A new analysis by Lambda Legal found that about one-third of Donald Trump’s judicial picks are anti-LGBTI.
‘When President Trump assumed office, he inherited over 120 federal judicial vacancies. Since that time, he has made 59 nominations to fill those seats, and the Senate has confirmed 18 of them. Of the 18 judges confirmed so far, 12 are circuit court judges and 6 are district court judges,’ the report reads.
‘Trump’s record speed and the alarmingly high number of nominees with anti-LGBT records whom he is advancing is triggering a growing judicial crisis for LGBT people. Nearly one-in-three have records that demonstrate hostility towards the rights of LGBT people. While several of these nominees are anti-LGBT activists who have openly denigrated LGBT people and families, others have more quietly undermined LGBT rights and protections.’
Almost all federal judges serve lifetime appointments, and circuit court judges in particular have the final say on issues of national importance.
Lambda Legal has publicly opposed 16 of Trump’s 59 judicial nominees. These 16 are as follows:
Neil Gorsuch, confirmed to the Supreme Court
Gregory Katsas, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Stephanos Bibas, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Don Willett, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
John K. Bush and Joan Larsen, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Steven Grasz, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Allison Eid, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
Kyle Duncan, nominated for the Fifth Circuit
David Stras, nominated for the Eighth Circuit
Mark Norris, nominated for U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
Matthew Kacsmaryk, nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Stephen Schwartz and Damien Schiff, nominated for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Jeff Mateer, whose nomination for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas was withdrawn.
‘With nearly one-third of Trump’s judicial nominees having records of working to undermine LGBT rights and protections, LGBT people are facing the prospect of a federal judiciary stacked with judges who are hostile to LGBT people and rights and who, due to their lifetime appointments, will continue to serve long after Trump has left office,’ Lambda Legal’s report states.
Why this matters
‘We are in the midst of a judicial crisis for LGBT Americans, spurred by Donald Trump’s full-on assault on our rights, our families, and our children,’ says Sharon McGowan, director of strategy at Lambda Legal, in a statement.
‘For decades, the federal courts have arguably been the most important backstop in protecting the rights of those most vulnerable in our country, and each federal judge, each case, and each decision has an impact on an unquantifiable number of Americans,’ McGowan continues.
‘Many of the basic protections that the LGBT community now enjoys – including the freedom to marry and the right to have those marriages respected by even hostile state governments – have been won through litigation in the federal courts. So, when one out of every three nominees that Donald Trump has put up for a lifetime appointment to serve on the bench has an anti-LGBT record, you can be sure that Lambda Legal is going to fight back on behalf of all LGBT people, everyone living with HIV, and all Americans.’
Anti-LGBTI things judicial nominees have said and done
‘Over the last year, we’ve seen Trump nominate judges who are unqualified and hostile to our community – they have used slurs like “f*ggot” in public addresses, have called our children a part of “Satan’s plan,” and have even targeted a transgender teenager on Twitter for public ridicule and mockery.’
‘What’s even worse is that President Trump and the Senate are pushing these nominees through at a breakneck speed. Until recently, the Senate Judiciary has been a total rubber stamp for every one of his nominees, regardless of how horrible their record has been proven, and the Senate has confirmed more of Trump’s nominees to circuit courts than the total number of circuit court judges of all three of his predecessors combined at the same time in their presidency. This is a terrifying fact because each of these confirmed judges will outlast this administration and have the potential to decimate civil rights in the Trump’s vision for generations to come.’
On 20 December, Trump announced 10 additional nominees.