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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jan 22, 2022, 01:19 PM

4. Oh, this man's got to go.


A social conservative and devout Catholic, Severino has often been criticized for being anti-LGBT.[7][4][5] The Human Rights Campaign has described Severino as a "radical anti-LGBTQ activist."[8] In 2018, Severino called the Obama administration's expansion of sex to include gender identity "radical gender ideology."[9][10] In an op-ed co-written by former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, Severino said that "transgender rights supporters see sex as 'merely a placeholder’ assigned at birth."[11] [snip]

As director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, Severino was instrumental in the removal of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people established in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The removal of the provision will allow healthcare providers to deny care based on a patient's sexuality or gender identity.[13][14]

He's a Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society darling, naturally:

A Trump Holdover Sued Biden for Firing Him. Is His Lawsuit a Joke or a Trap?

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has prioritized rooting out Trump holdovers who were installed to sabotage government agencies. On Tuesday, he continued to clean house. He demanded the resignations of four people whom Donald Trump appointed to the council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a little-known but influential federal agency. One council member, Vice Chair Jennifer Dickey, resigned in accordance with the president’s request. Three others—Andrew Kloster, Roger Severino, and Daniel Z. Epstein—refused to resign, so Biden fired them on Wednesday. All four members were far-right partisan activists who worked in another position within the Trump administration before joining ACUS. Severino, who previously led Trump’s campaign to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health care, sued Biden on Wednesday evening. He alleges that Biden had no authority to fire him and demands that he be reinstated immediately.

Severino’s lawsuit betrays a foundational principle of the modern conservative legal movement. Right-wing scholars have long argued the president is “unitary executive” with constitutional power to fire officials within the executive branch. It is possible that Severino is simply a hypocrite who will abandon his beliefs to claw back his old job and accuse Biden of abandoning “unity.” But the choice to take his fight to the courts could also be an attempt to tank precedent protecting the independence of certain executive branch officials. The reality is that Biden had the authority to remove Severino, along with Dickey, Kloster, and Epstein—not because of the “unitary executive,” but because a federal statute gives him that right. Severino’s lawsuit may well be a bomb intended for the administrative state. His lawsuit, however, seems more likely to blow up in his face. [snip]

Under Trump’s appointees, those recommendations seemed designed to obstruct regulations and push partisan right-wing priorities. “The projects it selects to undertake are very much right out of the Federalist Society’s playbook,” an individual who works closely with ACUS told me. (The individual asked to remain anonymous because he frequently works with ACUS assembly members.) Republicans have discovered that they can “launder conservative ideas through this government agency,” he added, giving these ideas “a nonpartisan, government-approved sheen” that they don’t deserve. James Goodwin—a senior policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform who has worked with ACUS co-sponsoring events, participating in public meetings, and commenting on draft reports—agrees. “Industry folks launder their ideas through ACUS,” Goodwin told me. Under Trump, ACUS became “a useful accomplice for the right wing.”

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