Pence vs. Kushner/Ivanka on Religious Liberty?

PenceThis is an interesting report from Jon Ward at Yahoo News.  Next week Donald Trump will apparently be issuing an executive order on religious liberty.  Trump has promised evangelicals that he will protect their views on marriage (and other issues) by exempting them from anti-discrimination statutes.  Vice President Mike Pence is as evangelical as they come on these issues.

Yet, as Ward notes, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka are “more aligned with gay, lesbian and transgender groups on these issues.”

Here is a taste of War’s article:

“The Jared and Ivanka thing, that’s real,” said one congressional aide.

One Senate aide said the rumor on Capitol Hill was that “President Jared has it on hold. … I haven’t seen any evidence that Pence has the pull to trump Jared.”

And that gets to the heart of the matter. Pence has a long history with the issue of religious liberty, having been embarrassed by a bungled attempt in Indiana when he was governor to implement a law on the matter.

Pence, widely criticized after signing the Indiana legislature’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the spring of 2015, then bowed to pressure and altered the legislation in a way that angered religious conservatives. So in the view of some in the community, the vice president has an obligation to make it up to them.

But a fight with Trump’s own family is a formidable task. This is not the only issue that Pence cares about, though it is a high priority one for him and many others in the faith community. So the question for Pence has been how much political capital is he willing to expend on this matter.

The broader context is that Pence is always thinking about how to gain influence in the Trump administration while also keeping a certain distance from the president.

Keeping that distance will help Pence if the Trump presidency ends up being judged a failure, giving him the vice president the deniability he would need to mount a credible run for the White House himself.

Read the entire article here.