The FBI apparently lied about investigating Kavanaugh. What are Democrats going to do about it?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now admitted that it failed to investigate even the most "relevant" of the 4,500 tips it received during an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, then a Supreme Court nominee, now a Supreme Court justice. That was in response to a two-year-old letter from Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons. "We apologize for the extended delay in responding," says Assistant Director Jill C. Tyson.

Which is problem No. 1 for the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Whitehouse and Coons are members: the FBI and Director Christopher Wray. Wray was the original recipient of the Aug. 19, 2019 letter from the senators. A letter which was ignored until June 30, 2021. Wray was the person ultimately responsible for how the FBI handled the background investigation with that "tip line," which ended up apparently just being a dumping ground. Whitehouse and Coons first pressed Wray on this in a July 2019 hearing.

"During the hearing, Wray echoed Republican claims that the FBI conducted the investigation 'by the book,' while asserting that supplemental background investigations are less rigorous than criminal and counterintelligence investigations," the senators say in a press release following the revelation that the FBI did nothing more than send the tips to Trump's henchmen.

So the senators fired off another letter Thursday. "The admissions in your letter corroborate and explain numerous credible accounts by individuals and firms that they had contacted the FBI with information 'highly relevant to … allegations' of sexual misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh, only to be ignored," the senators write in a sternly-worded letter. "If the FBI was not authorized to or did not follow up on any of the tips that it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line at all." The letter demands more answers, potentially in pursuit of what will possibly be a future oversight investigation by the Judiciary Committee.

Because if it's not, what the hell is the point? There has to be accountability from Wray to explain why exactly the Trump White House called the shots on this. Honestly, Wray's job needs to be in jeopardy here. There's the very real possibility that the FBI director lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2019 when he told the senators that the investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh were "by the book." The committee needs to put all of the heat they can muster on him, and if necessary, on his boss—Attorney General Merrick Garland—until they get some goddamned answers. That goes for all the questions Whitehouse raised in a follow-up demand to Garland in March of this year.

In his follow up letter to Garland, Whitehouse wrote: "If standard procedures were violated, and the Bureau conducted a fake investigation rather than a sincere, thorough and professional one, that in my view merits congressional oversight to understand how, why, and at whose behest and with whose knowledge or connivance, this was done." This follow-up letter to Garland is apparently the impetus for the FBI to dust off its inbox to find and respond to the original inquiry from 2019, but it certainly doesn't answer all of their questions.

While they're at it, Senate Democrats need to start probing again how Kavanaugh managed to pay off hundreds of thousands in credit card debt between May 2017 and his nomination in July 2018, and on top of that pay $92,000 in country club fees, and pay the $10,500-a-year tuition for his two kids in private school, and make payments on the $815,000 mortgage he had for his $1.2+ million home. Because all of that is still very, very hinky.

That leads us to problem No. 2 for Senate Democrats and for President Joe Biden. There is a seated Supreme Court justice who has been credibly alleged to have committed assault, who has not been investigated, and whose finances are questionable, to say the least. First, this:

There is nothing stopping Democrats in the House and/or Senate from interviewing the witnesses the FBI never spoke to, and collecting the FBI tips the Trump White House apparently buried, as part of its own investigation into whether Kavanaugh committed perjury.

— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) July 22, 2021

That's from a former senior aide to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Justice Department staff, and now executive director of Demand Justice. So yes, Congress can most definitely conduct the investigation where the FBI failed. The results of these investigations could lead, potentially, to impeachment of Kavanaugh, though that's a long shot and potentially a long way away.

Right now, Kavanaugh is just one of three Trump Supreme Court justices who are there in the most dubious of circumstances. Neil Gorsuch is in a seat stolen from President Barack Obama (hey, Merrick Garland!) by Mitch McConnell. Kavanaugh was not property vetted, no matter how you look at it. Amy Coney Barrett was rushed onto the court just days before the 2020 election—while people were casting their ballots—because Trump thought she would give him the majority that would overturn the election in case he lost. This dubious trio joins the inarguably corrupt Clarence Thomas, whose wife Ginni spent the whole of 2020 amplifying Trumpist conspiracy theories about Biden on social media.

They, with Alito, are the Supreme Court majority. The ones who all but ended voting rights and allowed for even more secrecy in dark money to flood our system. What they have planned for next session is even worse. The Supreme Court is packed with dangerous ideologues, and a few corrupt ones, too.

Now President Biden and Democrats have a chance to, well, unpack it. To dilute the Trump/RNC/Koch/Federalist Society’s malign influence and balance it out with four or six or however many additional justices. It is imperative. It is existential.

Tough talk on dealing with repairing the damage to SCOTUS

There is a lot of talk about what to do to repair the damage done to the Supreme Court by the Republican Party. One idea is to reduce the number of justices to six, casting aside the three Trump appointees. There is a major problem with this. Last on, first off does not work with lifetime federal judicial appointments. The only times the size of the court was reduced in the past—in 1800 and 1866—there was either a vacancy on the court that was eliminated, or the number of justices was reduced through attrition and non-filling of vacancies. The only constitutional way to remove a justice from the court is through impeachment (which we all know will never work as long as there are 34 GOP senators, and which has failed in the past). Which also means that impeaching, say, Kavanaugh, for perjury during his confirmation hearings, while probably entirely warranted, is a non-starter.

We Democrats are frankly not very good at making a case for ourselves. As a litigator, it was my job to make the best case for my clients. So, here goes.

Just FYI (and for what it’s worth), I am a lawyer and a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Let’s begin with an important statistic, a piece of evidence , if you will: GOP presidents have made 15 of the last 19 SCOTUS appointments. And let’s look at a subset of that mathematical evidence: five of those 15 have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote and were approved by senators representing a minority of the people of the United States. (What this means, numerically, is that if the court were expanded to, say, 15 justices, a Democratic president who won the popular vote would still have only appointed 10 of the last 25 justices!) The GOP has gamed the system by holding vacancies open for Trump—and not only Scalia’s seat, but over 100 lower court vacancies, some of which were filled by people the American Bar Association (not exactly a liberal bastion) deemed to be “unqualified.” The GOP has undermined the legitimacy of the court and that legitimacy must be restored.

There was a time—not that long ago—when the approaches of justices to constitutional issues changed, matured, and deepened over time. Earl Warren was a prime example of that: he went from being known as a “law and order” Republican to the head of the most liberal—and I would argue most legally significant—SCOTUS bench in our history. Warren, for example, understood the importance of the court handing down the decision in Brown v. Board of Education unanimously, and he worked hard to ensure that the decision was, in fact, unanimous. William Brennan, probably the most influential liberal justice on that court, was an Eisenhower appointee. Harry Blackmun, appointed as a conservative by Richard Nixon, authored the opinion in Roe v. Wade and became increasingly liberal during his tenure. John Paul Stevens, appointed by Ford, moved from conservatism to being one of the most liberal justices on the court. David Souter, appointed with expectation that he would be a conservative, first moved to the center and then to the liberal wing of the court.  

All these justices saw the potential effect that their decisions in the cases before them would have on the lives of real people, and that openness and, dare I say it, empathy, made them take the side of real people. And it is stories like these, of thoughtful conservatives and conservative legal scholars growing and developing into liberal justices, that has made the GOP so determined to ensure that only right-wing ideologues are seated on the court. Has Clarence Thomas grown and developed since his appointment? (Hell, he’s hardly participated in oral arguments.) Did William Rehnquist? Has Samuel Alito? No, no, and no. Will Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett grow and mature? Don’t bet the ranch.

Our unrelenting message must be that the GOP has, by its own insistence on the appointment of ideologues rather than open-minded jurists, undermined the legitimacy of SCOTUS; that the GOP has, by its manipulation of the appointment process for its own political ends, undermined the legitimacy of SCOTUS; and that this GOP “president” has, by ignoring the ruling of SCOTUS requiring the re-opening of registration for DACA, undermined the legitimacy (and authority) of SCOTUS. By these actions, the GOP has undermined the third branch of government, an independent judiciary, that is established in the Constitution that they pretend (word choice very intentional) to revere. It is up to us to point all this out, over and over and over again if necessary. It is up to us to make the case that the GOP has destroyed the impartiality of the third branch of our government. It is up to us to tell all comers that it is high time to rectify the destruction of the independent judiciary, and that we must act NOW. 

Democrats must get this message out there. The court, through the manipulations and political power plays of the GOP, is not—and the GOP does not intend it to be—a neutral arbiter. Despite John Roberts’ patently false claim that he will only call balls and strikes, the court is not a fair forum for the important cases it decides—just look at the shadow docket, in which unsigned per curiam orders have been used to decide, without opinion, cases affecting the right to vote and the way in which votes are counted. (Thank God for Sotomayor calling out the majority, even though, since they have no shame, it does not have any effect on their exercise of raw judicial power. At least we know what’s going on.)

These “conservative” justices have no problems with the worst, most abusive forms of judicial activism, like reading an entire clause or two out of the Second Amendment, or finding that corporations are “persons” and are entitled to protect their First Amendment rights and their political and religious beliefs, or finding that the Florida Supreme Court’s interpretation of Florida law as applied to a federal election was unconstitutional (Bush v. Gore, which they also tried to make into a non-precedent). They have no problem “distinguishing” precedents into meaninglessness—overruling them de facto if not de jure. The vast majority of cases decided by this court exalt the powerful, the white, law enforcement, or the religiously conservative over the poor, the disadvantaged, those who are members of minorities, the LGBTQ community, and those accused of crimes. 

And we need to be clear that time will not redress this problem anytime soon, which is why we must act now. 

Justices, with proper health care (which they have as federal employees) can serve well into their eighties. GOP presidents and senators have installed increasingly younger justices on the court. Without court expansion, it is unlikely that Biden will get more than one appointment during a 2021-2025 presidential term. That is because the only justice over 80 is Stephen Breyer, at 82. That one appointment will not affect the 6-3 conservative majority on the court, because a “liberal” would be replacing a “liberal.”

If the other justices serve until Breyer’s current age, here is when their seats would turn over:

  • Clarence Thomas, at 72, would not leave the court until 2030.
  • Alito, at 70, would depart in 2032.
  • Sotomayor, at 66, would leave in 2036.
  • Roberts, at 65, would leave in 2037.
  • Kagan, at 60, would leave in 2042.
  • Kavanaugh, at 55, would leave in 2047.
  • Gorsuch, at 53, would leave in 2049.
  • Barrett, at 48, would not leave the bench until 2054.

If we leave the number of seats at nine, this means that, absent unforeseen early deaths of some of the conservative justices, there is not a realistic opportunity for a change from a conservative-dominated court to a more liberal court until—are you ready for it?—2032! And that is based on the assumption that Democratic presidents would be in office and control the Senate when every single vacancy arises between now and then. That’s 12 more years of a conservative-dominated court—and that’s a best-case scenario. Twelve years of a court striking down statutes ensuring that people have the right to vote. Twelve more years of a court striking down laws that give access to health care. Twelve more years of a court striking down the very concept of reproductive rights. Twelve more years of a court giving a pass to corporations, underhanded prosecutors, and violent police officers. Twelve more years of a court allowing the GOP to gerrymander the hell out of every single district, state or federal, that they can.

The court, as an institution, must be expanded in order to reduce the importance and power of the constitutional interpretation mechanisms of individual justices. Sure, if there are 15 justices there will be a few 8-7 decisions, but there will be far, far fewer of them than there are 5-4 decisions currently. (Eighty-four of which in the past decade have favored corporations, limiting their liability and responsibility for their actions.)

Having argued cases for many years, before juries over the selection of which I had limited power, I believe that a majority of Americans can and will understand what is going on if it is clearly and effectively communicated to them. I believe that a majority would respond to this rationale and support the expansion of the court. (Trumpies won’t, but they are legal lost causes.) We Democrats need to do what the GOP does: develop talking points and relentlessly pound them whenever the chance arises—or, being even more like the GOP, pounding them even when they are not responsive to a question. 

This is a case we must make to the jury of the American public, and it is a case we must win if our civil rights are to be preserved. It is a case we must win to end minority rule in this country. It is a case we must win to ensure the survival of our democracy through the upholding, indeed expansion, of voting rights.

Am I angry about what has been done to SCOTUS? Damn right, I’m angry. And we need to get others to share that anger, especially as each new decision chipping away at (or blasting away) our rights is handed down.

Take no prisoners.

It’s not about Barrett’s religion: It’s about the cover-up of how extreme and unqualified she is

The fact that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett "served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise," in the words of The Washington Post, is a thing. It's a thing that is concerning to a lot of not evangelical or fundamentalist Christian Americans. Republicans are, however, trying to make that a landmine for Democrats, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading the way. They're saying any questions about her rather out-of-the-mainstream practice is an attack on faith. They are in fact itching to have a fight about her religion.

But that's eliding a larger problem: Barrett has been actively trying to cover-up her association with People of Praise and her fundamentalist beliefs, and People of Praise have been helping. This is what Democrats need to be focusing on. The Post reports that while Barrett has disclosed "serving on the board of a network of private Christian schools affiliated with the group," People of Praise will not confirm that she is a member. Furthermore, in the last few years it has "removed from its website editions of a People of Praise magazine — first those that included her name and photograph and then all archives of the magazine itself." Why are her ties to the group being scrubbed and who is helping her do that?

That goes along with Barrett's failure in 2017 and again this year to disclose that she had signed on to a newspaper ad in 2006 taking the most extreme position on abortion possible, advocating for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and going further, saying she  opposed "abortion on demand" and defended "the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life." That's leaving the door open for banning types of birth control and for investigation and potential prosecution of women who've had miscarriages, the furthest forced birth extremists tend to go. Of course she doesn't want that information in front of the Judiciary Committee or the American public, which supports abortion rights.

So who's covering it up for her? Is the White House advising her to withhold information? Is the Republican-majority Senate  Judiciary Committee staff helping her pick and choose the information senators and the American public get to weigh when considering the nomination? Because it sure seems like a concerted effort, and the kind of thing that raises eyebrows for investigators. What else might she be failing to disclose—and why? This should at least require more time for a more thorough investigation and Democrats should demand that. It's not about her religion: It's about why she is trying to cover up her religion!

Clearly the investigation into Brett Kavanaugh wasn't thorough enough because McConnell and Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was then chair of the committee, wouldn't let it be. They didn't give enough time. That means there are still outstanding questions about Kavanaugh, and big ones. Like who paid his $92,000 country club fees, his $10,500-a-year private school for his kids, his $60,000 to $200,000 credit card debt, and his $1.2 million mortgage before his confirmation hearings. Which is a question for another time and potentially an impeachment investigation when there's a Democratic-controlled Senate. Potentially.

But on this nominee, there needs to be an investigation. The FBI needs to figure out why there was a coordinated effort to cover this information up, why the People of Praise group has been erasing her from existence in their organization, and what else she could be withholding from the committee. It's not about the organization itself: It's about the effort to prevent the Senate and public from knowing. She, and the Republicans, demean the process by hiding things.

There are already serious questions about her fitness to serve. First and foremost, Barrett accepted the nomination in the first place, in these extraordinary circumstances and mere weeks before a presidential election. Then she participated willingly and knowingly in what turned out to be a coronavirus superspreader event that violated the rules the District of Columbia has in place for public gatherings. Yes, the White House is federal land and not governed by D.C.'s ordinances, but it shows an appalling lack of judgement on the part of this would-be justice to participate in the whole fiasco.

But there are also questions about her actual ability to judge. She actually authored a Seventh Circuit opinion last year "that threatened to hurl corporate insurance policies into chaos" and was quickly and quietly withdrawn to allow the lower court judgement she had initially overturned stand. It was an "episode that stunned attorneys and raised questions about her judgment." Because she made an extremely basic and big mistake. She ignored state law, in this case Indiana’s, in her initial ruling. "Her opinion, absolutely, 100 percent, ignored Indiana law with respect to how those things would be decided," one lawyer involved said. "It was the only time in my career where I had to file a brief that raised this point."

It's a given, even among conservatives, that Barrett got this nomination not for her legal qualifications but because of her ideological ones. That's not even debatable in 2020, after the Trump administration and the kinds of judges—even those rated unqualified—he's promoted. What's remarkable is the extent to which Republicans are still committed to covering up her background. That's a problem, and one that gives Democrats absolutely every reason to fight this nomination. Not on religious grounds: on the cover up.

Barrett is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee, so Democrats have nothing to lose in this fight

For decades, the American public has been working under the assumption that if someone were nominated to the Supreme Court, that person must be qualified. How else could that individual get to a place where they would even be considered for nomination? That slipped a little with President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork, who ended up being rejected even by Republicans—enough of them to sink his confirmation. Everything's changed with Donald Trump, however. First Republicans broke all norms and regular procedures by refusing to even talk to President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, for more than half a year before the election. Then we had the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, where the whole country could see the blunt force Republicans would employ to get a guy everyone recognized as the frat-boy bully of their school nightmares onto the court.

Now we've got the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, and an electorate not giving her the benefit of the doubt as to qualifications. CNN reports: "Initial reactions to Barrett are among the worst in CNN and Gallup polling on 12 potential justices dating back to Robert Bork, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan and rejected by the Senate." Barrett has the distinction, along with Kavanaugh, of being "the only two for whom opposition outweighed support in initial polling on their nominations." A plurality does not want her confirmed, 46% to 42%, and 56% say she should recuse herself from any cases resulting from the 2020 election, including 32% of Republicans. Which leads us to the fight Democrats have to have against her confirmation. There's absolutely no downside to Democrats doing everything in their power, limited though it may be, to fight this.

Most of that fight is going to have to be in the Judiciary Committee. The No. 1 thing Democrats should be doing is boycotting the hearings and refusing to allow Lindsey Graham, the chairman, a quorum to conduct most of his business. With any number of Republican senators unavailable at any given time because of quarantine, Democrats need to be nimble and flexible in when they choose to participate. But senators, Democratic or Republican, aren't likely to miss an opportunity to get some video clips of themselves scoring points out there. Knowing they aren't going to give up a chance at their 15 minutes, they need to follow a plan. Chuck Schumer needs to make them do it.

For once, they have to coordinate. They have to find a single plan of attack and stick to it, with their questions coordinated and designed to build a narrative. Already we're seeing the opening—this is a rushed confirmation that Republicans are intent on ramming through before the election and in that rush, they're covering stuff up. We saw the initial evidence of that when Barrett did not submit a newspaper ad she signed on to in 2006 on behalf of a forced-birther group with the materials she provided to the Judiciary Committee—either for this nomination or for her 2017 nomination to an appeals court position. In the ad, she said she opposed "abortion on demand" and defended "the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life." That's not all: In 2017, The Washington Post reports she didn't disclose her affiliation with the radical Christian group People of Praise. The group has scrubbed all references to her from its website. What else is she hiding?

In pushing that narrative, they should also have the less effective of their members step back. Let Sens. Kamala Harris (she has said she intends to participate), Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, and Sheldon Whitehouse—the sharpest interrogators—take the lead. They were the sharpest and most effective questioners in the Kavanaugh hearings and we need that acuity again now. 

That's not the only Democratic coordination we need to have happen. Schumer should be quietly working with his conference and with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on measures they can take to gum up the works for the Senate after the almost inevitable vote out of committee happens. There are things like War Powers resolutions Democratic senators can bring to the floor that will take precedent over a confirmation vote. Likewise, there are resolutions—most notably impeachment—that the House can send over that have to be considered before nominations. Note that this kind of coordination could be happening already. We're not supposed to see it. To be most effective, it can't be seen coming. McConnell is likely already figuring out how he can combat such measures, so Democrats have to be as wily in figuring out when and how to spring them. Which they should be working on. Right now.

Stopping this is going to be nearly impossible, barring the coronavirus continuing to sweep through Republican ranks and reducing the number of senators McConnell has available at any given time. But that doesn't mean Democrats are powerless, and it doesn't mean they shouldn't find every possible avenue for getting this delayed past the election. It probably won't work, but they've got to try it anyway.

For one thing, it will give them practice on coordinating their messaging and their efforts to reform the courts when they have the White House and Senate in 2021.

It’s Starting: Democrats Introduce Bill To Limit Supreme Court Terms

Amid calls for significant changes to the Supreme Court and Senate, Democrats are set to introduce a bill next week that would set Supreme Court term limits at 18 years.

Term Limits For SCOTUS

The Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act, according to Reuters, will be introduced by Democrats next Tuesday.

It would set term limits for the Supreme Court at 18 years, and allow every President to appoint to nominate two justices per term.

“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” said Democrat Representative Ro Khanna.

Khanna will introduce the bill along with Representatives Joe Kennedy III and Don Beyer.

The bill would exempt current justices from the rules. Justices who finish their term would retire from the Supreme Court and then rotate to lower courts.

“That’s perfectly consistent with their judicial independence and having a lifetime salary and a lifetime appointment,” Khanna argued.

RELATED: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Daughter Claims She Didn’t Retire Because She Wanted Hillary To Name Successor

Democrats Demand Court Packing

This is not the only thing that Democrats have been demanding regarding the Supreme Court.

Representative Kennedy wrote on Twitter that if President Trump and the Republicans held a vote for his Supreme Court nominee this year, they would simply pack the court in 2021.

This sentiment has been echoed by other Democrats. “Mitch McConnell set the precedent,” Senate candidate Ed Markey tweeted.

“No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it… we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”

Representative Jerry Nadler joined the calls.

If McConnell “were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and President can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” Nadler wrote.

RELATED: President Trump: If Dems Use Impeachment To Block Supreme Court Nomination, “We Win”

Schumer: “Nothing Is Off The Table”

Democrats are fuming that President Trump and Mitch McConnell have the gall to use their constitutional powers to nominate and confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It’s not the first time that there has been a nominee in an election year, and it won’t be the last.

They forget that Merrick Garland was not voted on because the Senate and Presidency were split. That is not the case this time.

Some legal scholars argue that a constitutional amendment is needed to set term limits for Supreme Court justices.

It is unclear from the Reuters article whether or not Representative Khanna has been challenged about the issue.

Senator Chuck Schumer said that “nothing was off the table.” I believe him.

The post It’s Starting: Democrats Introduce Bill To Limit Supreme Court Terms appeared first on The Political Insider.

Democrats, don’t let RBG’s seat—or the Supreme Court—be further soiled by Trump

Honestly, there isn't much that Senate Democrats can do to fully prevent a Republican majority, slim though it may be, from seating another Supreme Court nominee from Donald Trump, illegitimate as that nomination might be. What they can do, however, is delay it until after the election. And after the election, the chances of blocking it are probably better. There could very well be some defeated Republicans who won't have anything to lose anymore and might just decide not to seal their legacies with something so ignoble as this. Additionally, if they can delay throughout November, Democrats will likely have a new member—Arizona's Mark Kelly, who could be seated as early as Nov. 30 by Arizona law.

To that end, congressional procedural experts have drawn up a memo that's reportedly circulating on Capitol Hill that details the myriad options available to Democrats—both in the House and Senate—to eat up Senate time and prevent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham from rushing the nomination through before Nov. 3. There's no silver bullet here for Democrats to stop the confirmation, but there are tons of BBs.

We talked about a lot of what the Senate can do in this post, but didn't explore the House's options. Like sending over articles of impeachment. (I nominate Attorney General Barr for that one, personally.) The House could act on Senate bills pending in the House, amend them, and send them back as privileged—the Senate could be forced to act on them.

In a perfect world, Sen. Chuck Schumer and team would deploy all of them. As of now, they are not. As of now, with no official appointment, they don't have to. McConnell is going to have to deal with the continuing resolution the House just passed to fund government through Dec. 11 early next week, because the deadline is midnight Wednesday.

Republicans are not devoid of ways of trying to keep Democrats from doing this—they can keep putting up things for unanimous consent, like this resolution expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, what Democrats could do is use every tactic from Republicans to engage the Republicans in hours of debate on them. That's something they need to be doing anyway: standing on the floor punching holes in Republican arguments and making them answer for their blind loyalty to Trump.

Democrats can start doing these things now to show McConnell their resolve to stand together in making his life hell, dissuading him from trying to push through the nomination before the election. They can use a wide variety of procedural tactics to force Republicans who need to be spending all their time on their reelection at home to stay in Washington, D.C., having to be subject to a call to come to the chamber at any given time. Sowing as much unrest as possible among those Republicans is always helpful.

It's about meeting McConnell's fire with fire; it's about not being steamrolled, and not letting him and Trump further foul the Supreme Court of the United States.

Kevin McCarthy: We’ll Oust Nancy Pelosi If She Tries To Impeach Trump Over SCOTUS Pick

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to oust Nancy Pelosi if she attempts to impeach Trump as a means to stop his Supreme Court nominee.

Pelosi, in an interview earlier this week with ABC News’ “This Week,” refused to rule out impeachment of the President or Attorney General William Barr to halt the nomination.

“We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country,” the House Speaker stated.

“Listening to the speaker on television this weekend – if she tries to move for an impeachment based upon the president following the Constitution, I think there will be a move on the floor to no longer have the question of her being Speaker,” McCarthy threatened.

“She may think she has a quiver — we do too,” he told reporters.

RELATED: AOC, Pelosi Hint Impeachment Should Be Considered To Stop Trump Supreme Court Selection

Kevin McCarthy Explains Why He’ll Oust Nancy Pelosi

McCarthy proceeded to explain why Pelosi’s threat to impeach – a process typically reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors – would lead to her being ousted.

“The president is supposed to move forward and they will,” he said noting it is Trump’s Constitutional duty to select a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the SCOTUS.

“The Senate is supposed to take the action and they will — it’s their constitutional right and they are following through,” he added.

“If Pelosi and House Democrats try to impeach the president, we will take the movement to remove her from speakership,” he reiterated.

RELATED: Tucker Exposes Democrats’ Plan To Stop Trump’s SCOTUS Pick – ‘Burn The Entire F***ing Thing Down’

Pelosi and the Democrats Will Do Anything to Stop Trump From Filling the SCOTUS Vacancy

Impeachment hasn’t been the only arrow in the quiver that Pelosi and the Democrats have threatened to use if they don’t get their way.

Should Trump lose and Democrats regain control of both Houses of Congress, they’ve made it clear they’ll consider packing the Supreme Court with more liberal judges.

New York Rep. Jerry Nadler called on his colleagues to do just that.

Joe Biden said in 2019 that Democrats would “live to rue that day” should they decide to pack the Supreme Court.

More recently, the Democrat nominee has declined to answer the question saying it would distract from the issue at hand.

The late Justice Ginsburg, in an interview with NPR last year, opposed the idea of expanding the court.

“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she said, adding, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

The post Kevin McCarthy: We’ll Oust Nancy Pelosi If She Tries To Impeach Trump Over SCOTUS Pick appeared first on The Political Insider.

Schumer Vows To Use ‘Every Tool In The Toolkit’ To Delay Trump Supreme Court Nominee

On MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Senate Democrats “will use every tool in the toolkit” to prevent or delay Republicans from filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“We have tactical options to slow them down,” Schumer explained. “We will use every tool in the toolkit.”

 

RELATED: Trump Dares Pelosi To Try Impeachment Again: ‘Go Ahead’

Did Chuck Schumer Forget President Obama Nominated His Own Supreme Court Pick Before The 2016 Presidential Election?

He continued, “Now, admittedly, McConnell has changed things, changed the rules, so we have fewer tools and they’re less sharp, but every tool we have we will use. Today, we delayed committees going into effect. We had the right to do that and we did it.”

“Tonight, we’re on the floor taking up all the time on the floor to talk about how bad this potential nominee — and there will be many other things that we can use,” Schumer vowed. “You’ll see them in the days ahead.”

 

Democrats Forge Unified Front Against Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

Schumer’s plans are just the latest example of Democratic leaders coming out in force against President Trump doing his constitutional duty in selecting a justice to fill the newly opened seat.

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is calling for the SCOTUS choice to be delayed until after the election, despite his administration nominating judge Merrick Garland for an open seat on the high court right before the 2016 presidential election. A Republican-controlled Senate blocked President Obama’s nominee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went on a wild rant Monday about the alleged threat to America’s “children” Trump’s court choice poses.

RELATED: Pelosi on Filling the SCOTUS Seat: Republicans Are ‘Coming After Your Children’

“They are on a path to undo the Affordable Care Act. They are on a path to undo a woman’s right to choose,” Pelosi told MSNBC.

Pelosi added, “They’re coming after your children. Protect your children from what they are trying to do in this court.”

There’s no telling what kinds of unhinged things Democrats will continue to say and do as this process moves forward.

President Trump has said he will name his Supreme Court nominee at 5 PM ET on Saturday.

The post Schumer Vows To Use ‘Every Tool In The Toolkit’ To Delay Trump Supreme Court Nominee appeared first on The Political Insider.

‘Thanks Mitt!’: Trump Praises Romney For Supporting Him On Vacant SCOTUS Seat Vote

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump thanked Senator Mitt Romney for saying he would support a Senate vote on his Supreme Court nominee choice.

“He was very good today, I have to tell you, he was good,” Trump said during his rally Tuesday night in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. “Now I’m happy. Thank you Mitt. Thank you.”

RELATED: Romney Says He Will Support Senate Vote On Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

‘Thanks Mitt!’

Romney said in a statement on Tuesday, “The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees. Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President’s nominee.”

“If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” Romney added.

Trump Calls Out Romney For His Impeachment Vote

But Trump did remind his rally supporters that one Republican senator voted for one of the House’s articles of “fake impeachment” against the President.

“Who was the half? I can’t imagine” Trump said, without naming Romney.

Trump praised Republicans for generally being unified regarding his upcoming Supreme Court pick to fill the vacant seat left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

RELATED: Joe Biden Says Voters Shouldn’t Know Who He Would Appoint To Supreme Court

‘We’re Going To Pick An Incredible, Brilliant Woman And Watch The Abuse She Will Take’

But Trump also alluded to two Republicans who have publicly said whoever wins the election should make the choice – Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.

“There’s always got to be the two, those two,” Trump said.

President Trump said again that he planned to announce his SCOTUS pick on Saturday.

“We’re going to pick an incredible, brilliant woman and watch the abuse she will take,” Trump said, predicting Democratic opposition will be fierce during the confirmation hearings.

The post ‘Thanks Mitt!’: Trump Praises Romney For Supporting Him On Vacant SCOTUS Seat Vote appeared first on The Political Insider.

Romney Says He Will Support Senate Vote On Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

On Tuesday, Senator Mitt Romney announced he will support a Senate vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

The move may come as a surprise to conservatives, as Romney is viewed by many to be anti-Trump.

Romney: ‘I intend To Vote Based Upon Their Qualifications’

Romney said in a statement, “My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

“It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent.”

Romney’s statement noted there is nothing hypocritical about the move:

“The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”

“The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees,” Romney’s statement continued.

“Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” he added.

RELATED: Joe Biden Says Voters Shouldn’t Know Who He Would Appoint To Supreme Court

Republican Senator Gardner Signals Support For Trump Nomination

Romney’s statement comes in the wake of Republican Senator Cory Gardner’s announcement Monday that he will vote to confirm Trump’s nominee if the President’s pick meets his criteria.

“I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law,” Gardner said in a statement.

“Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm.”

Republican Senators Murkowski And Collins Do Not Support Vote

However, moderate Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have said they want whoever is president after the November election to make the SCOTUS pick.

They rationalized that this is what Republicans did in 2016 with then-President Barack Obama’s choice of Judge Merrick Garland right before that year’s election.

“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice [Antonin] Scalia,” Sen. Murkowski said in a statement.

“We are now even closer to the 2020 election, less than two months out, and I believe the same standard must apply.”

RELATED: Susan Collins Says She Opposes Voting On SCOTUS Nominee – What Is Wrong With This ‘Republican?’

Sen. Collins said the vacancy should ultimately be filled by whoever wins between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on November 3.

Romney Supports A vote – But How Will HE Vote?

It should be noted that while Romney said he supports a vote on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, he did not indicate whether or not he would vote for that choice himself.

Being Mitt Romney, that could go either way.

The former Massachusetts Governor turned Utah Senator has a long history in the “Never Trump” movement.

Beginning in 2016, Romney declared his allegiance to Never Trump with a speech urging against Trump as the Republican nominee for President.

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“Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics,” Romney said then.

The Senator also ran a fake Twitter account to attack Trump, using the name “Pierre Delecto.”

Most recently, Romney voted to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial.

The Trump administration has announced the President should make his nominee announcement on Saturday.

The post Romney Says He Will Support Senate Vote On Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee appeared first on The Political Insider.