Kansas senator blocks judge nominee after gay ceremony.U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback Samuel Dale Brownback (b. September 12 1956) is the senior United States senator from the U.S. state of Kansas. On January 20 2007, he announced his intention to seek the Republican Party's nomination for President in the 2008 Presidential election. (R-Kan.) is holding up the nomination of a federal judge from Michigan after learning that she has participated in a same-sex commitment ceremony.
In October, the Religion News Service (RNS RNS Regulatory News Service (UK stock market)
RnS Rinnovamento Nello Spirito (Italian: Renewal in the Spirit)
RNS Ribonukleinsäure (German: RNA)
RNS Residue Number System ) reported that Brownback, a leading ally of the Religious Right, had placed a hold on the nomination of Judge Janet T. Neff to the U.S. District Court of Michigan. The Senate Judiciary Committee The U.S. Senate established the Committee on the Judiciary on December 10, 1816, as one of the original 11 standing committees. It is also one of the most powerful committees in Congress; among its wide range of jurisdictions is investigation of federal judicial nominees and oversight of had confirmed Neff's nomination. But Republican operatives in Michigan discovered that Neff helped lead a commitment ceremony for two women at a United Church of Christ United Church of Christ, American Protestant denomination formed in 1957 by a merger of the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches (see Congregationalism) and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. .
A Brownback spokesman said the senator is stalling Neff's confirmation and has asked the Justice Department to render an opinion on whether her involvement in the religious ceremony was illegal. The senator also said that he wanted to know Neff's views on same-sex marriage and whether her beliefs would color her actions on the bench.
According to the RNS, the American Humanist Association The American Humanist Association (AHA) is an educational organization in the United States that advances Humanism. It is the original Humanist organization, and embraces secular, religious, and other manifestations of Humanist philosophy. has asked the Justice Department to issue an opinion on whether Brownback has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution. In a letter to the senator, Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the group, asked whether the senator's religious views and activism would compromise his duty to uphold the First Amendment principle of church-state separation.