Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm surprised at this decision, but Eric Dreiband, a lawyer with a history of being anti-gay, has been appointed the highest position in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, according to Metro Weekly. After the vote that helped Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Leader McConnell decided to move two of Donald Trump's picks for the position to the voting floor, one being Dreiband.
On Thursday, October 11th, the Senate voted 50-47 to end the debate regarding Dreiband's nomination and the nomination vote had the same results, with the votes being passed on a party line. One Republican senator, Marco Rubio of Florida and two Democratic senators, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida were not present at the time of the vote. In this position. Dreiband will be entrusted to implement civil rights laws, which consist of laws that prevent discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or disability.
According to Judiciary Senate, civil rights groups believe that Dreiband will hold a narrow view of what would constitute a civil rights violation. In addition to that, Dreiband is also in favor of enforcing North Carolina's House Bill 2, which prevents transgender individuals from using the restroom that coincides with their gender as well as annuls ordinances that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He also worked for non-profit organizations that sought religious exemptions from having to provide contraceptive coverage under the ACA. Other companies have used this same argument to prevent same-sex couples from receiving spousal benefits.
Dreiband's nomination was approved alongside three other anti-gay nominees, effectively creating a threat to LGBTQ rights in the United States. The DoJ's Civil Rights Division has thus far been a defender of civil rights in many aspects of life but with Dreiband being confirmed, the role of the Civil Rights Division has taken a hit.
But after Devos and Pruitt (who is thankfully no longer the administrator of the EPA), I really am not surprised. Disgusted, yes but surprised? Absolutely not.