“Senate Republicans will stop at nothing to stack the courts with partisan judges who will push their radical agenda through at any cost.”
The Republican-controlled Senate confirmed 13 of President Donald Trump’s lifetime judicial nominees this week, a major victory in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s years-long effort to reshape the nation’s courts and drag them further to the right for decades to come.
The breakneck speed with which McConnell has ushered young—and often unqualified—right-wing judges through the Senate confirmation process “should send shockwaves across the nation,” the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted Wednesday.
“Republicans are counting on these judges to dismantle reproductive rights, marriage equality, and the separation of church and state, and also to shred the New Deal and regulations that protect people from corporate power.”
—Marge Baker, People for the American Way
But the rapid confirmation of Trump’s judicial picks this week has largely flown under the radar as America’s cable networks and newspapers have been dominated by coverage of the 2020 Democratic presidential debates.
Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy and government affairs at the Leadership Conference, issued a statement singling out Texas district court nominees Jeffrey Brown and Brantley Starr, who she said are “hostile to voting rights, LGBTQ equality, reproductive rights, and immigrant rights.”
“Additionally, neither one would even state that the bedrock civil rights decision Brown v. Board of Educationwas correctly decided,” said Lucius, referring to the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ruled racial segregation of public schools unconstitutional.
Brown and Starr were just two of seven Trump judicial picks confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.
“Senate Republicans will stop at nothing to stack the courts with partisan judges who will push their radical agenda through at any cost,” Lucius said. “In doing so, they are not only degrading our courts, but also endangering our democracy.”
It is unclear whether McConnell will succeed in pushing through all 19 of the judges he set out to confirm before the Senate breaks for recess at the end of the week, but progressives said the Kentucky Republican nevertheless did a lot of damage in just a few days—without much resistance from the Democratic Party.
Today, Democrats let another be confirmed by voice vote–not even bothering to insist on a roll-call vote.
Where is the floor? https://t.co/xmC5ICzZ7k
— Christopher Kang (@cdkang76) July 31, 2019
Marge Baker, executive vice president of progressive advocacy group People for the American Way, said in a statement Thursday that the “judges confirmed by the Senate this week include a number of alarming, narrow-minded elitists—including but not limited to nine nominees who would not say that they agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.”
“Republicans are counting on these judges to dismantle reproductive rights, marriage equality, and the separation of church and state,” said Baker, “and also to shred the New Deal and regulations that protect people from corporate power.”
McConnell and Trump’s ongoing transformation of the nation’s judiciary received very little attention during the two Democratic presidential debates this week.
In an interview on MSNBC Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who was on the debate stage in Detroit Wednesday night, accused Senate Democrats of not doing everything in their power to stop Trump’s judicial picks because they want to leave town for August recess.
“They’ve approved his judge selections so they can go on recess,” said Inslee.
“These are lifetime appointments,” Inslee added. “Stopping Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump from putting these conservative judges on the bench is more important than their vacation, frankly.”
Gov. Inslee hits Senate Dems for supporting Trump judges: "We have to stop giving him a pass. They've approved his judge selections so they can go on recess. These are lifetime appointments … It's more important than their vacation, frankly." pic.twitter.com/I0mloQB3sz
— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) August 1, 2019
Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate
The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.
Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.
The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.
During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.
Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege
Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.
Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.
Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.
Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report
Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.
"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.