Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said on Tuesday that the White House should reconsider the judicial nominations of a horror novelist who has never tried a case and a religious right activist who said that a transgender first grade student is part of “Satan’s plan.”
The first nominee, Brett Talley, is a 36-year-old Trump administration official who bounced between political and legal jobs after graduating from law school in 2007. Though he is nominated to a trial judgeship in Alabama, Talley has never tried a case. He has, however, written several Lovecraftian works of fiction with titles like “The Void” and “That Which Should Not Be.”
The second nominee, Jeff Mateer, is a senior attorney with the Texas attorney general’s office and a former senior executive at a Christian right legal shop. In addition to his idiosyncratic views on the role schoolchildren play in The Devil’s machinations, Mateer also defended so-called “conversion therapy” and warned that an unlikely set of consequences will result if same-sex couples are allowed to marry.
If a such couples can marry, Mateer claimed in a 2015 speech, “why couldn’t four people wanna get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?” Mateer added that “there are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.”
CNN first reported Grassley’s suggestion that Talley and Mateer’s nominations shouldn’t move forward. The top senator on the Judiciary Committee said he is asking the White House to “reconsider” the Mateer nomination and that it “should not proceed” on the Talley nomination.
It remains to be seen whether the White House will follow Grassley’s advice and send both nominations to the void.