HRC called on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to reject two of Trump’s recent federal judicial nominees: John Bush, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; and Damien Schiff, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Schiff has been unabashed in his anti-LGBTQ views. He has called Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” opposed anti-bullying policies, opposed the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, and has been a longtime critic of marriage equality.
Bush has similarly criticized rulings striking down sodomy laws targeting LGBTQ people, has complained about updating passport forms to be inclusive of same-sex parents, and compared abortion access to slavery.
In letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee today, HRC reviewed their long public track records of both candidates speaking out against the equality of LGBTQ people and their families and called on the Committee to reject his nomination. Last week, both nominees appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they failed to distance themselves from offensive blog posts disparaging LGBTQ people and failed to show that they could produce impartial judgements based upon fact rather than ideology.
“Bush and Schiff are truly unfit to serve in our federal courts and pose a serious threat to LGBTQ people and minority communities across the nation,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “Throughout their careers, each has demonstrated contempt for LGBTQ people in their dangerous online writing. These nominees represent an alarming trend of the Trump/Pence Administration appointing individuals who will roll back vital protections for marginalized people. HRC is calling on the U.S. Senate to reject the nominations of John Bush and Damien Schiff and urges the Trump administration to bring forward fair-minded nominees to serve as federal judges.”
During his hearing, Damien Schiff defended his blog post in which he called Justice Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute”. Schiff’s blog also included his writings:
- Encouraging parents to opt out of public schools in response to new curriculum that discouraged LGBTQ bullying and normalized families with same-sex parents;
- Opposing the Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing same-sex relationships;
- Defending supporters of Prop 8 and claiming same-sex couples enjoyed the same legal benefits as married opposite-sex couples before Prop 8;
- Claiming that marriage between a man and woman is “a socio-cultural fact of this society”.
A sampling of John Bush’s most appalling blog posts and writings include: