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Gillian Branstetter, Media Relations Manager
November 28, 2017

Legal Architect of Anti-Trans Attacks Confirmed to Nation’s Second-Highest Court

Today the Senate continued its aggressive crusade to place extremist and sometimes unqualified nominees on the federal courts by narrowly confirming senior White House lawyer Gregory Katsas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

As Deputy White House Counsel, Katsas helped draft the White House memo formalizing President Trump’s transgender military ban as well as the President’s Muslim travel ban. Katsas has confirmed that he also advised on numerous Administration attacks on LGBTQ people, including the February withdrawal of lifesaving guidance supporting transgender students, an aggressive Justice Department brief arguing federal civil rights laws do not protect LGBTQ people, and a brief in the Supreme Court arguing for a constitutional right to discriminate.

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE, said the following:

“A top Trump White House lawyer simply does not belong on a federal appeals court. The audacity of this appointment cannot be overstated: the Senate has just placed one of President Trump’s top lawyers, with his fingerprints on nearly every Trump attack on civil and constitutional rights, on the appeals court most responsible for deciding the legality of those same policies. We call on the Senate to stand up and do its job by following longstanding Senate traditions, thoroughly vetting nominees, and rejecting nominees whose chief qualifications seem to be their willingness to attack transgender people and other Americans because of who they are.”

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on another judicial nominee who has devoted a large part of his careers to demeaning and attacking transgender people, Kyle Duncan for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While nominee Jeff Mateer has gained the most notoriety for calling transgender children part of “Satan’s plan,” Katsas and Duncan, along with nominees Steven Grasz, Matthew Macsmaryk, Stephen Schwartz, all have long records of pushing extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-transgender agendas.

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