Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grassley wants Trump to withdraw two judicial nominees (including the anti-LGBTQ one)

Jeff Mateer may not get to be a federal judge after all.

I think the GOP is starting to recognizing the severity of its problems under the Trump Administration - problems which will exacerbate to their worst should Roy Moore win the Alabama senatorial election this evening.

And a recent request from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to Trump gives further proof of this.

From The Hill:

Grassley told CNN that he urged Trump and the White House to rethink the nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley. 
"I've advised the White House they ought to reconsider," Grassley said to CNN. "I would advise the White House not to proceed." 
Mateer, whom Trump nominated to become a federal judge in Texas, has faced criticism for a series of 2015 speeches on religion and homosexuality. In those remarks, he described transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan,” compared homosexuality to bestiality and advocated for gay conversion therapy.

Critics called Mateer's September nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas "a gift to anti-LGBT activists." His nomination has yet to receive committee approval. 
Talley, whom Trump nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, has also faced scrutiny for previous remarks. In a 2013 blog post, he urged readers to “join the National Rifle Association" and blasted gun control legislation that followed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School as “the greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime.” 
Last month, the American Bar Association (ABA) deemed Talley unqualified for the position because of his lack of “requisite experience." Talley’s nomination passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but has yet to go to the Senate floor for a vote.
Taylor Foy, a spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said Grassley has been concerned about statements made by Mateer and Talley and has conveyed those concerns to the White House.

Trump has yet to respond and I doubt religious right organizations, such as the Family Research Council, will lodge a response any time soon. They've been conveniently silent about Mateer.

But if Grassley is trying to soften some type of blow of criticism against Trump for bad judicial nominees, I doubt his advice will help because today, the Senate already confirmed one of Trump's other choices and the firestorm over him has just begun:

The Senate confirmed a judicial nominee on Tuesday who was rated as "not qualified" by the American Bar Association (ABA). Senators voted, 50-48, to confirm Leonard Steven Grasz's nomination to be a circuit judge for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Grasz was widely expected to be confirmed, though Republicans were forced to hold open a procedural vote on his nomination for roughly an hour and a half Monday night as they waited for a GOP senator to show up and break a potential tie.

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