MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and other “Morning Joe” panelists hammered Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and other Senate Democrats for agreeing to proceed with confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings begin Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee, just hours after the release of 42,000 new documents related to Kavanaugh’s prior legal work for the executive branch.
“I do not understand what these Democrats are thinking,” Scarborough said. “I don’t understand their lack of fight.”
“This process is illegitimate,” he continued. “It started illegitimately, as you said, with Merrick Garland, and now the Republicans have basically hidden 150,000 documents from Democrats that they have been begging for over the past several weeks. No judge in America would allow an opposing side to dump 150,000 documents on another party in a lawsuit the day before hearings started or a trial is started. I’m completely baffled. why do Democrats — why are they even showing up? They should not show up.”
MSNBC contributor Sam Stein grilled Whitehouse over the Democratic strategy for opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“Senator, if there’s no committee confidential and you believe this is illegitimate, why not put out the 42,000 documents yourself?” said Stein, also the political editor for The Daily Beast. “You can post them online. Doesn’t the public deserve to see the same documents?”
Whitehouse agreed Senate Democrats could do that, but he said they had not decided whether to dump those documents online.
“I don’t understand, just walk me through this,” Stein said. “I hear from a lot of frustrated progressives who do follow this very closely. They hear you guys say this is illegitimate, they hear you guys note that the president is (implicated in) a co-conspirator crime, that there’s an investigation going on and that this shouldn’t proceed.”
“Yet the Democrats on the committee are not taking the most aggressive steps, they are not stepping out of the hearing as (host) Joe (Scarborough) illustrated and not releasing the documents that are supposedly committee confidential,” Stein continued. “What is the disconnect here? Why are you guys not fighting this more aggressively if you think this is such an existential threat?”
Whitehouse insisted there was no reason to step outside the normal process for debating Supreme Court nominations.
“I can’t speak for others, but I think the committee process is the best place to make these points,” the senator said. “I don’t think Americans, frankly, respect people very much who walk out of their jobs when there’s a fight to be had, and I think it’s important we take this forum and have that fight.”
“Other people disagree, and I think that’s a very fair disagreement,” Whitehouse added. “I’m not criticizing them, but my feeling is when there’s a fight in front of you, go have it.”
Scarborough said Senate Democrats should delay the hearings until they had a chance to review the new documents.
“I don’t understand why the Democrats are showing up,” Scarborough said. “They have been talking about this lack of transparency from the very beginning.”
He said a lifetime Supreme Court nomination was too important to rush into without reviewing all relevant information.
“This Kavanaugh appointment, which could fundamentally alter the balance of the Supreme Court for the next generation, and the Republicans refuse to be transparent about it,” Scarborough said. “You know, I would certainly recommend everybody around me not show up for the hearing.”
“If they think it’s like a banana republic,” he added, “if they think they have been lied to, if they think the documents have been kept from them — they did a document dump on Labor Day, 42,000 documents — you don’t participate in a process that is that flawed. You review the documents and say, we’re going to review the documents and we will see you on Wednesday or Thursday.”
Justice Sotomayor pens scathing dissent to COVID-19 ruling: This ‘will only exacerbate the Nation’s suffering’
Justice Sonia Sotomayor blasted her more conservative colleagues for barring New York state from reimposing coronavirus restrictions on religious gatherings.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4, in a late-night emergency ruling, that state officials could not reimpose limits on churches and synagogues to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, and Sotomayor penned a scathing dissent that was joined by Justice Elena Kagan.
"Amidst a pandemic that has already claimed over a quarter million American lives, the Court today enjoins one of New York’s public health measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID–19 in areas facing the most severe outbreaks," Sotomayor wrote.
Conservative rips GOP ‘turkeys’ for turning Thanksgiving COVID safety measures into a culture-war fight
Writing in The Bulwark this Thursday, Tim Miller says that America should be experiencing a time of national solidarity in the midst of a global pandemic. Instead, "we have a president whose focus is entirely on his effort to perpetrate a fraud on the American public."
According to Miller, Republicans are disseminating a narrative that says coronavirus restriction should be met with a sort of "organized resistance" from individuals and businesses that feel unfairly oppressed. While everyone wants to be with their families on Thanksgiving, "one thing that most people have learned by the time they are adults is that they don’t get to do whatever they want whenever they want."
‘Fox & Friends’ graphic destroys Trump for ‘baselessly’ and ‘falsely’ claiming election was rigged
Viewers of Fox & Friends were treated to a dose of the truth on Thursday when the show admitted that President Donald Trump has "baselessly" and "falsely" claimed that the 2020 election was rigged.
The message to Fox News viewers appeared on the network's ticker graphic that is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
"President Trump phoned into a meeting organized by Republicans in Pennsylvania Wed., baseless claiming that the election was 'rigged' and falsely claiming that he won it 'by a lot,'" the Fox News ticker reported. "Most of Trump's legal efforts to challenge voting procedures in PA, MI and other states have been thrown out and his campaign has not produced sufficient evidence to back up claims of widespread voter fraud."