November 7, 2017
LATINO LEADERS OPPOSE NOMINATION OF EXTREMIST JEFF MATEER AS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Coalition calls on Trump to withdraw nomination and for Senate to oppose confirmation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, opposes the confirmation of Jeff Mateer to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and urges President Trump to withdraw his nomination and for Senators to vote no, should Mateer’s confirmation come up for a vote. Since his nomination by President Trump on September 7, 2017, numerous reports have emerged of Mr. Mateer’s long record of working against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) equality and his use of particularly harsh, defamatory, and insulting language to describe members of the LGBTQ community. Mr. Mateer has also worked to undermine women’s reproductive health, including opposing contraceptive coverage in insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces.
“Jeff Mateer’s extremist anti-LGBTQ views have no place in the judiciary. Our courts are the venue of last resort for the most vulnerable members of society to seek justice from an unbiased judge who views everyone as equal under the law. If Jeff Mateer were to be made a judge, we believe that no LGBTQ individual in his court would ever receive a fair hearing. President Trump should withdraw Mr. Mateer’s nomination immediately. If the president does not do this, any Senator who cares about the integrity of the judiciary should vote against Mateer’s confirmation,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“Jeff Mateer spent years advocating against protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination, and has called transgender children part of ‘Satan’s Plan.’ President Trump, who espoused support for the LGBTQ community during his campaign, should withdraw Mateer’s nomination immediately. Mateer should return to being an advocate instead of becoming an activist judge who abuses his position on the bench to undermine equal protection for all,” said Arturo Vargas, Co-Chair of NHLA’s LGBTQ Task Force and Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
“Anyone who expresses such reprehensible views about a community that has faced and continues to face heinous acts of discrimination belongs nowhere near the federal bench. Whatever the limits of appropriate policy debate may be, Mateer’s statements are way beyond the acceptable, bespeaking a deep-seated prejudice that no federal court litigant should ever have to encounter from a judge,” said Thomas A. Saenz, NHLA Vice Chair and MALDEF President and General Counsel.
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.
NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | GreenLatinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | LatinoJustice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | Presente.org | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | UnidosUS | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino