White House: Trump judicial pick withdraws nomination

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WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Donald Trump's nominees for federal judge has been withdrawn, the first failed judicial pick for the Republican president.

White House officials said Wednesday the nomination of Brett Talley, who has never argued a case in court and was rated "unanimously unqualified" by the American Bar Association, was withdrawn. The selection had faced criticism from Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Another nominee, Jeff Mateer, also was going nowhere, as a person familiar with the process said the administration hasn't submitted paperwork for the nomination to the Senate and does not intend to. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

Grassley had told reporters earlier Wednesday the two nominees would not be moving ahead toward votes in the Senate. He said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that he told the White House to rethink both nominations.

In speeches, Mateer has described transgender children as evidence of "Satan's plan." He was tapped to be a federal judge in Texas.

Despite these two failures, Trump has had much success in filling judicial openings. Senate Republicans are determined to get Trump's nominees confirmed quickly, a priority of many conservative voters.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 50-47 to confirm Don Willett, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Willett was the 11th federal appeals court judge to be confirmed this year.

President Barack Obama had three appellate judges approved in his first year in office.


Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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