitter would expand upon her answer, saying, "I do not believe that racial segregation in schools is constitutional," and that she abhorred racism. Judicial conservatives argued Vitter had declined to answer the Brown question because she believes that judges should maintain their impartiality by declining to put forward personal opinions on particular cases.CNN's Ted Barrett and Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Karen Cheung is a writer and editor in Hong Kong. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own. She tweets @karenklcheung (CNN)In late May, two weeks before the first major anti-extradition bill march in Hong Kong, four high school friends and I ...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Quentin Tarantino may need to learn to keep it rated G around his home now that he and his wife Daniella are expecting their first child."Daniella and Quentin Tarantino are very delighted to announce that they are expecting a baby," the couple said...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The New Zealand Parliament invited a special guest onto the chamber floor Wednesday -- a newborn baby.The country's parliamentary speaker Trevor Mallard held and fed the one-month-old son of lawmaker Tāmati Coffey while presiding over a...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)Something is eating at President Donald Trump.Another exhausting day of the indefatigable commander in chief's compulsive seizing of the spotlight showed how what once would have been considered outrageous has become Washington...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Michael Dowling is president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider and employer. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.In the weeks following the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Tom Bergeron isn't the only person who's unhappy about the casting of Sean Spicer on "Dancing With the Stars."Some staffers at ABC News are "up in arms," as one source put it, over the decision by ABC's entertainment division.The...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Asian markets were mixed Thursday as investors digested a slew of corporate earnings.Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) rose 0.1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell 0.5%. China's Shanghai Composite Index...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A deputy was wounded Wednesday when a possible sniper took aim at the Lancaster station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, authorities said. The deputy was in the parking lot when the shooter fired, hitting him in the chest, ...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that he had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden's son.The move shows the former New York mayor is making a renewed push...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Dale Earnhardt Jr. is only mostly retired, so he doesn't plan to miss driving at one of his favorite tracks when NASCAR goes to Darlington Raceway in South Carolina next weekend. Earnhardt, who was in a plane crash last week along with his wife,...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A former Yale psychiatry professor sexually assaulted five students and engaged in other sexual misconduct, according to an independent report released by the university.Eugene Redmond, who was on the faculty for 44 years, is accused of misconduct...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)When the El Paso Walmart where 22 people were killed reopens in three to four months, the renovated property will have a memorial to the shooting victims, a company spokesman said Wednesday.The memorial is in the early planning stages and the...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced he is suspending his presidential campaign.Inslee made the announcement during an interview on MSNBC.The Washingtonian made combating climate change the fundamental issue motivating his...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)There's been a change in President Donald Trump. He used to say he had accomplished more than any other President, a debatable claim. But now he's using messianic language about himself."I'm the chosen one," he said Wednesday about what he claims is ...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a frequent opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. Follow her on Twitter...