Senator Grassley expresses reservations on two Trump judge nominees

Senator Grassley expresses reservations on two Trump judge nominees

Cheryl Sanders
December 14, 2017

Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican who chairs the influential Senate committee that overseas judicial nominations, said on Wednesday that he "doesn't anticipate that either nominee would be confirmed", a spokesman said.

The Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate committee that handles judicial nominations on Tuesday raised concerns about two of President Donald Trump's picks for lower court positions, citing controversial statements each has made.

Grassley told CNN the White House should "reconsider" the nomination of Jeff Mateer for a district judgeship in Texas and "should not proceed" on the nomination of Brett Talley for a district court vacancy in Alabama.

The story follows reports by NPR and BuzzFeed News that Talley's nomination was not moving forward. According to other reports, in 2015 he said he believed transgender children were "Satan's spawn" and defended a judge's right to support certain kinds of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation. Grassley told The Washington Post on Wednesday that a second district court nominee, Jeff Mateer, will not be confirmed either. "As we have said from the beginning, the White House must immediately withdraw his nomination".

While President Trump's agenda in Congress has run into trouble this year, his record on confirming federal judges is notable for its speed and efficiency.

David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Trump should heed the advice of Grassley and withdraw the nomination.

Brett Talley, who now serves in the Justice Department's legal policy office, made national headlines after President Trump appointed him for a spot on the U.S. District Court in Alabama despite the fact that he had never argued or tried a case in federal court.

"The Trump-Pence administration's extreme judicial nominee, Jeff Mateer, has been repeatedly exposed as unfit and unqualified to serve". He also didn't disclose his wife's top White House job as a potential conflict of interest on his Senate questionnaire.

"I would hope that Chairman Grassley's request that the White House pull these nominations leads him to reconsider the breakneck speed at which the Judiciary Committee has been considering nominees", Feinstein said.

It's an embarrassing setback for Trump, and marks his first real loss in judicial nominations.

Other reports by iNewsToday