A reminder for all of the homophobes, racists, and other deplorables on Twitter: Your dumb tweets can come back to haunt you.
Exhibit A: Texas Supreme Court Judge Don Willett.
Willett, who President Donald Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship in the U.S. Court of Appeals, was grilled over a tweet regarding same-sex marriage and bacon during a congressional hearing Wednesday. The day after Supreme Court arguments began in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that would eventually result in the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, Willett posted an eyebrow-raising tweet about the cured meat.
“I could support a constitutional right to marry bacon,” he tweeted, along with a pic of some sizzlin’ meats.
As The Hill notes, Sen. Patrick Leahy criticized Willett’s bacon tweet, as well as another about a transgender student, as potentially prejudicial.
“If you’re confirmed to the Fifth Circuit you’re going to hear constitutional and civil rights cases involving LGBTQ individuals,” the Vermont Democrat said. “Why would a transgender person with a case before you ever think they’d have a fair and impartial hearing?”
Willett defended both tweets as jokes. In particular, he characterized the bacon comment as his attempt to lighten the mood and diffuse divisiveness around same-sex marriage.
Leahy didn’t buy it, questioning Willett’s judgement as he asked “and you think that cut back the divisiveness with a comment like that?”
“Senator, I believe every American is entitled to equal worth and dignity,” Willett responded. “I’ve never intended to disparage anyone and would never do so. That’s not where my heart is.”
The bacon tweet weirdly echoes (bogus) “slippery slope” arguments against marriage equality: that same-sex marriage leads to the legalization of beastiality or pedophilia. In addition, his quip reduced a momentous judicious proceeding to a very bad punchline.
Willett has been called out by LGBTQ news outlet The Advocate’s roundup for both his tweets and his record. He’s on their list called “Trump’s LGBT-Unfriendly Supreme Court Picks.”
Then again, it appears Willett does really love bacon. He’s tweeted about the meat strips multiple times, including one zinger about the serious legal issue of “entrapment.”
Conservative media is painting the exchange as proof that democrats can’t take a joke. But hey, just a thought: maybe civil liberties are not actually a laughing matter.