( Washington, DC Sept. 12, 2018 ) Today, Lambda Legal joined with 18 national, state and local LGBT civil rights organizations to oppose the nomination of Stephen Clark to the U.S. District Court for the District of Missouri. In a letter delivered to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the organizations highlight Clark's unacceptable views on civil rights.
Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, issued the following statement:
"The Trump-Pence Administration has put forth a nominee with a clear record of bias against LGBT people for a lifetime appointment to the federal court. Once again, the U.S. Senate stands poised to rubber-stamp the nomination. Clark is clearly at odds with the principles of equality and dignity under the law, particularly with regard to LGBT people.
"Lambda Legal and our peer organizations will continue to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject nominees whose bias threatens the fair administration of justice. Stephen Clark is one such nominee, and we urge Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, and all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against his confirmation to the United States Eastern District for the District of Missouri.
"Clark's record on LGBT issues is disturbing. He has asserted his belief that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage. How can more than 160,000 LGBT Missourians have any hope of receiving justice from a judge who refuses to accept the Supreme Court's decision that the right to marry extends to same-sex couples?
"Other aspects of Clark's record indicate that he will be a dangerous ideologue rather than a fair-minded jurist. He has stated that he would look to the 'founding colonies, the history of state statutes, and long-established traditions' when analyzing due process and civil rights claims. He unapologetically ignores centuries of progress and law that have extended the protections of the U.S. Constitution to historically oppressed populations.
"In an amicus brief submitted in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Clark argued that ACA contraceptive coverage policy is 'arbitrary and capricious' because the government did not properly consider the false assertion that contraceptive care 'works directly against women's health.'
"Clark's shameless reliance on junk science to advance his ideologically driven litigation indicates that, like this President, he is someone who is willing to cast aside facts when they contradict his preferred outcome. That is the last thing we need in a federal judge."
"We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Stephen Clark's nomination because his appointment to the federal court will cause grave harm to LGBT people, as well as to all communities that rely on the federal judiciary of the United States to administer fair and impartial justice."
More information on Trump-Pence administration judicial nominees can be found here:
- Stacking the Courts: The Fight Against Trump's Extremist Judicial Nominees www.lambdalegal.org/judicial-nominees .
- Lambda Legal on Withdrawal of Ryan Bounds' Nomination www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180719_withdrawal-of-ryan-bounds-nomination .
- Anti-LGBT Advocate David Porter Moves Forward www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180719_anti-lgbt-advocate-david-porter-moves-forward .
- Mitch McConnell Was Just Forced to Withdraw a Trump Nominee: Here's Why It Matters www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180719_statement-on-ryan-bounds-nomination-withdrawal .
- Any Friend of Rick Santorum is No Friend of Ours www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180629_porter-opposition-letter .
- Another Anti-LGBT Nominee Passes Senate Judiciary Committee with Trump's Rhetoric www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180607_statement-on-bounds-confirmation .
- McConnell Just Canceled August Senate Recess to Confirm More Anti-LGBTQ Judges. www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180605_mcconnell-cancels-recess .
- With Brennan's Confirmation, One in 10 Judges on U.S. Courts of Appeals Now a Trump Pick www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180509_brennan-confirmation-1-in-10-judges-trump .
- Ninth Circuit Nominee's Demonstrated Lack of Judgment is Disqualifying. www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180508_ryan-bounds-opposition .
- Civil Rights Leaders Condemn Trump Judicial Nominee Following Discovery Of Inflammatory Audio Recordings. www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180215_civil-rights-leaders-condemn-giampetro .
- Chairman Grassley Chucks 100-Year Old, Bipartisan Tradition To Force Through More Trump Judges www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180215. .
- Judicial Nominee and Supreme Court Shortlister David Stras Passed Trump's Litmus Test- and That Should Scare You. www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20171129_david-stras-is-extreme .
- Senate GOP Leaders Attempting to Jam through Anti-Civil Rights Judicial Nominees While No One is Looking. www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20180117_gop-leaders-jam-through-nominees .
From a Lambda Legal press release
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.