The U.S. Senate Just Handed A Lifetime Appointment To The Architect of Trump's Anti-LGBT Agenda

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November 28, 2017
Photo by: National Center for Transgender Equality

The United States Senate this evening confirmed Gregory Katsas – the legal architect of many of Donald Trump’s anti-LGBT efforts – to the powerful U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Lambda Legal strongly condemned the Senate GOP leadership and those Senators who confirmed Katsas for this lifetime position on the federal bench, and noted that this evening’s vote marks the beginning of a year-end surge by the GOP leadership and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to jam through a series of similarly dangerous nominees to other federal courts.

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the nominations of Stuart Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court “short-lister” David Ryan Stras to the Eighth Circuit.

On Thursday, the Committee is expected to hold hearings on L. Steven Grasz for the Eighth Circuit – who was deemed unanimously “not qualified” by the nonpartisan American Bar Association – and Mark Norris for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Lambda Legal opposes all of these nominees, citing each individual’s dangerous record and contempt for LGBT Americans.

Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal’s Director of Strategy, issued the following statement: 
“Today’s confirmation of the legal architect of much of this administration’s anti-LGBT agenda to the powerful DC Circuit is a disgrace, and demonstrates that the Senate has become nothing more than a rubber stamp for Donald Trump, without regard for how anti-LGBT, anti-woman, anti-Muslim, or anti-immigrant the records of his judicial nominees. 

"The courts play an essential part in protecting those most vulnerable in this country, and the damage being done to the judicial system by this administration cannot be overstated. Senators abdicate their constitutional duty when they simply roll over and allow Donald Trump to pack the courts with lifetime appointees who share Trump’s distorted view of the Constitution. 

“We demand better, and deserve better from our Senators. This week, the Senators on the Judiciary Committee have the opportunity change course.  We salute Senator Kennedy (R-LA) for standing up for a fair judiciary by voting against Gregory Katsas’ nomination, and urge other Republicans to show that they understand that they have been sent to Washington to serve the people and not just their party.  

"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has discarded longstanding traditions and safeguards in order to jam these nominees through at a breakneck pace, and Lambda Legal is here to say: enough is enough. Take the time, look at their records, and do not allow Donald Trump to corrupt the integrity of our judiciary for generations to come.  Our country has a right to expect a fair and impartial judicial system to protect their rights.

“We have laid it all out for those on the Judiciary Committee.  We have demonstrated each of these nominee’s contempt for LGBT people, our relationships, our families, and our children. No reasonable person believes that these nominees are capable of administering fair and impartial justice to LGBT litigants who come before them.  These nominees’ records cannot and should not be ignored. Too much is at stake for the country.

"To the Senate, we say:  Do Your Job.”

Ahead of tonight’s confirmation vote, Lambda Legal brought together 40 other national, state, and local LGBT organizations to oppose Gregory Katsas’s nomination, citing his central role in the anti-civil rights efforts of the Trump administration. That letter can be found here.

More information on Stuart Kyle Duncan from Lambda Legal can be found here:

More information on Steven Grasz from Lambda Legal can be found here:

More information on Mark Norris from Lambda Legal can be found here: