The judicial nominees awaiting Senate action this year are all run-of-the-mill right wingers, except that they really seem to want to go after same-sex marriage.
It’s time to sound the alarm again on another bunch of Trump judges queuing up for confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Like the earlier nominees, they are overwhelmingly white and male. One in three has something explicit in their record and/or their writings that is hostile to LGBTQ rights.
“They’re still fighting over whether same sex couples should have the right to marry and have children,” says Sharon McGowan, director of strategy at Lambda Legal, which litigates on behalf of LGBTQ people. “This is a real concerted effort to take back ground that has been lost not only in the law but in public opinion, by putting people on the court that have these views.”
President Trump has confirmed more than twice as many circuit court judges as President Obama did in his first 14 months (14 to six), and Trump leads in district judges as well (14 to 11). With just 51 votes needed (and yes, it was the Democrats who changed the rule, back in 2013), the GOP can wave through on mostly partisan votes just about everybody the White House sends up.
The only tool the opposition has is to highlight the worst of the worst, and shame some Republican senators into withdrawing their support. Three nominees withdrew last year after negative media coverage (Jeff Mateer, Bret Talley, and Matthew Petersen). Mateer had called transgender children the “spawn of Satan;” Talley had a taste for the paranormal, and Petersen’s inability to answer basic questions about the law went viral.
Heading the list for this season’s worst of the worst is Kyle Duncan, nominated for the 5th Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, Misssissippi) and the “go-to guy for the anti-LGBTQ movement,” says McGowan. “He has spent the last decade plus crafting their arguments and seeking out experts to defend them.”
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