The news comes after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged Trump to rethink the nominee as well as that of Brett Talley, a judicial pick who had never tried a case. A White House official confirmed to the Washington Blade “both Talley and Mateer will not be moving forward.”
In response to a follow-up email on whether the nominations would be formally withdrawn, the officials said Talley withdrew his nomination, but said nothing about Mateer.
Mateer, whom Trump nominated for a federal judgeship in Texas, faced stiff opposition from LGBT groups after a 2015 video emerged in which he called transgender kids “Satan’s plan,” endorsed widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy and said same-sex marriage would lead to pedophilia.
That opposition made his confirmation unlikely. At a Capitol Hill rally last month, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) joined LGBT rights advocates and mothers of transgender children in calling for defeat of the nomination.
Mateer, who’s now serving as the first assistant attorney general of Texas, made the comments about transgender kids during the same 2015 Iowa conference organized by pastor Kevin Swanson, who became infamous in the LGBT community for taking that opportunity to call for the death penalty for LGBT people. (Others in attendance were then-Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.)
Other reporting has emerged in which Mateer was shown to have said the contraception mandate in Obamacare was similar to religious crackdowns in Nazi Germany. Additionally, Mateer proclaimed “we discriminate” against gay people in the Baptist Church to justify anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious freedom.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, claimed victory in the aftermath of news Mateer’s nomination was dead in the water.
“Jeff Mateer’s extreme rhetoric and hateful comments are disqualifying for any public official and should have prevented Donald Trump from nominating him to begin with,” Griffin said. “We thank the Senators who expressed concern about this dangerous nominee and the many supporters who joined us to #StopJeffMateer.”