Senator Brownback has been blocking the confirmation of Janet Neff to the Federal Bench because she attended a lesbian committment ceremony. Well, I guess because he doesn't want to be seen as bigoted, he wants to strike a bargin, according to the Lawrence Journal World. He will let the nomination go through if she recuses herself from any cases involving same sex unions.
Brownback is concerned that her attendence of this ceremony will bias her in cases involving same sex marriages. Why should this be any more of an impediment than Justice Scalia being a Roman Catholic? Is there something about her experience that is likely to make her less able to render fair judgements than any other judge might?
This is a real poison pill, something Senators know a lot about. If she accepts the deal she maybe seen as unprincipled-just interested in the job. If she rejects the deal she will be perhaps painted as some as biased in just the way that Brownback claims, plus she is party to setting up even more absurd litmus tests for judges.
Neff was, by the way, nominated as part of a compromise between Senate Democrats and the Administration. The Washington Post notes that Brownback's hold on Neff has led to retaliation on the part of Democrats who have put holds on the other two more conservative nominees in the compromise.