Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to block a Trump administration judicial nominee because of his conservative Christian views.
President Donald Trump tapped Jeff Mateer as a lifetime federal judge. But comments he has made on same-sex marriage and transgender rights are upsetting Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“There’s no question these views cast serious doubt on his ability to fairly enforce federal law and treat people impartially,” Feinstein said in a statement.
Feinstein was recently critical of the religious faith of another judicial nominee. She suggested Amy Barrett’s Roman Catholicism would interfere with her ability to be fair as a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge.
“Republicans have lowered the standard for federal judges to get ones who will pass their ideological test: opposition to sensible gun laws, hostility to women’s reproductive rights, commitment to protecting political dark money, and disregard for public health and safety protections,”Whitehouse said, suggesting that Mateer was a “new low” and “not normal” for his criticism of transgender rights and same-sex marriage.
CNN first reported that Mateer, who works for the Texas attorney general’s office, said the transgender movement was part of “Satan’s plan” and described same-sex marriage as a thin wedge that could lead to normalizing bestiality and polygamy, which he called “disgusting.”
Mateer has also worked as an advocate with the First Liberty Institute, a non-profit that defends people who believe they are victims of religious discrimination.
LGBTQ lobby groups want Trump administration to recall Mateer’s name, calling it the “latest slap in the face with respect to th LGBT community.”
But the vice chair of the Texas Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC) has come to Mateer’s defense and doesn’t think holding conservative Christian views should disqualify Mateer from the judgeship.
“I trust Jeff’s judgment that he would make a decision — not on personal views, but on the facts and the law of the case before him,” Raul Gonzales told the Dallas Morning News.