Mr. Grasz has been rated “Not Qualified” by the non-partisan American Bar Association. The ABA unanimously found Grasz unqualified, only the fourth nominee since 1989 to receive that rating.
The ABA concluded that Grasz’s commitment to a right-wing social agenda “appeared to overwhelm and obscure” his ability to act as a fair and neutral decision maker. The ABA’s statement sets off alarm bells if one considers Grasz’s extreme positions on many issues that may come before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. For example:
- Reproductive Rights—Grasz’s writings and interviews show a strong opposition to a woman’s right to choose. He has compared the civil rights of aborted fetuses to those of Native Americans.
- LGBTQ Rights—While serving on the City of Omaha Charter Review Commission, Grasz pushed for an amendment that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ employees under the guise of “religious liberty.” He opposes same-sex marriages and supports conversion therapy for gay youth.
- Separation of Church and State—Grasz has argued that teaching evolution as fact interferes with religious rights. He has advocated (against a court ruling) that non-denominational prayers be allowed during official school functions.
Grasz has shown he is unlikely to set aside his long-standing positions on certain issues in order to act as an impartial judge. His record indicates that he would be an extremely activist judge willing to overlook existing case law to achieve certain social aims.
My name is _____, I’m a constituent from [zip code]. Please vote No on Leonard Steven Grasz for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has clearly demonstrated strong prejudices against women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, and he has worked as an activist against them. I am worried that he will not be a fair or impartial judge.
- ABA Report on Grasz Nomination: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/uncategorized/GAO/GraszStatement.authcheckdam.pdf
- Vetting Room blog: https://vettingroom.org/2017/10/31/steve-grasz/
- Alliance For Justice report: https://www.afj.org/our-work/nominees/grasz
- Grasz’s Answers to Questionnaire for Senate Judiciary Committee: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Grasz%20SJQ.pdf