Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Trump’s Resubmission of Unqualified and Biased Nominees

Courts News 01.5.18

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the intent of President Trump to send back to the Senate multiple judicial nominees that have troubling records:

“With the new year, President Trump had an opportunity to start with a clean slate when it came to his troubling judicial nominees. Instead, he’s sending back unqualified and biased nominees. The American people deserve judges who have the experience, impartiality, and commitment to equal justice necessary to serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench.

It is troubling that the same week Senators Tina Smith and Douglas Jones were sworn in, the president announced his intent to re-nominate judges from Minnesota and Alabama. Home-state senators should have an opportunity to review the records of and be consulted on judicial nominees who will serve their constituents before they are nominated. This is a time-honored tradition that has been respected under Democratic and Republican presidents.

Last month, three of Trump’s controversial nominees were finally withdrawn. Yet, Matthew Petersen, Brett Talley, and Jeffrey Mateer were just the tip of the iceberg. Nominees who are found to be Not Qualified by the nonpartisan American Bar Association should not move forward. Nominees who lack the minimal work experience necessary should not move forward. And nominees who lack the essential qualities of fairness and impartiality should not move forward.

One individual who is being renominated should, at the very least, require another hearing if senators on the committee are taking their vetting seriously: Thomas Farr. After his hearing, information came to light that strongly suggests that he misled the committee about his involvement in the Jesse Helms for Senate campaign’s intimidation of Black voters. Senators must demand more information from both the nominee and the Justice Department to determine Farr’s veracity under oath and his involvement in this nefarious conduct.

We urge the Senate to assert its constitutionally assigned role in the judicial nomination process. Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley must stop serving as rubber stamps for President Trump’s right-wing court-packing plan. Too many of Trump’s nominees are unfit to serve lifetime appointments on the federal judiciary. Our courts, and our country, deserve better.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit