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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.

{mosads}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 Cruz (Texas), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), had all expressed concerns about Bogren before his withdrawal, while both of his home state senators, Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, had expressed support.

Tags Debbie Stabenow Federal judges Gary Peters Josh Hawley Michigan Ted Cruz Thom Tillis

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