Donald Trump is managing to stack the federal courts with anti-LGBT nominees, according to a new analysis by Lambda Legal.
Nearly one-third of Trump’s judicial nominees have anti-LGBT records, says the Lambda report, released Wednesday. It came before Trump’s announcement of 10 new nominees, but it said that out of the 59 previous nominees, 16 were on record with anti-LGBT rulings or statements. Lambda has opposed all of them.
The 16 are 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of Federal Claims; and Jeff Mateer, whose nomination for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas was withdrawn.
What is more, the Senate is moving forward on confirmation of Trump’s nominees with record speed, Lambda reports. In Trump’s first year in office, the Senate has confirmed 12 circuit court judges (which is more than the combined number of circuit court judges put forth by Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton during their first year in office) as well as six district court judges and a Supreme Court justice, Lambda notes. And federal court appointments are for a lifetime.
“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,” said Sharon McGowan, director of strategy at Lambda Legal, in a press release. “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. 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.
McGowan continued, “Over the last year, we’ve seen Trump nominate judges who are unqualified and hostile to our community – they have used slurs like ‘faggot’ 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.” Read more and download the full report here.
Trump announced 10 additional judicial nominees Wednesday. They are Joel M. Carson for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; Susan Paradise Baxter and Marilyn Jean Horan for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; Colm Connolly for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware; Kari Dooley for the U.S. District Court of Connecticut; Gordon Giampietro for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; William Jung for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida; Chad Kenney for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Maryellen Noreika for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware; and Jill Otake for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.
A quick search has not turned up any anti-LGBT paper trail for these nominees. Three of them — Baxter, Horan, and Jung — were nominated by Obama but never moved through the confirmation process by the Republican-controlled Senate, CNN reports.