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Trump judicial nominee says he withdrew over 'gross mischaracterizations' of record

Trump judicial nominee says he withdrew over 'gross mischaracterizations' of record
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A Michigan attorney who asked the White House to withdraw his nomination to a federal judgeship on Tuesday said in a statement Wednesday that he was forced to bow out over “gross mischaracterizations” of his work as a lawyer.

Michael Bogren, a nominee for the District Court of the Western District of Michigan, withdrew amid Republican concerns over a brief he signed off on defending the city of East Lansing.

Bogren wrote in a statement Wednesday that he had been informed likely Republican opposition had doomed his nomination, saying that was the result of “gross mischaracterizations of my representation of the City of East Lansing” in a 2017 case.

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In the brief, defending the city against a Catholic couple who sued after they were barred from a farmers’ market for refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their farm, Bogren invokes the Ku Klux Klan and imams who oppose allowing women to drive.

“The claim is I compared Catholics to the KKK. That claim is utterly untrue,” Bogren said in a statement Wednesday. “What I argued on behalf of my client is the First Amendment does not create an exception to anti-discrimination laws based on religious beliefs — whatever those religious beliefs might be. It was not my intention to compare Catholics to the KKK, and the brief cannot be fairly read as doing so.”

Bogren said in his statement that he had been the victim of an “unfounded personal attack,” adding “it is truly unfortunate that what used to be a dignified process has sunk to this level.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments Quinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas MORE (Texas), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisPence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 Trump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 MORE (N.C.) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyInfrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs Justice Department charges Google with illegally maintaining search monopoly Conservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform MORE (Mo.), had all expressed concerns about Bogren before his withdrawal, while both of his home state senators, Democrats Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowHealthcare, retirement security seen as top issues for older voters, lawmakers say Dems to focus on issues, not character, at Barrett hearings Lobbying world MORE and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersThe Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid BlackPAC rolls out Senate race endorsements for the first time MORE, had expressed support.