Senator Grassley expresses reservations on two Trump judge nominees

Grassley urges Trump to reconsider controversial judicial picks

Two of Trump's most controversial judicial nominees, including one who said transgender children are the work of Satan, won't be confirmed by the Senate, Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday.

"Along with Brett Talley, whose nomination also ran aground today, Mateer represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Trump's campaign to pack the courts with narrow-minded elitists intent on pushing a radical agenda from the bench". Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "I would advise the White House not to proceed".

The decision is a significant interruption of the Trump administration's plans to have the Senate swiftly confirm its judicial nominees, often over the objections of Democrats complaining that certain picks are too biased or too inexperienced for the federal bench. The Senate has moved at an unprecedented pace this year to seat federal judges but controversy has surrounded the Mateer and Talley nominations. He was awaiting a floor vote, but now will have to have his nomination formally withdrawn. Mateer's nomination still needs committee approval.

Talley was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Talley offered to withdraw his nomination last week, according to a White House official. The Hill confirmed Mateer will not be moving forward.

BuzzFeed News first reported Talley's offer late Tuesday. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who recommended Talley to the president, were not returned.

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The White House didn't respond to a request for comment on the derailed picks or what went wrong, but Mr. Grassley said he didn't think there was a breakdown in the Senate's own vetting process.

The committee has not received Mateer's paperwork, a spokesman said. "That's a serious breach of protocol". Despite this, he was approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Talley was reported by online magazine Slate as having posted online sympathetic comments about the early history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) white supremacist group.

The developments have caused other Republicans to break ranks.

Last month, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) was the first Republican to raise problems with Talley, saying he would vote against his confirmation because he's "never tried a lawsuit in his natural life ..." "I think the President, as I've said before, has been given some very, very bad advice". Neither of the embattled nominees is for those more powerful circuit court positions.

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