Nearly 40% of judges President Donald Trump appointed to federal appeals courts have a history of hostility toward LGBT+ rights, according to a new report by the LGBT+ advocacy group Lambda Legal.
The report presents a sobering image for civil rights advocates of Trump’s lasting impact on the federal judiciary – one they say threatens to roll back progress made in advancing the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
“Our analysis was … about calling out the danger to the rule of law, the danger to the integrity and credibility of the judiciary to be putting forth nominees who fundamentally start from a perspective of LGBT+ people as ‘less than,'” said Sharon McGowan, legal director for Lambda Legal.
Trump will leave office having significantly altered the make up the federal judiciary which will create a major obstacle for President-elect Joe Biden.
“I think in many ways, Trump’s impact on the judiciary will be his most significant and lasting legacy because it will have a life far beyond the four years of the Trump administration,” McGowan said.
While the Supreme Court hears only about 100 to 150 cases annually, the 13 federal appeals courts around the country hear thousands of the most consequential cases every year that shape laws and affect the rights of millions of LGBT+ Americans.