“It’s not for ordinary Americans, it’s for the rich and powerful, and we have to find a way to stop them. And that’s going to be the elections next year,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley.
During a rally in Kentucky Monday night ahead of the state’s gubernatorial election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell boasted that he and President Donald Trump are “changing the federal courts forever” by rapidly confirming right-wing judges to lifetime seats.
“Nobody has done more to change the court system in the history of our country than Donald Trump,” said McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky. “And Mr. President, we’re going to keep on doing it. My motto is: Leave no vacancy behind.”
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) November 5, 2019
Civil rights groups and lawmakers acknowledged—with horror—the truth of McConnell’s remarks, which come as Senate Republicans are working to rush through another batch of Trump’s extreme right-wing judicial picks.
The president, in partnership with McConnell, has successfully appointed 150 federal judges and, as the New York Times reported, “a quarter of the nation’s 179 appeals court judges” will soon be Trump appointees.
“It’s not for ordinary Americans, it’s for the rich and powerful, and we have to find a way to stop them. And that’s going to be the elections next year.”
—Sen. Jeff Merkley
“The Trump-McConnell attempt to take over our judiciary has been an astonishing attack on civil rights,” the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted in response to McConnell’s comments. “But remember: Every single nomination counts. If we stop one anti-civil rights judge, thousands of people could be treated more fairly—for decades.”
In an interview with MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes Monday night, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) agreed that Trump and McConnell are “reshaping the judiciary.”
“They’re doing it for the rich and powerful,” Merkley said. “This is the exact evisceration of the ‘We the People’ vision of our Constitution. That’s what Mitch McConnell is doing, that’s what Trump is doing. It’s not for ordinary Americans, it’s for the rich and powerful, and we have to find a way to stop them. And that’s going to be the elections next year.”
McConnell’s rapid confirmation of Trump’s often unqualified judicial picks has frequently flown under the radar of national news coverage, but advocacy groups have warned that the ongoing takeover of the nation’s federal courts poses a dire threat to decades of progress on civil rights, LGBTQ protections, reproductive rights, and much more.
“Every network should be covering this,” the Leadership Conference said in September after McConnell rammed through four more lifetime judges. “Trump’s dangerous takeover of our courts will last a generation. All who care about our civil rights being protected must speak out and demand better.”
This week, Senate Republicans are working to confirm several more right-wing judges, including White House lawyer Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and Halil Suleyman Ozerden to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
“In case you’re wondering what Senate Majority Leader McConnell is doing while he buries civil rights bills in his legislative graveyard, this is it,” said Leadership Conference president Vanita Gupta.
Trump ‘is a first-degree mass murderer’ and ‘the most successful bio-terrorist’ in history: Famed psychologist
The English edition of Der Spiegel continues with this damningly accurate description of America in the Age of Trump:
Nobel economist says he’s done the math — and the risk Trump and McConnell pose to the economy is ‘terrifying’
Very much a student of New Deal economics, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has often stressed that helping the unemployed during an economic downturn not only helps those who are out of work — it also benefits the economy on the whole. Krugman made that point many times during the Great Recession, and in a column published this week, the liberal economist warns that the “coronavirus recession of 2020” will become even worse if unemployed Americans don’t receive the help that they need.
‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials
Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a "Friday Night Massacre" for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.
According to the Washington Post: