Lambda Legal: Rush by Sen. McConnell to Jam Through Anti-LGBT Judicial Nominees Threatens to Choke Justice Across the Country

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Senate Judiciary Committee Also Begins Hearings for Two More Extreme Nominees, Including Grasz Who Was Deemed NOT QUALIFIED by the American Bar Association
November 1, 2017

Washington, DC – The United States Senate this week continues to run roughshod over the judicial nomination process, forcing through confirmations of two controversial anti-LGBT nominees – Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Joan Larsen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit – and lining up two more – Allison H. Eid to the Tenth Circuit, and, later this week, Stephanos Bibas to the Third Circuit.

At the same time, the Senate Judiciary Committee today convened hearing to consider yet another slate of controversial nominees to the federal bench, including Steven Grasz for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, who earned a unanimous “not qualified” recommendation from the American Bar Association after it concluded that Grasz’s “passionately-held social agenda appeared to overwhelm and obscure [his] ability to exercise dispassionate and unbiased judgment.” The Committee also heard from Mark Norris, an anti-LGBT crusader who has worked to oppose and undermine marriage equality and authorize discrimination against LGBT people in Tennessee, who has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal’s Director of Strategy, issued the following statement:
“Mitch McConnell is ramming highly controversial, extremist, and anti-civil rights judges down the throats of the American people this week. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee has so far failed to turn back any nominee put forth by President Trump – no matter how racist, homophobic, or misogynistic their record. Every time the Senate rubber stamps another one of these nominees, it diminishes its credibility, and sends a message to the American people that it has abdicated its responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution.

“In the last 24 hours alone, the Senate has confirmed two nominees who intend to dismantle the progress made by LGBT people by turning back the clock on our rights. Now the Senate is racing ahead with two more nominations. And the Senate Judiciary Committee keeps serving up more of the same, as demonstrated by the two wildly unqualified nominees before it today, Steven Grasz and Mark Norris.  While it may be easier to focus one’s attention on the havoc wreaked on a daily basis by Donald Trump, the damage that these nominees will cause to our Constitution and the rule of law will be felt for generations.”

More information on Steven Grasz from Lambda Legal is available here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20171030_trump-keeps-losing-in-the-courts

More information on Mark Norris from Lambda Legal is available here:
https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20171101_mark-norris-anti-lgbtq-record

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