7 Reasons Feminists Should Resist John Bush’s Appointment to a Federal Bench

Last month, President Trump nominated Kentucky lawyer John Bush for the 6th Circuit Court. With the power to make important decisions regarding the well-being of citizens—including persecuted communities—the position of a federal judge must not be considered lightly. Unfortunately, Bush has proven himself to be a dangerous nominee.

For these seven reasons and more, feminists should resist Bush’s appointment.

#1: He has openly made homophobic comments

During a talk Bush gave to a private club in Louisville, he was quoted saying: “Let me tell you one thing I’ve learned—this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of faggot.” This highly offensive comment, brushed aside merely as a joke, perpetuates harmful behavior and normalizes hate speech against the LGBTQ community. His nomination poses a direct threat to LGBTQ individuals.

2. …and he is anti-LGBTQ rights

He publicly denounced the change in passport forms which accounted for same-sex parents. He has also shown public support for former GOP presidential contender, Mike Huckabee, for saying he “strongly disagree[s]” with same-sex marriage.

3. He has equated abortion with slavery

On his blog, Bush recently stated his belief that “the two greatest tragedies in our country are slavery and abortion.” He believes that these two issues have played a similarly significant role in having “divided our country.” To compare the systemic kidnapping, murdering, raping and enslaving of millions of human beings to a safe and legal procedure that is a part of women’s reproductive health care needs is simply abhorrent.

4. He has mocked climate change

Calling environmental activists “Enviro-Do-Gooders,” Bush crassly declared in one of his blog posts that he would not be joining Google in its efforts to lessen energy usage in honor of Earth Day. “Sorry, but I will be watching the NCAA basketball tournament at 8 p.m.,” he says at the end of the ever-so-thoughtful post. “‘Saving’ the world from ‘climate change’ will just have to wait until we go to bed victorious after the U of L – North Carolina game.”

5. He called for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be “gag[ged]”

Bush said this after Pelosi made comments with which he disagreed. Need I say more?

6. He has aligned himself with originalism 

In a 2009 panel hosted by the conservative Federalist Society — an organization which has been a key player in selecting Trump’s judicial nominees —Bush declared that he was an originalist. An originalist perspective is one that operates under the belief that the only valid way to interpret the Constitution is “to apply its text in the way those words were originally understood at the time they were drafted.” In the way of minority and women’s rights, strictly preserving perspectives from 1787 is detrimental. Other originalists include Antonin Scalia and his ultimate replacement, Neil Gorsuch.

7. He has “unintentionally” peddled conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama

Claiming that he “was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group, as far as birtherism goes,” Bush heavily cited the conservative site, World Net Daily, in one of his blog posts about Obama. This site is infamous for spreading the conspiracy theory that Obama was not a true U.S. citizen. While the goal of his blog post was not to actively discredit Obama’s citizenship, Bush should know the dangers of solely citing such a biased, and frankly, false, source.

Even though the majority of the issues addressed above—such as LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and climate change—can sometimes fall along partisan lines, lawmakers from any side of the aisle should be concerned about the disturbingly crass and thoughtless manner with which Bush chooses to convey his beliefs. Someone who calls others “faggots,” equates women’s abortion rights to slavery or thinks a leader should be gagged for having differing opinions does not belong on the federal bench.

Feminists can fight Bush’s nomination. Click here and sign your name to demand that Trump not pick biased federal judges.




Ciarra Davison is a former Ms. Editorial Intern who graduated from UCLA, where she studied English and wrote for the Politics section of FEM Newsmagazine. After a year and a half of traveling and working throughout Europe, Central and South America, she now lives in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the ground for Ms. She works to bring underrepresented stories to light, and in her spare time, enjoys hiking towards waterfalls and dancing while cooking.