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Senator Grassley: White House should 'reconsider' Jeff Mateer as federal judge

FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington shortly after President Barack Obama announced Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday that the White House should "reconsider" lawyer Jeff Mateer as pick for a federal judgeship.

"We've advised the White House they ought to reconsider," Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told Sinclair Broadcast Group. "I've advised the White House they ought to reconsider."

Mateer, currently serving as the first assistant attorney described transgender children as evidence of Satan's plan in two different 2015 speeches.

At the time, he was acting as general counsel of the First Liberty Institute, a group which advocates for religious liberty across the country.

"In Colorado, a public school has been sued because a first grader and I forget the sex, she's a girl who thinks she's a boy or a boy who thinks she's a girl, it's probably that, a boy who thinks she's a girl," Mateer said in May 2015, according to CNN. "And the school said, 'Well, she's not using the girl's restroom.' And so she has now sued to have a right to go in. Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults, a first grader really knows what their sexual identity? I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on."

These comments and others -- on discriminating based on sexual orientation, advocating for conversion therapy and more -- have drawn criticism from LGBT rights groups.

Last week, 36 such organizations penned a letter demanding the withdrawal of Mateer's nomination.

If the Senate confirms him, Mateer will become a District Court judge in the Eastern District of Texas.


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