(Senate - December 19, 2018)

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[Pages S7862-S7863]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the HELP 
Committee be discharged from further consideration of PN 1318 and the 
Senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following 
nominations: PN 1318, Executive Calendar Nos. 379 and 381; and that the 
Senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I first want 
to note that it has been suggested that there is only one objection to 
Chai Feldblum's nomination to the EEOC. That is not true. I am among 
those objectors; I am not the lone objector.
  My objection to this nominee relates to my belief and religious 
freedom. You see, religious freedom is very important to me. I am the 
descendant of people who were ordered exterminated by the Governor of 
Missouri on October 27, 1837. Religious intolerance cannot be tolerated 
in this country, and I see a growing wave of religious intolerance. I 
see a growing wave of sentiment of people suggesting that on the basis 
of people's religious beliefs, they can be subject to adverse 
government decisionmaking.
  Ms. Feldblum has written that she sees a conflict between religious 
belief and LGBT liberty as ``a zero-sum game'' where ``a gain for one 
side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.'' I 
see no reason why that should be the case, and I think that is 
fundamentally incompatible with our Nation's long tradition of 
pluralism and religious freedom.
  Make no mistake--there is no mystery about which side Ms. Feldblum 
thinks should win. In a separate speech, she said: ``There can be a 
conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost 
all cases, the sexual liberty should win. . . . I'm having a hard time 
coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.''
  I find these remarks stunning, especially because an entire amendment 
to the U.S. Constitution--the very first one, by the way--is devoted to 
religious liberty. These are not the words

[[Page S7863]]

of an open-minded jurist. These are not the words of an open-minded 
lawyer. These are the words of an activist intent on stamping out all 
opposition to her cause. In fact, she has even said as much. She said: 
``[G]ranting liberty to gay people . . . cannot be adequately advanced 
if `pockets of resistance' are permitted to flourish.'' Who is she to 
decide whether someone should be permitted to persist in their own 
religious belief simply because those beliefs happen to conflict with a 
particular political world view?
  As an EEO Commissioner, Ms. Feldblum would be in a prime position to 
stamp out those pockets of resistance. She herself has noted:

       The EEOC has jurisdiction only over employment. But other 
     Federal agencies that enforce sex discrimination provisions 
     often look to our interpretation for guidance in interpreting 
     the laws they enforce.

  The Federal Government should never be used as a tool to stamp out 
religious liberty--that principle which is so central to our Nation's 
founding and to human happiness itself. It is so important that we have 
to stand behind it. Ms. Feldblum, however, wants to deny exactly that. 
On that basis, I object to her confirmation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.