Matthew Whitaker, who was made acting attorney general on Wednesday after Trump fired Jeff Sessions, said judges needed a “biblical view of justice” and questioned the judgment of secular lawyers.
Whitaker made the remarks at a conservative forum in April 2014, where he appeared as a candidate for the Republican US Senate nomination in Iowa. Video clips of the event were saved by People For the American Way, a liberal campaign group.
The Republican candidates were asked what justification they would use to block the confirmation of federal judges nominated by Barack Obama, who was then US president.
Whitaker said he wanted to know about a judge’s judicial philosophy, along with their views on natural law, natural rights and the US founding documents. But he added: “I don’t think that gets us far enough.”