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Trump judicial nominees face obstacles in Senate

Reuters
December 14. 2017 12:55AM




WASHINGTON — 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 official said on Wednesday that the two nominations “will not be moving forward” in the U.S. Senate.

One of the nominees, Brett Talley, selected for a district court position in Alabama, had already said he would withdraw.

The other, Jeff Mateer, nominated to serve as a district court judge in Texas, was already hanging by a thread although he has not officially withdrawn.

Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican who chairs the influential Senate committee that overseas judicial nominations, said on Wednesday that he “doesn’t anticipate that either nominee would be confirmed,” a spokesman said.

The move came a day after Grassley raised concerns about the statements the two nominees had made.

Talley was reported by online magazine Slate as having posted online sympathetic comments about the early history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) white supremacist group. He also failed to disclose that his wife works in the White House Counsel’s office, which overseas judicial nominations.

Mateer has run into trouble over speeches he made in 2015. In one, he referred to transgender children as being part of “Satan’s plans,” CNN reported.

Trump has made significant progress in filling vacancies on the federal courts with conservative judges. He also appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.


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