- Wendy Vitter, wife of former Sen. David Vitter, is sworn in during her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
- Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
- Wendy Vitter, a Trump judicial nominee with anti-abortion views, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday for a lifetime seat on the federal bench.
- Since taking office, the Trump administration has moved quickly to fill judicial vacancies with conservative nominees who, in a lifetime appointment, could drastically reshape the courts.
- Vitter once accused Planned Parenthood of “killing over 150,000 females a year,” and at a 2013 conference referred to a brochure that touted false claims about abortion being linked to breast cancer, and birth control causing women to pursue violent relationships.
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A Trump judicial nominee with anti-abortion views and who once accused Planned Parenthood of “killing over 150,000 females a year,” was officially confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime seat on the federal bench.
Wendy Vitter, who most recently served as general counsel for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, was nominated by President Donald Trump almost 18 months ago for the US District Court Seat in New Orleans. On Thursday, she was nominated in a 52-to-45 vote, with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine the only Republican to vote against her.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday described Vitter’s legal career as “impressive.”
Vitter’s nomination comes on the heels of Alabama’s harsh new anti-abortion law, which criminalizes the procedure and will make it a felony with a maximum punishment of up to 99 years for doctors who perform an abortion. That law will make no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has moved quickly to fill judicial vacancies with conservative nominees who, in the lifetime appointment, could drastically reshape the courts. As noted by The Washington Post, Vitter is the 107th judge confirmed Since Trump began his presidency.
Vitter has faced backlash from Democrats over her anti-abortion views, especially after she failed to disclose those beliefs in the background information she provided to the Senate following her nomination.
For instance, while leading a panel at a pro-life conference in 2013, called “Abortion Hurts Women,” she referred to a brochure that touted false claims about abortion being linked to breast cancer, and birth control causing women to pursue violent relationships.
“Go to Dr. Angela’s website, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, download it, and at your next physical, you walk into your pro-life doctor and say, ‘Have you thought about putting these facts or this brochure in your waiting room?’ Each one of you can be the pro-life advocate to take that next step. That’s what you do with it,” she said, according to NPR.
Vitter testified during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing last year that, despite her religious and personal views, “I will be bound by precedent, including Roe versus Wade.”
Read more: Roe v. Wade makes the state bans against abortions unenforceable. Here’s how conservative activists plan to overturn it.
Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that “Wendy Vitter simply should not serve as a federal judge.”
“Not only does she oppose safe, legal abortion – she tried to hide her extreme views -withholding 95 pages of information from the Senate in an apparent effort to disguise her views,” Wen said. “At a time when anti-women’s health politicians are pursuing the most extreme and dangerous policies of a generation, the American people deserve judges who will defend their health and rights, not uphold dangerous and extreme bans that would endanger women’s lives.”
Vitter also drew alarm from Democratic lawmakers after she refused to take a stance on whether Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision to desegregate schools, was correctly decided. Rather, according to CNN, “she didn’t think she should comment on which cases she agreed with for fear of starting down a slippery slope.”