At the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday, June 7, Senator Kamala Harris recognized the importance of LGBTQ Pride Month and protecting the rights of LGBTQ Americans. Senator Harris spoke out against David Porter, Donald Trump’s nominee to a lifetime seat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, who has expressed deeply disturbing far-right views.
Senator Harris decried the Republican-majority committee’s continued refusal to reject unqualified judges who are openly hostile towards the LGBTQ community:
Despite the tremendous progress this country has made in recognizing equal rights for all Americans, including LGBTQ Americans, this committee has approved many nominees who have fought against the progress at every step.
Everyone who comes before this committee says that they will set aside their personal views and provide a fair hearing to those who stand before them. But some of these nominees have extreme views and it is difficult to see how any LGBTQ American could reasonably believe that these nominees would give them a fair hearing.
David Porter is just another addition to a long list of Trump nominees who harbor anti-LGBTQ sentiments. Kyle Duncan, Jeff Mateer, Matthew Kacsmaryk, Damien Schiff, Mark Norris, Steve Grasz, Michael Brennan, and Gordon Giampietro also have records that should be deeply disturbing to anyone who cares about LGBTQ equality.
Despite their clear aversion to the Constitution’s fundamental promise of equality under the law, these narrow-minded elitists continue to be nominated by Trump and approved by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. Senator Harris lamented:
It is a sad truth that showing hostility toward the LGBTQ community is not something that has disqualified individuals from becoming a nominee of this administration.
Senator Harris concluded by calling for continued efforts to fight for equality of LGBTQ Americans and for a fair and impartial judiciary:
What is clear from [the Masterpiece Cakeshop] decision is that the LGBTQ community will have to continue to fight for equality, and that is a fight that we as Americans who care about civil rights and equal dignity must all join. And that includes ensuring that our federal judiciary is not stacked with individuals who have shown hostility to any group of Americans, especially those who have dedicated their careers to undermining the equality of LGBTQ Americans. This flood of extreme nominees is being rushed through and does not reflect the best principles of our system of justice, and this has to stop. I believe we can do better.