Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama showed Saturday night that he’s not your everyday insurrectionist. He also has a real problem with settled civil-rights law when it comes to congressional redistricting.
Speaking to reporters after a town hall in Athens, AL for his U.S. Senate campaign, Brooks launched into a tirade against a unanimous ruling by a federal appeals-court panel that “the state must redraw its congressional districts to be more equitable from a race perspective,” Al.com reported.
“Brooks, R-Huntsville, said Saturday that ‘skin pigmentation’ should not be a consideration.”
Brooks also rampaged against the “liberal activist judges” -- two out of three of whom were appointed by President Donald Trump.
“The judges concluded that “Alabama’s proposed congressional districting map dilutes voting power for Black Alabamians and that the map likely violates the Voting Rights Act,” Al.com reported. Brooks apparently wants no part of that 1965 law.
“’These liberal activist judges have tried to segregate us based on race, I find that abominable, in order to elect people in certain parts of the state based on race, which I also think is abominable. We’ve got to put the skin pigmentation issue behind us,’ Brooks said.”
Brooks presented a novel theory when queried by reporters about Trump having appointed “liberal activist judges.” That’s not Trump fault, Brooks said: It’s on Alabama’s U.S. senators.
Here’s how that went, according to Al.com:
“Brooks also downplayed the fact that former President Donald Trump appointed two of the three judges on the panel – Anna Manasco and Terry Moorer.
“’From a technical legal standpoint, that is correct,’ Brooks said of Trump appointing the judges.
“The blame should be on senators who pushed for the judges, Brooks said, and not Trump. Brooks said Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby lobbied for Manasco and Moorer’s nomination.
“’You’ll notice that none of my remarks have ever criticized Donald Trump in that process,” Brooks said. ‘And if you’ll look into it a little bit further, you will discover that is actually the senators who control who those judges are going to be. There is a deference that the White House has to senators from a state. Those two senators in the state are the ones who select the judges.’
“Brooks has also criticized one of his opponents in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, Katie Britt, for her role in those nominations. Britt held an array of positions on Shelby’s staff, including chief of staff. Britt said she had left Shelby’s staff to become president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama before Manasco’s nomination.
“Should Brooks be elected to the Senate, he said he would not lobby for “liberal” judges to be appointed to the federal bench.
“’I’d try to make sure that the judges that are promoted for the president to appoint to the district court level are not as liberal and as activist as we have seen with the congressional districting battle that is ongoing right now,’ Brooks said.
“I would not have either nominated or argued for or allowed either one of those two judges to be (appointed federal) judges if I’d been a United States Senator.”“Brooks said he had discussed the judges with Trump and the former president is ‘as displeased as I am’.”