Washington, D.C., October 29, 2019 – Alliance for Justice today released a report on the record of Lawrence VanDyke, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“Lawrence VanDyke does not belong on the federal bench. He has spent his career working to roll back civil rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protections, and the rights of workers and consumers. He has few ties to the legal community in Nevada. He currently works at the DOJ’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division alongside outspoken climate change denier Jeffry Clark, helping lead Trump’s charge to eviscerate environmental protections. VanDyke was chosen for this position because he has a documented record of putting his own ultraconservative ideology over the law, and the Trump administration is confident that he will continue to do so if he’s confirmed.”
AFJ reports that:
- VanDyke spent his time as states solicitor general focused on overturning Roe v. Wade, attacking marriage equality, fighting better wages for workers, and leading assaults on environmental protections, often in flagrant disregard of state laws designed to uphold the very rights he was attacking.
- VanDyke has a long history of opposing environmental protections. In addition to attacking clean air and water measures as states solicitor general, he ran his failed Montana Supreme Court race with the backing of fossil fuel companies and the Koch Brothers on an anti-environment platform.
- In an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s twenty-week abortion ban, VanDyke asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade and cited “laws criminalizing the cruel infliction of pain on animals” as support for his argument.
- VanDyke has written favorably about conversion therapy and supported bans on same-sex marriage. He also promoted myths that same-sex couples harm children and society and that LGBTQ people are deviant and dangerous. Further, he worked for the virulently anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a “hate group.”
- VanDyke led a 22-state coalition in a lawsuit to stop the Obama Administration’s overtime rule. He called it one of his “most significant legal actions,” attacking a rule that would have extended overtime pay to nearly 4 million workers.