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McConnell Fast-Tracks Approval of Trump's Federal Judges

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT


It should come as no surprise that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is speeding up the confirmation process of Trump's nominations for the federal bench. As I have pointed out before, the Republicans hold the long view in understanding the importance of the judicial branch of government to achieving a conservative agenda.

After all, McConnell basically stole a Supreme Court (SCOTUS) seat when he refused to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, Obama's appointee to succeed Antonin Scalia on the top court in the United States. The eventual confirmation of Neil Gorsuch after Trump's victory guarantees a conservative Supreme Court majority, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. Remember also that appointments to the federal bench are for life, so the Republicans are nominating younger judges who will have a long-term impact on the shape of the law in the United States far into the future. Gorsuch, for instance, is only 50 years old. Since few Supreme Court justices retire before age or health issues make it necessary to do so, Gorsuch is likely to be on the court for at least two to three decades.

Politico reported in an April 20 article:

Mitch McConnell is making a last dash to stock the judiciary with conservatives this year as a hedge against the chance that Republicans lose the Senate in November.

The GOP may have only a few more months of unified control of Washington to repeal Obamacare or enact President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. But the Senate majority leader is taking a longer view -- and confirming as many conservative judges as possible....

Since becoming majority leader in 2015, the Kentucky Republican stymied Obama’s nominees for two years, including blocking a Supreme Court hopeful. And now he’s going into overdrive with Trump as president.

Politico detailed that McConnell, while serving as majority leader, only let 20 federal judges be confirmed in Obama's last two years as president. However, McConnell has already, as of this date, confirmed 32 of Trump's nominations.

In December of 2017, I noted that the GOP had abandoned the policy of honoring "blue slip" objections by home state senators that, when exercised, used to hold up nominations to the courts. Senators of states where nominees would serve have long been able to prevent or delay Senate Judiciary Committee hearings by simply withholding a blue slip with the name of the person under consideration to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson. The Republicans used to use "blue slips" not infrequently to hobble judicial nominations under Democrats, but now Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is no longer letting "blue slips" prevent a nomination from proceeding to the Senate floor.

As a December 4, 2017, Rewire article stated:

During the Obama golden years … Republican senators refused to turn in their blue slips, thus stalling the nominations of dozens of the president’s picks. Democrats basically accepted this as the way things work in Washington. They did a lot of finger wagging and gnashing of teeth, but not much in the way of pushing nominees through.

In other words, the Republicans have played hardball in a situation where the Democrats more or less just complained.

McConnell became majority leader when the Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015. In addition to serving as the chief booster of GOP legislation in the Senate, he has also kept his eye on his legacy in terms of creating a right-wing judiciary. He recently told the Bowling Green Daily News, a home state Kentucky newspaper, “We’re in the process of transforming the courts for a generation." McConnell had more to say about his judicial priorities to the paper:

“We’ve been picking solid, strict constitutionalists,” said McConnell, 76. “These are men and women who try to interpret laws as written or as the Constitution seems to specify.”

While tax reform, the budget bill and tariffs have been getting the attention, McConnell said those issues take a back seat to making sure that folks donning robes in federal courts have the right political leanings.

“We never leave taxes alone,” he said. “We’re always revisiting the tax code. But if you want to have a long-term impact on the country, the best way to do it is through lifetime appointments to the courts.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune observed, in an April 24 article, that, in general, the Trump appointees that are most extreme are nominated from states that have two Republican senators. That is the case with Kyle Duncan, a relatively youthful 46, who was just confirmed this week for a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court in Louisiana. He represents the ideological extremism of many Trump nominees. For example, the Human Rights Campaign issued this news release in advance of his confirmation that warned against his anti-LGBTQ zealotry:

Duncan’s record of anti-LGBTQ advocacy is alarming. He represented the Gloucester County School Board in their case against Gavin Grimm, the transgender high school student whose restroom access was restricted based on his transgender status. He advocated on behalf of Louisiana in the state’s bid to uphold its same-sex marriage ban and wrote an amicus brief for Louisiana and 14 other states arguing their same-sex marriage bans did not undermine the decision in U.S. v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case that required the federal government to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. He also argued that a couple married in New York could not have their names added to the birth certificate of a child they adopted in Louisiana because the state did not recognize same-sex marriages at the time and its adoption statute does not allow unmarried couples to adopt.

Expect more such bigots on the federal bench. They are being placed there to represent the extreme right wing. Amid all the focus on Trump and Congress, be wary of the subversion of our judicial branch of government. It is happening at an accelerated pace and does not appear likely to stop in the near future.

http://buzzflash.com/commentary/mcconnell-to-accelerate-approving-trump-federal-judges

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LOL!!! "BUZZFEED at TRUTHOUT"!!!!!!!

What a mish mash of partial fact, innuendo, and triple spin into something not even recognizable as a respectable article....

Try this one if you REALLY want know about "blue slips":

"Are Senate Republicans killing 'blue slip' for court nominees?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/02/21/are-senate-republicans-killing-blue-slip-for-court-nominees/?utm_term=.e0704c82d179

Feinstein got 2 Pinocchios for instigating the story

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If leftist judicial extra-constitutional activists weren't nominated then more would've been appointed.

For god's sake Obama named an open communist to his admin... lol. Y'all need to wake the fuck up.

This collectivist crapola needs to be exposed for what it is. See: history

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