Read a PDF of our statement here.

LDF Statement on Senator Grassley Advising the White House to Reconsider the Judicial Nominations of Brett Talley and Jeff Mateer

Today, it was reported that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is advising the White House to reconsider the nominations of Brett Talley and Jeff Mateer to serve on the federal bench. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) Policy Director Todd A. Cox provided the following statement:

“We’ve spent months raising alarms about Trump’s unqualified and inexperienced choices for the federal bench, including Brett Talley. Talley was not only found unanimously not qualified by the nonpartisan ABA, but he also failed to disclose his marriage to the White House Counsel’s chief of staff, as well as thousands of online posts he authored, including one defending the ‘first KKK.’ So, we commend Senator Chuck Grassley for rebuking Talley’s – and Jeff Mateer’s – nomination, but we also urge him not to stop there. Indeed, the list of judicial nominees who lack the fitness to serve our federal courts fairly is far longer than Talley and Mateer. Thomas Farr, for example, seems to have explicitly misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in a 1990 postcard campaign designed to intimidate Black North Carolinians and stop them from casting a ballot in the midterm elections.

“A lifetime appointment to our federal courts must be met with robust vetting. It’s clear that Talley, Mateer, Farr, and too many others simply lack the required qualifications, experience, and commitment to civil rights necessary for the job. The Senate must take seriously its responsibility to advise and consent on the President’s nominees for the federal courts, and we call on Senator Grassley and his colleagues to not just reject the nominations of Talley and Mateer, but all candidates who lack the basic requirements to be a just and impartial judge, including Thomas Farr.”

On November 27, LDF and 35 other national and state civil rights, labor, environment, legal, and other groups sent a joint letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leadership demanding a new hearing for district court nominees Talley and Farr. Read our letter here.



Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.