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Republicans advance anti-LGBT pro-discrimination Christian extremist nominee for lifetime appointment

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Senate Republicans just moved closer to confirming an anti-LGBT pro-discrimination Christian extremist attorney to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench. After Tuesday’s 52-44 vote Matthew Kacsmaryk of First Liberty Institute is now just one final vote away from becoming a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

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Kacsmaryk is opposed by hundreds of LGBT and civil rights groups. The Leadership Conference, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations calls Kacsmaryk “a right-wing extremist who has made a career out of dehumanizing LGBTQ people, debasing women, and assailing health care rights. He has expressed staunch opposition to the Equality Act, marriage equality, and promoted the dangerous lie that being transgender is a ’delusion.’ He has attacked Roe v. Wade and challenged the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive access.”

Lambda Legal is part of a 75-group coalition that also opposes Kacsmaryk, saying in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. The group notes that Kacsmaryk defended Melissa Klein of Sweetcakes by Melissa, and argued that “preventing sexual orientation-based discrimination cannot justify serious burdens on…constitutionally protected religious freedom.”

The Alliance for Justice published a six-page report on Kacsmaryk, concluding “Kacsmaryk has built his legal career opposing equal rights for millions of his fellow citizens. His harsh and demeaning rhetoric regarding LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights sends a clear message that he has little regard for established legal precedent in this area. Kacsmaryk often couches his opposition to equal rights in religious language.”

The AFJ added, “Kacsmaryk’s statements demonstrate beliefs that discrimination against LGBTQ Americans is valid and should be condoned.”

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Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

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In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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