First reported by WISN’s Mark Belling on Tuesday, respected Milwaukee attorney Gordon Giampietro will not be among the impressive group of legal minds elevated to the federal bench by President Donald Trump.
That truly unfortunate news reflects an apparent decision by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) not to challenge Senator Tammy Baldwin’s belated, 11th-hour use of a religious test to block Giampietro. As a result, according to my sources, the White House reluctantly has decided not to renominate Giampietro to replace the late Judge Rudolph Randa. Giampietro’s nomination expired at the end of the last session of Congress.
I recently described Baldwin’s flip-flop after initially submitting Giampietro’s name, along with Senator Ron Johnson, to Trump. Baldwin’s phony claim that Giampietro didn’t make proper disclosures was a fig leaf. The real reason was revealed when none other than a Baldwin appointee to Wisconsin’s judicial nominating commission publicly accused Giampietro of “bigoted” views, views that in fact represent orthodox Catholic teaching.
Earlier this month Giampietro wrote to Graham to describe in detail the history of his nomination and Baldwin’s initial support. The letter provides clear documentation to refute the bogus procedural explanation offered by Baldwin for her reversal.
A footnote: Thousands of Wisconsin parents can thank Giampietro for his unsung but pivotal work, done on a pro bono basis, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 1998 decision to uphold the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. John Benson, Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction at the time, responded to the decision with a regulatory onslaught intended to hobble the program and discourage schools from participation. Giampietro provided the legal reasoning and strategic thinking that eventually eviscerated the Benson effort before the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules.