Lambda Legal releases report on anti-LGBTQ judicial appointments

Supreme Court of the United States in Washington. (Image by skeeze from Pixabay)

WASHINGTON — Lambda Legal released its third annual report on Friday on the anti-LGBTQ judges appointed by the Trump administration this year.

The 2019 report “Trump’s Judicial Assault on LGBT Protections: After Three Years of Trump Nominees, Bias and Bigotry Remain the Norm” found that the overall story remains the same: over 1 in 3 of Trump’s circuit court nominees (36%) have a demonstrated history of anti-LGBT bias.

“The damage that is being done to our federal judiciary may be this administration’s most lasting and dangerous legacy,” said Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, in a press release.

“Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues have commandeered the federal judiciary in service of a dangerous agenda that seeks to deny LGBT people and other vulnerable groups the promise of ‘equal justice under law.’  After three years of sustained attack on the integrity of our federal courts, our system of justice is now indisputably in a state of crisis,” added Jennings.

The report shows the pace at which the Trump administration has been able to pack the courts with a large number of ultraconservative white men—almost all of whom are affiliated with the Federalist Society. Notably, 8 of the country’s 12 circuit courts are now made up of 25% or more of Trump-nominated judges.

Because of the number of appointments, and Senate confirmations, a majority of judges on the U.S. District Courts are now appointed by Republican presidents.

“This is a fast-moving train wreck that—unless something is done now—could undermine civil rights protections for the next 40 years.” said Sasha Buchert, senior attorney at Lambda Legal. “An entire generation of LGBTQ people seeking their day in court could be facing judges who have made no secret about their hostility to the rights of LGBT people, women and immigrants. Indeed, many of them were nominated because of their hostility towards LGBT people, women and immigrants.”

The report concludes:

“The federal judiciary must remain an impartial institution that administers equal justice for all.  The United States Senate – Democrats and Republicans alike – owe it to the American people to be more than just a rubber stamp for every nominee that the Trump Administration puts forward for consideration. The Constitution’s language about advice and consent is not just a suggestion, but rather a constitutional obligation, particularly during this tenuous time in our nation’s history.  Otherwise, the damage done to our constitutional democracy will be felt for many decades to come, and may be devastating to those who care about LGBT equality.“

Read the full findings from the report here: