Press Release

Nielson Vote Advances “Defender of Torture”

February 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2018 – Following today’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance the nomination of Howard Nielson for a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Utah, AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“Today’s committee vote puts an individual who has served as a defender of torture one step closer to a lifetime seat on the federal bench. As he has admitted, Howard Nielson took part in creating Bush-era ‘torture memos’ that claimed a legal basis for such abhorrent practices as waterboarding. He also failed during his confirmation hearing to allay concerns about his work as an attorney in private practice, including his insistence that an LGBTQ judge should have been forced aside and prevented from hearing a case about marriage equality. Our view is that Nielson’s record, like the records of so many Trump judicial nominees, disqualifies him for a seat on the federal bench.”