Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Grassley says 2 controversial judicial nominees won't be confirmed

Support crumbling for 'Satan's plan' Texas nominee after Senate chairman urges Trump to drop Mateer Really, Charles Grassley?
Kenny Thornton | 14 December, 2017, 04:12

Two of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees will not be confirmed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate following criticism over controversial statements they made, a White House official said. The decision comes after reports that both nominees made public comments celebrating groups or policies that were discriminatory.

Mateer was nominated to serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas, while Talley was nominated for a federal district court seat in Alabama.

Trump has made significant progress in filling vacancies on the federal courts with conservative judges. Last month, the committee approved Talley's nomination on a party-line vote, despite the American Bar Association's finding that he was "not qualified" to be a federal judge. No action has been taken on Mateer's nomination, and the Senate has not scheduled a vote on Talley.

Critics railed against Talley's nomination, noting he has practiced law for less than three years and has never tried a case in court.

Republicans have defended Talley, with some accusing the ABA of a liberal bias.

Two Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar
The Official Secrets Act carries a maximum punishment of 14 years in prison for the unlawful possession of military documents. Reported by Kyaw Soe Lin and Thinn Thiri for RFA's Myanmar Service.

Past comments by Mateer have also been brought into the spotlight. He called transgender children part of 'Satan's plan.' There is absolutely no way any member of the LGBTQ community could expect fair judgement in any court with Mateer on the bench.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment on the derailed picks or what went wrong, but Mr. Grassley said he didn't think there was a breakdown in the Senate's own vetting process. He also failed to disclose that his wife works in the White House Counsel's office, which overseas judicial nominations.

"I think that you're talking about when somebody's 40 years old, what goes on in a 40-year period of time, there's no way to have an absolutely flawless way of vetting", he said.

But high-ranking Senate Democrats said the fouled up nominations were a sign the Trump administration needed to make changes to its judicial selection process. Dianne Feinstein, Calif., the committee's ranking Democrat.

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