Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke out Dec. 4 against President Donald Trump’s nominee for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Andrew Brasher, who has a record of working against LGBTQ rights, health care access for women and basic environmental and voting rights protections.

“Judge Brasher has defended illegal, arguably unconstitutional changes to voting laws, restrictions on access to reproductive health care and discrimination against the LGBTQ community,” said Coons. “When reviewing the nominee’s record, I couldn’t help but think about the three times that I have visited Selma commemorating the historic march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge that changed the course of our nation and led to the Voting Rights Act. When we think about the American civil rights movement, the focus is rightly on men and women who were beaten, arrested, even killed because they demanded equal rights, but we have to not forget the role that Alabama federal judges played in that historic struggle. The legendary Judge Johnson previously held this same Eleventh Circuit Court seat. It was his decision that allowed Dr. King’s marchers to continue their journey to Montgomery, it was his decision that declared Montgomery’s segregated buses unconstitutional and ordered desegregation, and it was his actions that ordered the police and Klan to stop harassing Freedom Riders.”

“We have as a nation come a long way since,” said Coons. “But we cannot ignore both the historic precedent of this particular seat and its role and what I think are grave concerns about the nominee before us, which led to one of his two home state senators to decline to support him.”