Senate Dems raise alarm on 'captured' federal courts as Trump, Republicans keep judicial confirmations coming

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  4 months ago  •  44 comments

By:   Eric Kessler (MSN)

Senate Dems raise alarm on 'captured' federal courts as Trump, Republicans keep judicial confirmations coming
The report and publicity effort by Senate Democrats on Wednesday suggests they might be looking to use the federal courts as a political rallying cry for their base the same way Republicans did so effectively in 2016 to unite the party behind President Trump and in 2018 to hold on to the Senate majority as Democrats handily took the House.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Senate Democrats released a 50-plus page report Wednesday sounding alarm bells over the rate at which Senate Republicans and President Trump have confirmed federal judges during the president's first term as Republicans are working on shepherding along evenmore lifetime-appointed federal judges.

© Provided by FOX News Debate ongoing over Senate considering judicial nominees in election year amid pandemic; reaction from Mike Davis, president of the Article III Project.

The account calls GOP-appointed judges "politicians in robes," rails against the Chief Justice John Roberts' Supreme Court, slams the conservative and libertarian lawyers' group the Federalist Society and says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is "betraying the vision of our founders."

DEMS RESIST SENATE GOP PUSH TO CONFIRM JUDGES, INCLUDING EX-KAVANAUGH CLERK, AMID CORONAVIRUS

The report was widely promoted by high-profile Senate Democrats on Wednesday, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and several others, as Democrats grapple with the breakneck clip of Trump's and McConnell's judicial confirmation efforts.

"Instead of passing legislation to help the American people, Mitch McConnell has chosen to bury those bills in his legislative graveyard," the report's executive summary reads. "This report looks behind the curtain of the GOP's long campaign of judicial capture, into the fundamental threat it poses to the rule of law and American democracy."

SENATE CONSIDERS CONTROVERSIAL TRUMP CIRCUIT COURT PICK IN SOCIALLY DISTANT HEARING

Beyond Republicans apparent "judicial capture," the report also foreshadows future Democratic efforts to "shed light on the corruption and conflicts of interest now spreading around the Trump judiciary" and pans what it says was more than $250 million in dark money raised and spent by "a complex network of think tanks, law school centers, policy front groups, political campaign arms, and public relations shops, all focused on shaping the composition of the courts and the rulings they make."

The report was also amplified by Demand Justice, a liberal group tied to former Obama staffers that fights against Trump's judicial nominees and advocates for progressive priorities in federal courts.

JORDAN LAUNCHES INQUIRY ON GUIDANCE TELLING JUDGES TO AVOID GROUPS LIKE FEDERALIST SOCIETY

Of course, the dark money accusations cut both ways — Demand Justice is a dark money group just the same as the network of conservative organizations the Democrats' report decries.

"This shows the height of hypocrisy when at this time the largest outside dark money machine is on the left and these senators appear to be turning a blind eye to that," Adam Laxalt, the former Republican Attorney General of Nevada, told Fox News. "And Arabella Advisors, founded by Eric Kessler, is at the center of a dark money organization that funds groups across the entire liberal spectrum. It was reported in Politico that just in 2018 this Arabella Advisors dark money web put $140 million into the 2018 cycle, which included funding of the Demand Justice group that spent money and attacked the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh."

The Politico report Laxalt referenced focuses on donations from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, chaired by former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon - who runs Demand Justice - which the report said is closely tied with Arabella Advisors.

GOP SENATORS SLAM DEM COLLEAGUE FOR MOCKING TRUMP-APPOINTED JUDGE IN FLYNN CASE

On the Republican side, Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo has been at the center of efforts to get judges confirmed under Trump. He has the president's ear, helped craft the president's Supreme Court shortlist with former White House Counsel Don McGahn, and according to the Democrats' report, 86 percent of Trump's nominees to federal appeals courts have been Federalist Society members.

The report and publicity effort by Senate Democrats on Wednesday suggests they might be looking to use the federal courts as a political rallying cry for their base the same way Republicans did so effectively in 2016 to unite the party behind President Trump and in 2018 to hold on to the Senate majority as Democrats handily took the House.

But Mike Davis, the former chief nominations counsel for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, when he led the Senate Judiciary Committee who now runs the Article III Project, a group aimed at supporting Trump judicial nominees, sees the judiciary as an issue that favors Republicans no matter who is picking the fight.

"In 2016, President @realDonaldTrump won an upset victory over @HillaryClinton, in big part over a judicial fight," Davis tweeted on Wednesday. "In 2018, @SenateDems lost 4 incumbents (even when the Ds won the House), in big part over a judicial fight. Do Democrats really want another judicial fight in 2020?"

TRUMP FACING UNPRECEDENTED SENATE RESISTANCE TO ROUTINE JUDICIAL NOMINEES, STATS SHOW

One of the points made in the report about how McConnell is "betraying the vision of our founders" - specifically how "bipartisan cooperation around judicial confirmations was once the prevailing norm" - is how the Senate has recently done away with the practice of "blue slips." Blue slips are the term for the practice of getting approval of a judge's home-state senators regardless of party before moving forward with a nomination.

"For over a century, the Senate 'blue slip' process ensured that senators had a meaningful chance to provide input on nominations to judicial vacancies in their home states," the report reads. "This informal veto power over home-state nominees forced compromise and moderation when the president and home-state senators belonged to opposing political parties."

It added: "Thanks to Mitch McConnell, today all of this bipartisanship and moderation is a thing of the past... Republicans - from their unprecedented stonewalling of Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, to their destruction of the Supreme Court filibuster, to their abandonment of the circuit court blue slip - have spent the last four years engaged in a scorched-earth judicial power grab."

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But again, the accusations Democrats make against Republicans go both ways.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did away with the filibuster for lower-court nominees during the Obama administration, against warnings from McConnell at the time. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while a senator, advocated against the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee in President George H.W. Bush's last year. And Senate Democrats have stalled and voted against what are typically routine judicial confirmations at an unprecedented rate during Trump's time in office.

On the blue slips, Carrie Severino, the president of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, blamed Democrats for the practice's demise.

"Senators [Charles] Grassley, [R-Iowa], and [Lindsey] Graham [R-S.C.], have been absolutely right to proceed with hearings for highly qualified nominees where the White House attempted to consult with home-state senators who have been nothing but obstructionist," she said.

At this point in his first term, Trump and the Republican Senate have confirmed more than 190 judges to federal Article III courts overall - second only to Jimmy Carter - and 51 judges to the U.S. Courts of Appeals — one more than Carter and 16 more than the next-most successful president, George H.W. Bush.

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Texan1211
1  seeder  Texan1211    4 months ago

Judges being confirmed--excellent!

Democrats whining about something they have no real control over--priceless!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Texan1211 @1    4 months ago

If for no other reason, Trump needs to be reelected so that more conservative judges be confirmed....especially to the Supreme Court.

Hopefully, the end result will be conservative Appeals courts and SCOTUS for next 50 years.

 
 
 
MAGA
1.1.1  MAGA  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    4 months ago

I heard that Justice Thomas is considering retirement. We might have to replace him this fall.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
2  It Is ME    4 months ago

"Senate Democrats released a 50-plus page report Wednesday sounding alarm bells over the rate at which Senate Republicans and President Trump have confirmed federal judges during the president's first term."

Democrats are upset that this Administration and the Senate is doing what it's actually supposed to do ? jrSmiley_103_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  It Is ME @2    4 months ago

Well, of course they are upset because they really don't have a say in the selection of judges.

Poor little old things, all upset because someone else plays by the rules.

Awww.

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    4 months ago
Well, of course they are upset because they really don't have a say in the selection of judges.

Good times....Good Times..... jrSmiley_24_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

I don't think Democrats understand what the word captured means. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4  Dismayed Patriot    4 months ago

And when the next Democrat President does the same and rids the nation of the sick disgusting bigoted conservative bias in the courts these same folk will be screaming to high heaven and claiming it's unconstitutional. Hypocrites.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago

Amazing, truly amazing, how much bullshit can be inserted into a single post.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
4.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago
And when the next Democrat President does the same

it will be 20 or 30 yrs until we lose enough judges for another president to do the same thing... LOL

so basically, you can fuggedaboutit.

 
 
 
Snuffy
4.3  Snuffy  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago

Well I would think if the next Democrat President who also has a Democrat majority in the Senate just happens to have a large number of vacancies on the bench then that president should be able to do it.  But it seems it's more than just the next Democrat President..

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
4.3.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Snuffy @4.3    4 months ago
But it seems it's more than just the next Democrat President..

you got that right,

the opportunity given to trump for seating judges?   does not exist every year. 

it will be decades until another opportunity like that arises for any president.

only one president in us history has seated more judges than trump,   George Washington

that record will stand for a very long time.

whats funny is while they have been screaming russia russia russia and impeach impeach impeach for 3 yrs.

they did not notice this federal judge thing until now?   LOL  seems they were blinded by their own bs.

but fair enough... they never thought she would lose either....   ha :)

 
 
 
Snuffy
4.3.2  Snuffy  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @4.3.1    4 months ago
whats funny is while they have been screaming russia russia russia and impeach impeach impeach for 3 yrs. they did not notice this federal judge thing until now? 

Yeah,  they keep saying they can do many things at once but Congress just can't seem to actually do it.   All we can do is laugh at Congress...  

 
 
 
KDMichigan
4.4  KDMichigan  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago

Do you even know how it works? 

The main reason I voted for Trump was to bring the balance back to the courts after the last PoS left the White House. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.4.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  KDMichigan @4.4    4 months ago
The main reason I voted for Trump was to bring the balance back to the courts after the last PoS left the White House.

And the pendulum shall swing back the other way ten fold. After Trump loses this November his sycophants will be crying rivers for the next few decades as the Democrats keep the house, take the senate and the white house and correct the disgusting right wing conservative bias that is now infecting the American justice system. The Republican party is all but broken, it doesn't really exist anymore, it's the "Trump Party" now, and you will all live and die by that worthless piece of shit you've chosen as your miserable mascot.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
4.4.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.1    4 months ago
And the pendulum shall swing back the other way ten fold.

nope... if and when the left gets back in the whitehouse.? which won't be this year.

. all unconstitutional bs from the left will be stopped in the very conservative courts.

the best the left can hope is to govern down the center or get absolutely nothing done.

we stopped obama bs in the courts without much trouble...

now, with trumps judges swamping the courts it will be even easier next time round regardless of who is in office.

one of the top reasons we elected trump was to fill the courts with conservative judges.

a promise made and promise kept.   job well done :)

 
 
 
MAGA
4.4.3  MAGA  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @4.4.2    4 months ago

Exactly!  The President keeps his promises.

 
 
 
pat wilson
4.4.4  pat wilson  replied to  MAGA @4.4.3    4 months ago
The President keeps his promises.

512

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.4.5  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  pat wilson @4.4.4    4 months ago
The President keeps his promises

The only promise he's kept is the one about pissing off progressives and liberals. It's true, Donald Trump, whether intentionally or not, has been the worst President in history which has indeed pissed off progressives, liberals and sane rational Americans of all stripes. Sadly, many of his bitter bigoted base couldn't be happier about that fact.

 
 
 
CB
4.4.6  CB   replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.5    4 months ago

It is deliberate. Even as we now have it forced upon us just how deliberate McConnell was in stiffing Obama justice choice Justice Merrick Garland. Even as we now clearly understand there was intent to not allow Trump proper impeachment and Senate assent to a proper removal by republican congress persons. Now, we see the mischief setting up to play out in a new four year term of Trump dominance of the Democrats, liberals, progressives, secularists, and non-Trump conservatives!

All is not lost however! Judges can be impeached when they are caught in compromising circumstances and for wrong-doings.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
4.4.7  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.5    4 months ago
The only promise he's kept is 

just off the top of my head....

  • tpp - dead
  • paris agreement - dead
  • icc - dead to us
  • wto - crippled
  • iran deal - dead
  • cut regulations - by the thousands
  • obamacare mandate - erased
  • right to try act - passed
  • criminal justice reform - is working
  • set 50+ yr economic records in unemployment -  and will do it again. 
  • swamp the courts with conservative judges and justices -  and that? will last for decades.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.4.8  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.1    4 months ago
And the pendulum shall swing back the other way ten fold. 

Not ten fold, but sure, the pendulum swings both ways.

But I don't remember Obama and the Democrats appointing nearly the number of judges as Trump has.

After Trump loses this November his sycophants will be crying rivers for the next few decades as the Democrats keep the house, take the senate and the white house and correct the disgusting right wing conservative bias that is now infecting the American justice system. 

Damn, you JUST got through talking about a pendulum. Do you think it will STOP swinging because the Democrats win an election or something? Many Democrats bleated much the same insane nonsense when Obama won, and what happened? FFS, get real.

The Republican party is all but broken, it doesn't really exist anymore, it's the "Trump Party" now, and you will all live and die by that worthless piece of shit you've chosen as your miserable mascot.

You must be a neophyte when it comes to politics. I have never met an intelligent person who would make such a prediction.  Most folks simply analyze data about elections and how often Congress and the Presidency changes hands. That prevents them from spouting nonsense.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.4.9  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.8    4 months ago
I don't remember Obama and the Democrats appointing nearly the number of judges as Trump has.

That's because all past Presidents have understood the give and take of politics and actually tried to work across the aisle with their fellow Americans. Disgusting dirty Donald has clung to a scorched earth policy which will not end well for he or his acolytes in the long run. They will undoubtedly be nothing but burnt chaff in the wind within the next decade of the pendulum swinging back with more force and ferocity than these slimy yellow bellied cowards and treasonous bigots who love Russia more than the constitution that continue to support the worst President in history can stand.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.4.10  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.9    4 months ago
That's because all past Presidents have understood the give and take of politics and actually tried to work across the aisle with their fellow Americans. 

Which has diddly-squat to do with the lack of judges appointed by Obama when he had a Democratic Senate. Unless you are implying that "working across the aisle" means not appointing judges.

Disgusting dirty Donald has clung to a scorched earth policy which will not end well for he or his acolytes in the long run. They will undoubtedly be nothing but burnt chaff in the wind within the next decade of the pendulum swinging back with more force and ferocity than these slimy yellow bellied cowards and treasonous bigots who love Russia more than the constitution that continue to support the worst President in history can stand.

My, my, how very melodramatic of you. And how descriptive, too!

 
 
 
CB
4.4.11  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.10    4 months ago

All this points out is a willingness by Trump conservatives to try to take control of governance and compel people to accept "trumpian" attitudes and means as the standard. It will not happen. This country will not accept another generation of a 'tilted' landscape.

Either we will all be content in this country to come and work together or we will all reap the  whirlwind together.

Mitch McConnell has revealed himself to be a partisan fool. Now the job of democrats is to work to get this fool out of the majority of the Senate.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.4.12  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4.4.11    4 months ago
This country will not accept another generation of a 'tilted' landscape. 

I call bull on that. This county will always appear tilted to some folks. Oh well. Remember that elections have consequences.

 
 
 
dennis smith
4.4.13  dennis smith  replied to  pat wilson @4.4.4    4 months ago

Your glass is still half empty no matter how long you look at it.

 
 
 
dennis smith
4.4.14  dennis smith  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.5    4 months ago

Get ready for 4 more years of Trump when the "deplorables"  again vote him another term as POTUS. 

 
 
 
dennis smith
4.4.15  dennis smith  replied to  CB @4.4.11    4 months ago

And Nancy Pelosi has revealed herself to be a partisan fool. Now the job of the Republicans is to work to get this fool out of the House. 

Both need to go.

 
 
 
CB
4.4.16  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.12    4 months ago

I never forget it, Texan1211. Whoever forgot, it was not me!

 
 
 
CB
4.4.17  CB   replied to  dennis smith @4.4.15    4 months ago

Let's keep up the good fight, shall we?

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.4.18  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4.4.16    4 months ago

So why again are Senate Democrats NOW "raising the alarm"?

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
4.4.19  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.8    4 months ago
But I don't remember Obama and the Democrats appointing nearly the number of judges as Trump has.

the only president in history who has seated more judges than trump?     George Washington

that record will stand for generations to come.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.4.20  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @4.4.19    4 months ago

And you just know that really gets under Democrats' skin!

heck, that is a lasting legacy that can't be undone easily, if at all.

 
 
 
CB
4.4.21  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.18    4 months ago

Enough of this distracting rhetoric. Either we will all be content in this country to come and work together or we will all reap the  whirlwind together! You may have put conservative judges and justices in place for your future. But, don't sit on your laurels and "crow" about it. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of property/prosperity, the unalienable rights of liberals will not allow one iota of conservative wrong-doing to go uncontested.

We will continue to march against Trumpism. We will continue to march against "custom" marginization. We will continue to rise up in our own liberal choices (as you do in conservative choices) and that starts with putting undeniable facts before U.S. federal judges and calling them out when they disregard the fair application of those facts to their judgements.

Judge fairly and equitably, no problem from liberals or progressives or secularists. Make a mockery of justice through customization to select individuals and groups and those justices will be tried, impeached, and removed.

 
 
 
CB
4.4.22  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @4.4.20    4 months ago

Holding seats on courts is a momentary thing. People die naturally, accidentally, and other means. As you fully comprehend. Your gloating is unbecoming. Moreover, placing young conservatives on the courts does not always lead to old conservatives later in life. People make judgement calls based on personal and professional life experiences, no pun intended.

That said, Trump conservatives can gaze upon Mitch McConnell's, the conservative think-tanks, and Trump's handiwork and feel a sense of accomplishment in the hear and now. 'Tomorrow' is always a new chapter with its own ink!

 
 
 
Ronin2
4.4.23  Ronin2  replied to  CB @4.4.6    4 months ago
All is not lost however! Judges can be impeached when they are caught in compromising circumstances and for wrong-doings.

We all know how the left loves to manufacture bullshit charges. Not all of us are lemmings. We will be sure to hold them all accountable when they try.

Seems you have forgotten "elections have consequences"; and who exactly went nuclear first when it came to appointing judges at the federal level.

 
 
 
Ronin2
4.4.24  Ronin2  replied to  CB @4.4.22    4 months ago
Holding seats on courts is a momentary thing. People die naturally, accidentally, and other means. As you fully comprehend.

Are you a part of the Democratic mafia? That line sounds like it belongs in the God Father. 

Your gloating is unbecoming.

Neither are your threats and whining. It cannot be said enough, "Elections have consequences", and it was Reid that took federal judge appointments nuclear.

Moreover, placing young conservatives on the courts does not always lead to old conservatives later in life. People makejudgementcalls based on personal and professional life experiences, no pun intended.

Yes, they do. I went from a Democrat in college; to an independent fiscal conservative after graduation; to an anti Establishment rebel that voted person over party; and now I am an anti Democrat. So it is not a one way trip. Smart people tend to get more conservative as they get older and life wears on them.

That said, Trump conservatives can gaze upon Mitch McConnell's, the conservative think-tanks, and Trump's handiwork and feel a sense of accomplishment in the hear and now.'Tomorrow' is always a new chapter with its own ink!

More of the Blue Tidal Wave bullshit. How did that work out in 2016 again? But we all know things are temporary, sooner or later things will swing back towards the Democrats. Have the Democrats planned for the new political reality they have made; and how to play in it when impeachment no longer takes any proof, and the rules of conducting one have been smashed by partisanship. If Joe wins he might not be able to enjoy the presidency for very long. Whoever the VP is will have to look over their shoulders and measure every action or face the same. Democratic judge nominees will face withering reviews, and even the most obscure moments in their lives will be pulled forward for rebuke.

Careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
4.4.25  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.4.5    4 months ago
has been the worst President in history

You'll understand if we don't hold our breath while you provide the proof of this won't you?

 
 
 
CB
4.4.26  CB   replied to  Ronin2 @4.4.23    4 months ago

I think you need to take your spill, "elections have consequences" and "who went nuclear first" off repeat. It's irrelevant to the next election cycle. But, whatever gets you going in your day—use it.

 
 
 
CB
4.4.27  CB   replied to  Ronin2 @4.4.24    4 months ago

You're not a serious person. Your "retribution" BS is beneath intellectual sharing. If you are going to simply shit where you eat - we're done here.

 
 
 
dennis smith
4.5  dennis smith  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago

Pure speculation. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
4.6  Ronin2  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 months ago

Maybe you forgot which POS instituted the nuclear policy when it came to approving judges in the Senate. "Elections have consequences" we were all told at the time as Obama packed the courts with far leftist judges thanks the the Crypt Keeper Harry Reid.

Seems that Blue Tidal wave died before it hit the shoreline; and the left now can't accept the consequences of their own actions.

 
 
 
CB
5  CB     4 months ago
The account calls GOP-appointed judges "politicians in robes," rails against the Chief Justice John Roberts' Supreme Court, slams the conservative and libertarian lawyers' group the Federalist Society and says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is "betraying the vision of our founders."

The example of how truth works is to watch Trump conservatives pile into this site and tell liberals you can not defend yourselves from what we have done and plan to continue to do while in control of the levers of government. That simply because they control the Senate and the Presidency they are free from moral appendages in governance. We all are compelled to accept the law/s as Trump conservatives lay and 'spell' them out. Irregardless of that governance being right or wrong.

I will remind Trump conservatives, moral wrongs are unacceptable and invalid. And can not stand the test of legislation.

 
 
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