US: Trump’s Judicial Assault on LGBT Rights

THE TOP LINE: The record speed with which President Trump is reshaping the courts, coupled with the staggeringly high number of judges with anti-LGBT records whom he has nominated for lifetime appointments (nearly one-third of those nominated), is triggering a growing and vast judicial crisis for LGBT people, with sweeping consequences that will last decades after Trump is gone.

Trump’s takeover of courts: When President Trump assumed office, he inherited over 120 federal judicial vacancies. Since that time, he has made 59 nominations to fill those seats, and the Senate has confirmed 18 of them. Of the 18 judges confirmed so far, 12 are circuit court judges and 6 are district court judges.

Breakneck pace of nominations: The pace with which the Senate is confirming judges is striking, especially when compared with past administrations. By comparison, at this time in their administrations, President Barack Obama had confirmed 3 circuit court judges, President George W. Bush had confirmed 5 circuit court judges, and President Bill Clinton had confirmed 3 circuit court judges. In other words, Trump has confirmed more circuit court judges than all three prior presidents combined, at the same time of their presidency (the end of their first year in office). 

Impact of circuit court judges: Circuit court judges exert tremendous influence in shaping our nation’s laws and have a profound impact on the everyday lives of Americans. During the term ending in 2016, the Supreme Court heard only 69 cases, whereas the U.S. Courts of Appeals had 53,649 filings, and the U.S. District Courts had 354,339 filings. These cases, and their decisions, affect an unquantifiable number of Americans, as circuit court judges have final say on most matters of national significance, and on issues that impact millions of people. And since almost all federal judges serve lifetime appointments, Trump’s success in rapidly appointing judges will impact millions of Americans long after he has left office, for decades to come.

Anti-LGBT record of nominees: Trump’s record speed and the alarmingly high number of nominees with anti-LGBT records whom he is advancing is triggering a growing judicial crisis for LGBT people. Nearly one-in-three have records that demonstrate hostility towards the rights of LGBT people.  Read more via Lambda Legal