Credo Action

Tell the Senate: Block and resist the NRA's favorite attorney

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The petition to the Senate reads:

"Block and resist Howard Nielson's confirmation to the federal bench."

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    Tell the Senate: Block and resist the NRA's favorite attorney

    If we don't act now, the NRA's favorite attorney could hold a lifetime judicial appointment on a federal court.

    Recently, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced one of Donald Trump's most extreme right-wing judicial nominees, Howard Nielson.1 Nielson spent his career defending the NRA's dangerous agenda, fighting against LGBTQ rights and women's rights, and supporting the legalization of torture.

    Speak out now to demand that the Senate block the confirmation of pro-gun, pro-torture bigot Howard Nielson.

    Tell the Senate: No lifetime judicial appointment for the NRA's favorite attorney. Block Howard Nielson.

    Thirty-four mass shootings have occurred since the Parkland, Florida massacre and federal lawmakers have yet to respond with any real gun reform.2 Instead, NRA lapdogs in the White House and Congress are doing everything they can to block policies that keep weapons of war off the streets. If the Senate confirms pro-gun extremist Howard Nielson to the federal bench, it would make the country's mass shooting crisis even worse by giving the NRA more power to undermine gun restrictions and expand access to firearms.

    Howard Nielson has called state laws that prevent people younger than 21 from purchasing handguns and publicly carrying firearms unconstitutional. He also tried to overturn a ban on assault weapons in Illinois by arguing that high-powered rifles were not as dangerous as pistols and revolvers.3

    In addition to advancing the NRA's dangerous agenda, Nielson has positioned himself on the far right of many other issues.

    • Nielson defended California's anti-LGBTQ Proposition 8 – a policy that banned same-sex marriage – and argued that the judge hearing the case should recuse himself for being gay.4
    • In 2005, while holding a key position in George W. Bush's Department of Justice, Nielson wrote a memo that justified the torture of civilians captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.5
    • In 2014, Nielson represented congressional Republicans in opposing EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.6
    • In 2016, he co-authored an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, arguing in favor of imposing medically unnecessary standards on health facilities that offer abortion. These regulations would have forced a majority of Texas abortion providers to shutter their doors.7

    Trump and his extremist Republican party are trying to fill the federal courts with right-wing judges who will legitimize their hateful policies, undo decades of civil rights progress and empower the NRA. We cannot allow that to happen.

    Some Republican senators have taken small steps to distance themselves from the worst of Trump's extremism. If they want credit for standing up to Trump, they have to keep his right-wing nominees out of the federal courts where they can institutionalize Trump's dangerous agenda for generations. Add your name now to demand that Senate Democrats and Republicans of good conscience block Howard Nielson's confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: No lifetime judicial appointment for the NRA's favorite attorney. Block Howard Nielson.

    Thank you for speaking out to protect our courts.

    References:

    1. Thomas Burr, "Judiciary Committee approves controversial nominee for Utah's federal court," The Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 8, 2018.
    2. Brianna Provenzano, "Here are the 34 mass shootings that have happened in the US since Parkland," Mic, March 14, 2018.
    3. Amanda Marcotte, "Trump is packing the federal bench with NRA-endorsed pro-gun judges," Salon, March 16, 2018.
    4. Jennifer Bendery and Jessica Schulberg, "Guy Who Defended Prop 8 And Backed Torture Memo Author Says He’ll Make A Great Judge," HuffPost, Jan. 10, 2018.
    5. Kate Harloe, "Prepare to Welcome One of the Guys Behind Bush’s Torture Memos to the Federal Bench," Mother Jones, Feb. 8, 2018.
    6. Alliance for Justice, "AFJ Nominee Snapshot: Howard Nielson," accessed May 2, 2018.
    7. Ibid.