Washington, D.C. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday will vote on three of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the federal appeals courts — Steven Grasz to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Don Willett and James Ho to serve on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The committee is also voting on the nominations of several district court nominees, including Mark Norris for a seat in Tennessee. In response, Michele Jawando, vice president for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The Senate is continuing to ram through votes on President Trump’s judicial nominees at a frenzied pace, despite grave concerns about their ability to be impartial on the bench.
Grasz has received a unanimous rating of “not qualified” from the American Bar Association and was a board member of the Nebraska Family Alliance, a group that vigorously supported “conversion therapy” for young LGBTQ people. That group is a partner with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has spearheaded the Supreme Court case in favor of a Colorado bakery that refuses to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.
Norris has a long and troubling record opposing LGBTQ rights and making discriminatory statements about Muslims. Norris also backed state legislation that would have excluded same-sex couples from the rights and benefits of marriage.
Trump has shown his disdain for the constitutional rights of the LGBT community, women, Muslims and people of color. We need an independent judiciary to serve as a check on this administration.
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