Cory T. Wilson, who has a record of opposing LGBT equality, reproductive rights, and voting rights, became the 200th Trump appointee when Senate Republicans confirmed him to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit June 24.
The Mississippi state judge and former state legislator will become the 12th Republican-appointed judge on a 17-member court — the sixth Trump has appointed, according to Alliance for Justice. Out of the 870 judgeships, Trump appointees now account for nearly a quarter of all federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices.
Wilson in the past has described gay marriage as “a pander to liberal interest groups and an attempt to cast Republicans as intolerant, uncaring and even bigoted.”
He also once voted for House Bill 1523 (Religious Liberty Accommodations Act), which allows religious groups, small businesses and government employees to discriminate against same-sex couples, according to Jackson Free Press. It was later signed into law.
He also strongly supports voter identification laws, and called the claims that they will make it harder for African Americans to vote “poppycock.”
He claims that Republicans were only interested in “suppressing” illegal votes because of the complaints he and his office received about voter impersonations, where a dead person comes back to vote one last time, and other forms of cheating during his three years at the Secretary of State’s Office.
Wilson once said the ACLU and civil rights organizations “rent-a-mobs,” who “will join the hunt for the GOP bogeyman, by whatever means.”
In May 2007, Wilson in a questionnaire, called for the “the complete and immediate reversal of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton,” which were cases that led to the right of abortions for women.
On Feb. 20, 2014, Wilson also called the Affordable Care Act “illegitimate” and “perverse” because it passed without GOP votes.
Wilson also supports the expansion of Second Amendment rights, according to another questionnaire. He indicated that he opposes the state licensing firearm owners to own, possess, or purchase a gun.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron, said in a press release, “Cory Wilson, like so many of Trump’s other appointees, will turn the clock back and access to health care, voting rights, and so many other protections we hold dear. Our nation’s progress is fragile, and Trump’s judges will be trying to tear it away from us for the rest of their lives.”
People for the American Way President Ben Jealous called this confirmation “devastating.”
“The Wilson confirmation really shines a spotlight on the harm Donald Trump is doing to vulnerable communities and communities of color with his judicial appointments. Cory Wilson defended racist voting restrictions in Mississippi,” said Jealous in a press release. “He is a virulent opponent of the Affordable Care Act at a time when people — especially people of color — are being devastated by a pandemic. There is no question that judicial appointments are a racial equity issue, and this confirmation is devastating. The power of presidents and senators to nominate and confirm judges is something we have to keep in mind when we vote in November.”