41 LGBT Organizations Oppose Nomination of Gregory Katsas to Powerful D.C. Circuit, Citing “Prolific” Anti-LGBT Legal Work

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November 20, 2017
Photo by: C-SPAN
Gregory Katsas after giving remarks at the Supreme Court in 2012.

Lambda Legal and 40 other national, state, and local LGBT organizations sent a letter to the United States Senate urging members to oppose the confirmation of Gregory Katsas to the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, citing his central role in the anti-civil rights efforts of the Donald Trump administration, including “morphing the trans military ban from tweet to policy,” as well as his record outside the administration of “litigation seeking to dismantle legal protections for LGBT people,” all of which together make it impossible for him to be viewed as a fair and impartial judge.

The full letter outlines his positions and record, illustrating how his nomination “poses a grave threat to the communities” that the organizations serve, specifically as deputy counsel in Donald Trump’s White House Counsel’s office. In this position, “Mr. Katsas has been a legal architect behind several of the Trump administration’s most odious actions and policies targeting the LGBT community,” including implementing the trans military ban and helping Jeff Sessions and Betsy Devos revoke federal guidelines that protect transgender students from discrimination.

The organizations also note that “while his recent anti-LGBT legal work has been prolific, Mr. Katsas is not new to opposing LGBT rights.” He is notably anti-marriage equality, having defended the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman and was declared unconstitutional in 2013. He also has suggested that same-sex couples are lesser parents than different-sex couples, saying that “it seems to me pretty self-evident, but at least a debatable point, that the other things equal the best arrangement for a child is to be raised by both of the child’s biological parents which by definition have to be one man and one woman.”

The letter also emphasizes the fact that Donald Trump has nominated one of his own deputy counsels to the D.C. Circuit, and in doing so “the President has made the startling leap of attempting to place a member of his own legal team on a court that historically has played a critical role in checking Executive excess.”

The letter was sent to the entire United States Senate today ahead of the Chamber likely voting on his nomination early next week.

The full text can be found here.