Judicial Nominee Howard C. Nielson’s Own Torture Memo

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
January 2, 2018


A number of President Trump’s judicial nominations have collapsed in recent days after the candidates’ utter lack of qualifications was revealed, signaling (at a minimum) poor vetting on the part of the administration. The most stunning failure was Matthew Peterson, who became an internet sensation and meme generator when he could not answer even basic questions about U.S. law.  Also in the candidates’ graveyard is Jeff Mateer, who in 2015 stated that transgender children are part of “Satan’s plan.” Mateer also prophesied that same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality and lamented the banning by some states of harmful and bogus “conversion therapies” for gay and lesbian persons.

One additional problematic candidate is scheduled for a hearing this month: Howard C. Nielson, who has been nominated for the district court in the District of Utah. The intrepid Alliance for Justice (AFJ), which has worked assiduously to defeat several judicial nominees, has published a worrisome blog on Nielson calling into question his fitness to enjoy life tenure as a federal judge.  (AFJ normally focuses its work on appellate judges; there are so many problematic district court judges in play that it has expanded its vetting role to help Senate staffers and others evaluate candidates).

Read the full post at Just Security