Courts

Trump Tells McConnell ‘Go Nuclear’ if Gorsuch Gets Blocked by Dems

Democrat leaders in the Senate are threatening to filibuster the confirmation of Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, despite that many of them already voted for him when he was up for the 10th Circuit Court. And now Trump is telling Senate Republican leaders to “go nuclear” if the Dems attempt to block him.

Here’s more from CNBC:

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will urge Senate Republicans to scrap filibuster rules, or take the “nuclear option,” if Democrats in the increasingly tense chamber use them to block his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

After Trump nominated the 49-year-old conservative appellate judge to the top U.S. court Tuesday night, Democrats signaled they could delay the process. If they filibuster, Republicans, who have 52 Senate seats, would need 60 votes to confirm him unless they change the rule on the maneuver.

Trump told reporters at the White House he would encourage Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to take that route, which would require only a simple majority.

“Yes, if we end up with the same gridlock that they’ve had in Washington, … if we end up with that gridlock, I’d say, ‘If you can, Mitch, go nuclear.’ Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in this web.”

Trump’s choice sets up a second straight year of bitter partisanship over the court seat, which was left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago. Then-President Barack Obama nominated Washington appellate Judge Merrick Garland for the spot, but the Republican-controlled Senate never held a vote on him.

At his age, Gorsuch could help to tip the ideological balance of the court for decades. Democrats, already combative about the seat because of Garland, criticized Trump’s pick due to Gorsuch’s rulings such issues as gun rights and religious objections to a birth control coverage provision in the Affordable Care Act.

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Courts

Busted: Dems Who Oppose Gorsuch Already Voted for Him

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined other liberal Democrats in criticizing President Trump’s selection of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court as potentially unfit.

There’s just one problem: a bunch of them already voted to confirm him to the 10th Circuit Court with no objections. Let’s see how they wiggle out of this one.

Here’s more from DC Statesman:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already issued a statement that he has “serious doubts” over President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch:

“Given his record, I have very serious doubts about Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard,” Schumer said. “Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women’s rights, and most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent Justice on the Court.”

He then tweeted:

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He also tweeted it in Spanish, for some unknown reason.

But if he opposes his confirmation he will have to explain why Gorsuch was so popular when he was first confirmed as federal judge in 2006. He will also have to explain why Schumer voted for him then.

And Chuck Schumer wasn’t the only Democrat to vote for Neil Gorsuch, EVERY Democrat voted for him. He was unanimously confirmed to the bench:

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That included Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden.

In fact, Gorsuch was one of two judges nominated by George W. Bush to be unanimously confirmed. I suspect President Trump took this into consideration when he was nominated last night. It’s hard to oppose his nomination when you are on record already having voted for him.

But it certainly is by no means impossible. Get ready for a fight.

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Courts

Democrats: Trump ‘Stole’ Neil Gorsuch Seat from Obama

Now that President Trump’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court is clear, Democrats are beside themselves with fury over the fact that Republicans blocked Obama from filling the seat. There’s just one problem with their protest.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

Democrats were seething Tuesday night over President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that Trump “stole” the seat from President Barack Obama.
In a fundraising email, the Democratic National Committee said (original emphasis):

Judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s newly-revealed Supreme Court nominee, has a legal history that shows a deep sympathy for corporate interests and an apparent disdain for workers.

Donald wants to put Judge Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat the GOP stole from President Obama. Add your name to tell the Senate to reject his nomination.

As an attorney, Judge Gorsuch routinely represented big businesses in class action lawsuits. As a judge on the Tenth Circuit, he wrote a concurring opinion in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius — the case that allowed employers to deny basic health care coverage to women by ruling the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate was unconstitutional. He upheld a decision that denied long-term insurance benefits to a worker who sustained a work-related injury that required spinal surgery. He even dissented from a ruling in favor of a truck driver whose employer illegally fired him for abandoning a trailer with locked brakes — so he wouldn’t freeze to death.

And as a member of the ultra-conservative “Federalist Society,” Gorsuch believes in severely restricting the power that federal agencies like the EPA have to regulate businesses.

It’s not hard to see why Trump loves him so much — but from where we’re sitting, Joel, Judge Gorsuch has no business on the Supreme Court bench.

Republicans declined to move Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, through the Senate, based on the principle — articulated by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) decades before — that a Supreme Court Justice should not be confirmed in the last year of a lame duck administration.

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Courts

Cruz: Gorsuch a Principled Constitutionalist, and a ‘Home Run’

Sen. Ted Cruz took to CNN last night after President Trump’s announcement to praise Neil Gorsuch as a ‘home run’ pick for the Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

During an interview on CNN on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated that the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a “home run.”

Cruz said, “During the campaign, he promised the American people that he would nominate a principled constitutionalist to replace Justice Scalia, and tonight President Trump honored that commitment. … I think Judge Gorsuch is a home run. He has a decade of proven experience on the court of appeals of being faithful to the Constitution, following the law, protecting the Bill of Rights and our fundamental liberties, and I think that record will yield a swift confirmation in the United States Senate.”

He added, “Democrats are engaged right now in unprecedented partisan obstruction, but I hope on the Supreme Court they will not engage in that practice. … Democrats will not succeed in filibustering Judge Gorsuch. They may try, but they will not succeed.”

Cruz also addressed whether or not blocking Gorsuch would be fair turnabout for blocking the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland by saying the two nominations took place under a “fundamentally different” set of circumstances because Garland was appointed during an election year.

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Courts

Trump Kept Gorsuch Secret With Back Roads and Military Jet

Trump’s pick for Supreme Court was shrouded in mystery up to the final hour before his announcement last night. And now it’s clear how his team kept it a secret. Is this an indication of how organized his administration is?

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

Less than 48 hours before Neil Gorsuch was introduced as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, he was traveling in secret down Colorado back roads to a military aircraft as part of a White House operation to keep his selection under wraps.

While the Trump White House has seen its inner battles aired in the media during its first days in office, administration officials showed Tuesday they can keep a secret when they want to. While White House officials had strongly signaled to lawmakers that Gorsuch was a contender, the administration wanted Trump’s pick to come out on his terms — in front of a live, prime-time television audience — and they succeeded.

Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal appeals court judge in Denver, was informed that he was Trump’s choice in a Monday phone call from the president, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, describing the measures employed to preserve secrecy. Shortly after the call, Gorsuch — who lives near Boulder, Colorado — went to a neighbor’s house and waited for White House staff to arrive.

Since he was already widely reported as a front-runner for the job, White House staffers drove back roads to make sure they wouldn’t be spotted with him. They ferried him aboard a military jet from Colorado to Washington, where he stayed with a friend rather than at a hotel to avoid being noticed.

Throughout the selection process, the president’s team managed to keep its deliberations out of the public eye. Trump interviewed a total of four candidates and met with Gorsuch and two other candidates — federal appeals court judges Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor — on Jan. 14 at Trump Tower. The judges sneaked past a crowd of reporters who were staking out the building’s lobby elevators.

Members of Congress were informed of the decision about an hour before it was announced from the White House East Room to a nationwide television audience. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee that will oversee the nomination, said he didn’t know Trump’s decision for certain until about 45 minutes before the announcement, when select members of Congress were invited to the White House.

“They can keep a secret,” Graham said.

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Courts

Trump Picks Gorsuch to Replace Scalia on Supreme Court

President Trump announced his choice late in the evening yesterday for whom will replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Conservatives are praising the pick as stellar and predict it will restore the balance of the Court to the conservative side. And now liberals are ready to pounce and ‘Bork’ him.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

President Donald Trump nominated 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch Tuesday night to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

The announcement was during a live prime-time television broadcast from the White House that was also streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.

The 49-year-old is seen as a likely heir to the legacy of Scalia, long the the Court’s most conservative voice. Gorsuch, like Scalia, is viewed as both an originalist and textualist.

A graduate of Columbia, Harvard and Oxford universities, Gorsuch clerked for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He attended Harvard Law with former President Barack Obama.

Trump had promised his pick would be popular with evangelicals, and many of Gorsuch’s rulings square with that assessment.

In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, Gorsuch sided with Christian employers and organizations, arguing they should be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide contraception to employees. He cited the Constitution’s “Free Exercise Clause” stating that Congress cannot make a law establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise.

“The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong,” he wrote in the Hobby Lobby opinion.

The judge writes in his book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” that no form of euthanasia should be made legal, ABC News reports. He made similar arguments in a 2000 law journal article.

Gorsuch was appointed to the 10 Circuit in Colorado in 2006 by President George W. Bush and was confirmed on a voice vote. He is described by supporters as a gifted writer and as an outdoorsman who likes to hunt, fish and ski, according to Politico.

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Courts

Video: Democrats Will Filibuster Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

Senate Democrats are already promising to filibuster President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court…even before they know who the nominee is.

And as if that’s not hypocritical enough, one of the Democrat leaders actually argued against ‘useless filibusters’ in recent years.

Here’s more from DC Statesman:

President Donald Trump today announced he will make his pick for Supreme Court known tomorrow instead of Thursday, as originally planned.

Earlier today he tweeted this out:

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Before his pick will be revealed Democrats have already come out in opposition. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said in an interview that he fill filibuster any pick that is not Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland. With the chances of that being 0%, the American people can look forward to a bloody confirmation battle:

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees.

This is a pretty shocking statement considering Senator Merkeley doesn’t even know who the pick will be, but will oppose it anyway.

Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate. This will be the second time in recent history that the Senate will attempt a filibuster. Democrats tried in 2006 to block Justice Samuel Alito, but failed. Republicans were quick to condemn Merkeley for his gross partisanship:

“When Democrats were in the majority, Sen. Merkley wanted to end filibusters. But I guess he only meant when Democrats are in the majority and in control of the White House,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Here’s the video in which Sen. Merkley argued against the filibuster:

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Courts

Breaking: Trump Supreme Court Nomination Coming Tomorrow

Perhaps looking to shift the attention away from the debate on his recent ban on refugees, President Trump has moved the announcement day for his Supreme Court nominee from Thursday to tomorrow.

And now the left is scrambling to prepare its attacks in the media.

Here’s more from Daily Mail:

President Donald Trump has chosen a replacement for the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, and he will announce a name tomorrow night.

‘I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.),’ the president wrote on Twitter.

Trump originally said the announcement would come on Thursday. Word of a possible earlier announcement first came as the White House dealt with fallout from Trump’s partial travel ban on Middle Eastern refugees.

As a candidate, Trump often used surprise announcements to shift attention away from negative media coverage.

The timing of the president’s announcement carries an added benefit for Republicans.

CNN is scheduled to host an hour-long town hall event with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, an event that will now be drowned out by reactions to Trump’s choice.

 

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Courts

Huge: Trump to Reveal Supreme Court Pick Next Thursday

Of all the headlines President Trump has been making in his first week in the White House, this one is arguably the most important.

Yesterday Trump tweeted that an announcement will be made one week from today (Thursday) revealing the president’s pick for Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

President Donald Trump says he will reveal his Supreme Court pick next Thursday. The court has had only eight justices since the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Trump tweeted early Wednesday, “I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week. Thank you.”

A person familiar with the process said the president has narrowed his choice to three federal appellate judges. They all were on the list of 21 potential high court picks Trump announced during his presidential campaign.

The leading contenders — who all have met with Trump — are William Pryor, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions.

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Courts

Liberals Panic: Trump Could Flip Leftist 9th Circuit Court

Last week we reported that President Trump will have an unprecedented opportunity to complete reshape the federal judiciary.

Now liberals are freaking out about the possibility that he could flip the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

Liberals are panicking about the fact that President-elect Donald Trump will be able to fill four vacancies on the historically left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when he takes office later this month.

Outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called the vacancies a “judicial emergency,” according to Bay Area public radio station KQED, even though there are 29 judges on the court. The “emergency” is that Trump’s nominees might be able to make the court more conservative.

The Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction covers many West Coast states, and its decisions have often reflected the liberal political culture of California and other “left coast” outposts. Over the past several decades, the frequency with which the U.S. Supreme Court — which had a narrow 5-4 conservative majority until 2016 — reversed Ninth Circuit rulings became a recurring theme. However, the Ninth Circuit has shown flashes of independence, as in recent Second Amendment rulings.

Liberals are worried about that increasing “moderation” at the Ninth Circuit. KQED interviewed University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, who commented: “I think even in the Obama years the court has moved to be more moderate than it used to be, so I think that with those four appointments it could make some difference and move the court further in that direction.”

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