John Bush would seem, at first, to be a fairly typical nominee for judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He’s had a long legal career, has a J.D. from Harvard, he’s president of conservative legal association the Federalist Society, and is generally inoffensive. However, G. Morris, which is Bush’s pseudonym on the Kentucky political blog Elephants in the Bluegrass, has generally acted like your angry uncle on Facebook.
Paperwork that Bush filed as part of his nomination, which appears to be thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, reveals that he’s written for the blog (on page 10). In of itself, it’s not surprising: It appears that Bush’s wife owns the blog. However and among other posts, as Think Progress notes, Bush insists that Martin Luther King Jr. would have been opposed to abortion, which is odd since King wrote a speech, delivered by his wife, that stated his support for “family planning” in 1966. He also threw a hissy fit over same-sex parents being listed on passports.
While that might endear him to some Republicans, it’s rare that nominees offer this much insight, at least intentionally, into their personal views. Bush may have, wisely, assumed that he might as well get it all out in the open. Still, federal judges generally need to make an effort to seem apolitical, whether or not that tends to unfold from their rulings; Bush would be facing just as much scrutiny if he had turned out to be a raging fan of Bernie Sanders. We’ll find out soon enough; in order to be appointed, you have to be confirmed by the Senate.