Judge Nominee Poses Church-State Problems, Says AU

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to reject a federal court nominee who holds extreme views on religious liberty.

In early February, Americans United sent a letter to the committee opposing the confirmation of Richard H. Hon−−aker to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyo−ming. Americans United argued that the Rock Springs, Wyo., attorney has a record of promoting the idea that the U.S. Constitution creates a Christian nation and that government need not remain neutral on religion.

In its letter, Americans United noted that at a 2005 Homeschoolers of Wyoming Convention, Honaker said, “[I]f taught accurately, history can teach us that the greatest American patriots and leaders were Christians, and that there is indeed a Christian basis for American institutions of law, government, and business.”

In the same address, Honaker attacked the Supreme Court because it “no longer talks about America as a Christian nation or about the Christian underpinnings of the law.”

Americans United noted that Honaker has also made numerous comments that unmask a startling callousness to minority faiths. Honaker has suggested that democracy and freedom prosper only because of Christianity and that other faiths pose a danger to such freedom.

“Honaker’s views on religion and government are extreme,” said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. “He is unfit to serve as a federal judge, and the Senate Judiciary Committee should scuttle the nomination.”