According to a report at the Daily Beast, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been keeping his head down and staying out of the impeachment of Donald Trump as he works frantically to pack the courts with rightwing extremists — many of whom will sit on the bench despite unqualified ratings.
The report states that McConnell has set aside “275 bipartisan bills on key issues including climate, gun safety, raising the minimum wage, net neutrality and election security,” from the Democratic-controlled House to focus on the courts before the 2020 election.
“He’s got other priorities, namely meeting the goal that he and Trump set of confirming 182 federal judges by the end of this year. McConnell’s motto: ‘Leave no vacancy behind.’ He is on track to meet the goal, which is twice the number of lifetime judges that President Obama had installed at the same point in his presidency,” writes the Beast’s Eleanor Clift. “While the media is riveted on the House Judiciary committee, the Senate Judiciary committee is doing what McConnell wants, teeing up a parade of Trump judges that win confirmation with party-line votes on the Senate floor.”
According to Lena Zwarensteyn, Fair Courts Campaign director, “McConnell doesn’t care about passing legislation. He’s confident he can get the results he wants on health care, immigration, voting rights, educational equity and the rights for people to organize in the workplace by installing judges that will rule in their (GOP’s) favor.”
Case in point, Clift writes is “The confirmation last month of Steven Menashi, a 40-year-old White House lawyer who had circulated an anti-Muslim myth about General Pershing dipping bullets in pig’s blood to put down a Muslim uprising, flipped the New York City-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to majority Republican-appointed judges, joining the 3rd Circuit and 11th Circuit in erasing any edge Democrats might have had after eight years of Obama. “
She also notes, “With the exception of Maine Senator Susan Collins, every Republican voted this past week for Sarah Pitlyk, 42, whose extreme opposition to reproductive rights has been the cornerstone of her limited legal career. She is critical of IVF and surrogacy, and believes embryos should not be ‘killed,’ but should have status as human beings under the law.”
As Zwarensteyn, puts it: ” These are folks who have really raised their hands to signal how extreme they are.”
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