10 February 2017

The Tenth Justice

Numerous media outlets are reporting that Donald Trump is likely to nominate hardcore conservative Charles Cooper as Solicitor General, yet another appointment of someone with anti-LGBT credentials to the highest level of the new administration.

The Solicitor General is a critically important Justice Department official who acts as the United States's attorney before the Supreme Court. This official decides which cases to appeal and what legal position the US government will take in Supreme Court briefs and arguments.

Because Supreme Court justices frequently consult the Solicitor General on whether to take important cases on appeal, the job is so powerful it's frequently referred to in legal circles as "the tenth justice."

Like most high-level Trump nominees, Cooper has an ugly record on LGBT issues. The most notable points are:

--Cooper defended California's hateful Proposition 8 before the US Supreme Court. This is the now-dead law which prohibited same-sex marriage in the most populous state.

--During the Reagan administration, when Cooper was Assistant Attorney General, he argued that the federal government should reject job candidates with AIDS out of fear of contagion.

And like many Trump nominees, Cooper has a long record of actions hostile to civil rights. While at the Justice Department, he argued that educational institutions could ban interracial dating "on religious grounds." This stance strongly suggests he would vehemently defend the proposed and harshly anti-LGBT law known as FADA, the deceptively named First Amendment Defense Act, which allows anyone to discriminate against LGBT persons.

With each passing day, with each new nomination of an anti-LGBT official to the highest ranks of the Trump administration, it's becoming more and more clear that claims Trump is pro-LGBT are a deluded fantasy.

1 comment:

Speak up!