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We are asking the Senator to vote against Howard Nielson for a judgeship on federal district court. Nielson has shown by his career record that he is unsuitable to be a judge.

Support for use of torture: While working for the Bush-Cheney administration, Nielson authored a memo that could be interpreted to allow the torture of civilians, as long as the torture was done outside the U.S.

Against the Affordable Care Act: Nielson has represented Congressional Republicans in challenges to the ACA, arguing that the federal government does not have to help pay for people’s health insurance if states do not set up their own insurance exchanges.

Against women’s reproductive rights: Nielson has argued in favor of restricting outpatient abortions to doctors with admitting privileges to hospitals or surgical centers. Pro-choice advocates say these restrictions are unnecessary for safe abortion, and that the restrictions are intended to deny access to abortion.

Against LGBTQ Rights: Nielson has worked against same-sex marriage. In one case, he hinted that same-sex couples could not be capable parents, since “stable and enduring family units” have historically consisted of a mother and father.

Against common-sense gun safety: Nielson has represented the NRA in numerous cases against common sense gun regulation, such as a ban on handgun purchases for people under 21, a ban on people ages 18 to 20 publicly carrying firearms, and a ban on semiautomatic rifles and large capacity magazines.

Politicizing the U.S. Department of Justice: Nielson served on a four-person screening committee that discriminated against Justice Dept applicants who were affiliated with progressive and/or Democratic Party organizations. The Inspector General did a report on the committee after Nielson left the Justice Dept, and said that the committee did “very serious damage” to the Justice Dept. The Inspector General further said that Nielson should “never get a job with the Department again, hopefully never with the Federal Government again.”

As this record shows, Howard Nielson should not be a judge because of his history of extreme partisanship and his legal views that are out-of-step with the majority of Americans. We are asking the Senator to vote against Howard Nielson’s nomination.

More Information:
Report on Howard Nielson, Alliance for Justice
Letter Opposing Confirmation of Howard Nielson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Report on Howard Nielson-Nominee, The Vetting Room

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