Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Withdrawal of Mateer, Decries Confirmation of Willett

Categories: Judiciary, LGBTQ Rights, Nominations, Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the White House indicated the nomination of Jeffrey Mateer to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas will not be moving forward, while at the same time, the Senate voted, on a party-line basis, to confirm Don Willett to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:

“Jeffrey Mateer should not serve as a federal judge, and we welcome the decision to not move forward on his nomination. He failed to disclose to the Senate outrageous comments demonstrating clear bias. As is now widely known, Mateer described transgender children as proof of “Satan’s plan.” He also blasted efforts to prevent gay conversion therapy, a practice that groups like the American Pediatric Association and American Psychiatric Association have said is mentally harmful. Such a person is not worthy of a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary.

Instead of continuing their rush to pack the courts, President Trump, Leader McConnell, and Chairman Grassley must engage in a more deliberative process and move forward on nominees who will rule fairly. The people place incredible trust in our federal judiciary, and only those worthy of that awesome responsibility should be confirmed. However, the welcome news about Mateer and Brett Talley is marred by the confirmation of yet another unworthy Trump judicial nominee.

Don Willett has expressed antipathy to women’s rights in the workplace, and his confirmation to the powerful federal court of appeals is an affront to equal dignity for women, especially at this moment in history. He has advanced a troubling right-wing agenda throughout his career, both on and off the bench. Willett’s record of extreme legal views earned him a place on then-candidate Trump’s list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees assembled by the far-right Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. He has a clear conservative bias and a disturbing record not only on sex discrimination, but also on LGBTQ rights, voting rights, equal opportunity, and affirmative action.”

Last month, The Leadership Conference sent a letter to the Senate urging opposition to Willett. That letter is available here.

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 www.civilrights.org.