WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Another pro-life advocate has been appointed to a lifetime position on the federal courts.
On Wednesday the Republican-led U.S. Senate appointed Sarah Pitlyk, by a vote of 49–44, as a federal district judge in Missouri. She's received criticism from liberals for her advocacy of pro-life causes during her career, her outspoken criticism of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, and for serving as legal counsel for pro-life investigative journalist David Daleiden.
Pitlyk was also a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and was his vocal advocate in September 2018, when she called the Democrats' efforts to overturn his appointment to the High Court "character assassination."
"We know Judge Kavanaugh well, having worked closely with him as his law clerks. His character and integrity are unassailable. He is a champion for women's equality," she said. She also emphasized:
The Brett Kavanaugh we know is a man of humility, generosity, and kindness. Since he was nominated to the Supreme Court, people across the country have learned about the man who regularly serves meals to homeless people, tutors underprivileged elementary school children, mentors minority law students applying for judicial clerkships, and coaches his daughters’ basketball teams.
She also noted in a CNN interview that allegations of sex abuse against Kavanaugh were politically motivated and were "hard to take seriously." In April, the attorney for Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, admitted opposition to his seat on the High Court was geared to protecting abortion.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri applauds Pitlyk's appointment: "Sarah's strong legal experience, sharp intellect and commitment to the rule of law make her an outstanding choice for the Eastern District." He adds, "I was proud to recommend her to President Trump, and I am confident that she will serve the people of Missouri as a principled and fair judge for decades to come."
Critics, including the American Bar Association, claim Pitlyk is unqualified for the role:
Ms. Pitlyk's experience to date has a very substantial gap, namely the absence of any trial or even real litigation experience. Ms. Pitlyk has never tried a case as lead or co-counsel, whether civil or criminal. She has never examined a witness. Though Ms. Pitlyk has argued one case in a court of appeals, she has not taken a deposition. She has not argued any motion in a state or federal trial court. She has never picked a jury. She has never participated at any stage of a criminal matter.
She has also spoken out against IVF and surrogacy, saying in 2017, "Surrogacy is harmful to mothers and children, so it's a practice society should not be enforcing."
Katy Faust, founder and director of pro-family organization Them Before Us, tells Church Militant Pitlyk "should be praised."
"She rightly understands that IVF leads to 'commodification of gestation and of children themselves,'" Faust comments.
"IVF routinely involves transferring embryos with certain traits, use of 'donor' egg and sperm, sex-selection, the womb of a third party, and creating 'surplus embryos' which often spend years in frozen storage after the successful implantation of their genetic siblings," she says, adding, "If that's not commodification of children, I don't know what is."
Faust also notes: "When babies are made in laboratories, the sole consideration is what adults want, not children's rights or needs. So 'success' is gauged by whether the adults are happy or sad, regardless of whether the children go home with their biological parents."