Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views
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Senate Republicans on Thursday confirmed a Trump district judicial nominee who faced fierce scrutiny over their views on abortion. 
Senators voted 52-45 on Wendy Vitter's nomination to be a judge for the eastern district of Louisiana. GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE (Maine), who is up for reelection in 2020, joined Democrats to oppose Vitter's nomination. 
Vitter, the wife of former Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (R-La.), was viewed as likely to be confirmed after Republicans broke a filibuster on her nomination, which languished for more than a year, earlier this week. 
"Ms. Vitter’s impressive legal career includes experience in private practice and a decade in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office, where she handled more than 100 felony jury trials," Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R-Ky.) said, praising Vitter ahead of the vote. 
McConnell views judicial nominations as his top priority and the party's best shot at having a long-term impact on the country. Republicans have confirmed more than 100 of Trump's judicial nominees, including setting records on the number of influential appeals judges Trump has gotten through the chamber. 
Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Democratic negotiator: 'I believe we will' have infrastructure bill ready on Monday DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) criticized McConnell's focus on confirming Trump's judicial appointments, which have dominated the Senate calendar in recent weeks, arguing that many are "unqualified ideologues or merely unqualified." 
"Many have offered bigoted remarks in the past, really bigoted. They are not who a judge should be. A judge is supposed to be able to walk in the plaintiff's shoes and the defendant's shoes, and then come up with a decision that is governed by existing law. These people are ideologues," Schumer said. 
Vitter, who served as the general counsel for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, has come under intense scrutiny because of her previous comments on abortion. 
Vitter appeared at a rally opposing the construction of a Planned Parenthood clinic, where she accused the group of "killing over 150,000 females a year." 

At a 2013 conference Vitter appeared to back a brochure that linked abortions to breast cancer and taking birth control to an increased likelihood of 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 at the conference, according to NPR.

Vitter pledged during her confirmation hearing that she wouldn't let her personal views influence her rulings on abortion-related cases, telling senators that she would "be bound by precedent."  
“My religious, personal or political beliefs would have to be set aside. It is not something I would aspire to; it would be my duty and my obligation to do so, and I would do so without hesitation," she said. 
Vitter also came under fire from outside groups for sidestepping a direct answer to a question during her confirmation hearing about whether she believes the Brown v. Board of Education case from the 1950s was correctly decided by the Supreme Court.
"Wendy Vitter was among the earliest of Trump's judicial nominees to fail to close the door on legal apartheid in this country and affirm the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education," People for the American Way Senior Legislative Counsel Paul Gordon said in a statement.