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Almost half of the judges appointed by President Donald Trump have records of denial of LGBTQ rights, according to a new report by the LGBTQ trial group Lambda Legal.
Findings from the report, “Courts, Acknowledgments, and Consequences: How Trump Restructured Federal Justice and Ushered in a Climate of Unprecedented Hostility Against LGBTQ + Persons and Civil Rights,” show that nearly 40 percent of Trump-confirmed federal appeals judges have an anti-anti-LGBTQ history Bias. To date, its administration has confirmed 54 of 179 district court judges. Lambda Legal has turned 22 of the 57 nominees to the Circuit Court over the past four years on their anti-LGBTQ record.
Overall, the results show that Trump’s nominations for justice were not diverse. The report shows that a whopping 85 percent of the candidates for Trump’s circuit court are white and about 80 percent are men. None of the Circuit Court candidates are black and only two are Latinx.
To conduct this research, the organization tracked and monitored four years of Trump’s appointment to justice. The researchers then searched documents that revealed the homophobic and transphobic backgrounds of the officers.
Almost all candidates for Trump’s Circuit Court are or have been closely associated with the Federalist Society, a conservative anti-LGBTQ group that campaigns for same-sex parents to deprive their parents of their rights. The group has also spoken out against marriage equality and protection from non-discrimination for LGBTQ workers.
Federal judges have a life term, that is that the effects of Trump’s decisions will linger long after he leaves office.
“As Donald Trump’s presidency may come to an end, it will be decades before its devastating effects on our federal courts are reversed,” said Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, in a written statement. “With the basic human rights of LGBTQ + Americans being challenged so often in court, we cannot accept a judiciary made up of judges that disenfranchises these vulnerable groups.”
Trump has appointed new judges faster than the last five presidential administrations, the report shows. Just a few weeks before the presidential election The Trump administration appointed Amy Coney Barrett – who has ties to Alliance Defending Freedom – to the US Supreme Court.
“The most obvious and egregious example of this is the fact that they got the nomination through while national elections were already going on,” Sharon McGowan, legal director of Lambda Legal, told Gay City News. “President Trump was able to get as many candidates for the Court of Appeal in one term as President Obama in two terms.”
These decisions will make it even more difficult for voters to reshape the federal courts, she said.
“It distorts the way people should be able to count on their voice,” McGowan said. “When people chose President Biden because they trusted him to bring good people into justice, his ability to do so was somehow overtaken … by the fact that Trump and the Senate Republicans were running and making the table that there were no more places left for him to fill. ”
Trump-nominated judges wrote opinions aimed at LGBTQ people in a variety of areas, including health care protection. Judge James Ho, who was appointed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, penned a statement denying health care to a trans woman, according to the report. When Cory Wilson, who was appointed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was a Mississippi state legislature, he supported a law that allowed corporations to refuse service to queer and unmarried people if they had “genuine religious beliefs “Had,” the report stated.
Judges appointed by Trump to the eleventh circle have overturned local laws protecting LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy, a widely discredited practice that claims to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Ultimately, experts determined that a Biden-Harris administration could begin unraveling Trump’s legacy, but there will be a focus.
“The Biden administration should make this a very high priority,” said McGowan. “You should work closely with civil rights organizations and other people interested in the rule of law to ensure that they produce strong candidates who can, in some ways, serve as a correction to what we’ve seen over the past four years. ”
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