(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and more than 50 colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urging them to reject the nomination of Howard Nielson to serve as a United States District Judge for the District of Utah.

“With hate crimes on the rise and important protections under assault, members of the LGBT community are relying on the courts to uphold their constitutional rights,” wrote the lawmakers. “Mr. Nielson’s record raises serious concerns about his ability to be a neutral arbiter of the law in these cases; his own choices and statements have made him unfit for confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.”

“The nomination of Howard Nielson to the federal bench is yet another attack on LGBTQ people by the Trump-Pence Administration,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s Legal Director. “Nielson has a long track record of hostility and discrimination towards the LGBTQ community. He has stated that being gay is a choice, argued in favor of Prop 8 and abusive conversion therapy techniques, and had the audacity to claim a gay judge could not be impartial in a ruling involving LGBTQ rights. Nielson is unfit to serve on the federal bench, and Senate should reject his nomination.”

“One of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to stack the courts with anti-choice judges who would create a pipeline for overturning Roe v. Wade and Howard Nielson is the perfect example,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell. “Nielson has a troubling anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ record and this nomination for a lifetime appointment will give him the power to shape our country in his out-of-touch worldview for decades to come. That’s bad news for the women and families in Utah who will be directly impacted by Nielson’s backwards agenda and bad news for any American who don’t want to be stripped of our basic freedoms.”

Full letter text is available here.

Congressman Raskin is a proud member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, the Transgender Equality Task Force, and the Pro-Choice Caucus.