Yesterday, just weeks ahead of the presidential election, President Donald Trump released a new shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees that is teeming with anti-LGBT extremists and dangerous ideologues. Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer at Lambda Legal released the following statement:

“Today, the Trump Administration released a new list of dangerous, ultra-conservative ideologues as potential nominees for the highest court in the land. This list is teeming with individuals who have alarming anti-LGBTQ and anti-civil rights records, which should be disqualifying for any judicial nominee, let alone a nominee for the Supreme Court.  Notably, the President’s “litmus test” for SCOTUS nominees seems to have demanded zealous opposition to abortion and common sense gun control measures, as well as an unrelenting commitment to destroying the Affordable Care Act and a deep hostility to LGBTQ equality.  All of these positions are far outside of the mainstream, and threaten not only the legal rights but also the health and safety of LGBTQ people, everyone living with HIV, and other groups who rely on fair and impartial courts to vindicate their rights.

This troubling list includes some of the most anti-LGBTQ activists sitting on the bench today, including Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Kyle Duncan and James Ho, as well as Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Van Dyke, who was deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association due to specific concerns about his ability to treat LGBTQ litigants fairly.  Other nominees include elected officials, judges and attorneys whose careers have been marked by a hostility to civil rights, particularly those of the LGBTQ community. In sum, the number of nominees on this list whose records are replete with anti-LGBTQ bias is both staggering and terrifying.

President Trump’s unveiling of a list of extremists and ideologues as potential Supreme Court nominees should worry all who believe in the importance of a fair-minded judiciary. The impact that another anti-LGBTQ nominee could have on the Supreme Court would be catastrophic. For over three years, this administration has pulled out all of the stops in its attempt to weaponize our federal courts in service of a dangerous right-wing agenda and at the expense of true justice and equal rights for all.  It is up to us to speak out against this assault on our system of justice, and be active participants rather than mere spectators in our democracy. We cannot count on the courts to protect us if we do not protect our courts.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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