Re: Trump Plans To Nominate Amy Coney Barrett To Supreme Court
Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:08 pm
Spot on, TT.
The posts on this public forum do not necessarily represent the LGC
https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/we-ar ... ry-lesson/Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested Senate Republicans had followed historical precedent by rushing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) corrected him.
The Texas Republican told the story of Abraham Lincoln waiting to nominate Salmon P. Chase to fill a vacancy shortly after he won re-election in 1864, saying that had no bearing on Trump choosing Barrett weeks before facing his own re-election, and said his Democratic colleagues were simply being sore losers.
“There are many members of this committee that enjoy being students of history,” Cruz said. “But to suggest that is somehow a precedent and requires us not to fill this vacancy now is — I can’t put it better than the Washington Post, who fact-checked Sen. [Kamala] Harris on this claim. The Washington Post conclusion was that Sen. Harris’ argument wasn’t exactly true.”
“So I recognize our Democratic friends wish a different president had been elected in 2016,” Cruz added. “I am sympathetic to those arguments. I recognize our Democratic friends wish there was a Democratic majority in the Senate, but the voters decided otherwise. This committee moving forward is consistent with over 200 years of history and precedent.”
Durbin thanked the senator for his sympathy, and explained this process was highly unusual.
“What we are witnessing this morning and this week is different than anything we have seen,” Durbin said. “Some of us have Robert Bork stuck in our craw, others have Merrick Garland stuck in our craw, in terms of what is happening here. We all need to concede we are not in a place where we should be when it comes to the operations of this committee and the Senate, the relationship with the Supreme Court.”
Durbin pointed out that Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who came from opposite ends of the political spectrum — had been unanimously or near-unanimously confirmed, but he said the nomination process had been broken.
“The chairman started this hearing reminding us about votes that were taken 98-0 for Anton Scalia, 96-3 for Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” he continued. “How did we manage to put together five partisan coalitions or people on such opposite ends of the political spectrum who we knew going in
“One of the things we have witnessed here in the time I have served on this committee is a denigration of the process to the point where it is almost useless,” Durbin said. “We have reached a point now where gifted, experienced jurists, legal scholars take that seat behind the table and then deny everything, refuse to answer anything. Consider that, a situation where we asked the nominee, can a president unilaterally delay a presidential election? She could not answer it — too political. Too political? That is the standard for the United States of America. She can certainly have alluded to that. I asked can a president unilaterally deny a woman the right to vote? Sorry, can’t answer, the case could come before me someday. It reached the point where Sen. [John] Kennedy asked this learned attorney, professor and jurist if she had any opinion on the issue of climate change. Basically, she said, ‘I’ve never thought about it, don’t have any views.'”
“What are we dealing with here?” Durbin added. “We are not dealing with the reality of who this person is and what she believes, but some kind of artifice we have constructed between the nominee and our questions. I would be afraid to ask her about the presence of gravity on earth. She may decline to answer because it might come up a case in a court someday.”
Durbin said the nominee won’t explain her thoughts and views, but he said President Donald Trump made clear why he needed her, in particular, on the court before the Nov. 3 election.
“We know this process is really stacked,” he said. “The president told us so repeatedly. We can’t get a direct answer from the nominee, we get direct answers every day from the tweets of the president. We know what his motives were in nominating this person for the Supreme Court, he does not cover it up. It was to make sure there was someone on the court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.”
https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/diann ... -schwartz/Dianne Feinstein praised Lindsey Graham due to her ‘severely diminished mental capacity’: Tony Schwartz
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) continues to receive harsh criticism after praising Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham for pushing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination before the election.
Democrats have been urged to replace Feinstein — who never went to law school and has never tried a case — from her position as the ranking Democrat on the committee. If Democrats win control of the Senate in the 2020 election, Feinstein is expected to chair the committee.
MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber described the clip of Feinstein praising Grahm as “just wild.”
“Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank you, this has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth. It leaves one with a lot of hopes,” Feinstein noted. “Thank you so much for your leadership.”
MSNBC analyst Tony Schwartz noted that Feinstein is 87 years old, a topic that trended on Twitter.
Schwartz said Feinstein has “severely diminished mental capacity.”
“I do believe and I think there is plenty of evidence that she is diminished mentally and that we don’t need to parse this too deeply because she wouldn’t have said it if she were thinking more clearly,” he explained.
https://www.salon.com/2020/10/16/watchd ... rape-case/Amy Coney Barrett accused of ‘unconscionable cruelty’ in teen rape case
Barrett decided to overturn a $6.7M jury award to a teen allegedly raped in a jail run by ex-Sheriff David Clarke
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has been accused of "unconscionable cruelty" by a watchdog group over her role in an appellate court decision overturning a district court which found a Wisconsin county liable for millions in damages to a woman who alleged she had been repeatedly raped by a jail guard.
"After a 19-year old pregnant prison inmate was repeatedly raped by a prison guard, Amy Coney Barrett ruled that the county responsible for the prison could not be held liable because the sexual assaults fell outside of the guard's official duties. Her judgment demonstrates a level of unconscionable cruelty that has no place on the high court," Kyle Herrig, president of the progressive watchdog group Accountable.US, told Salon. "The only thing more concerning than the rush to confirm by Senate Republicans is what we are learning about Amy Coney Barrett's extremist record. It is hardly surprising that she has dodged question after question during her testimony."
Barrett was one of the three judges on a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel which reversed a $6.7 million verdict against Milwaukee County in 2018 after a corrections officer was charged with repeatedly raping a pregnant 19-year-old inmate.
Former corrections officer Xavier Thicken was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault in 2013 after the woman alleged that he had raped her during and after her pregnancy at a jail run by the controversial former Sheriff David Clarke. Those charges were dropped when he agreed to plead guilty to felony misconduct in public office in 2014.
The woman later filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee County. In her testimony, she alleged that Thicklen had raped her in different parts of the jail when she was eight months pregnant and demanded that she perform oral sex on him after giving birth.
A jury awarded the woman $6.7 million in 2017, which was upheld by District Judge J.P. Stadmueller before the Seventh Circuit Court overturned the ruling in September 2018.
Barrett joined Judges Daniel Manion and Robert Gettleman in reversing the district court ruling against the county, though it upheld the judgement against Thicklen. Mannion wrote in the unanimous opinion that the county was not responsible for the guard's conduct.
"Conduct is not in the scope if it is different in kind from that authorized, far beyond the authorized time or space, or too little actuated by a purpose to serve the employer," he said.
"Even when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to (the woman) and the verdict, we hold no reasonable jury could find the sexual assaults were in the scope of his (Thicklen's) employment," the opinion stated. "The evidence negates the verdict."
Manion noted that the training materials stated guards were prohibited from having sex with inmates.
"The undisputed facts and reasonable inferences point ineluctably to the conclusions that Thicklen's abhorrent acts were in no way actuated by a purpose to serve county," he wrote. "He raped (the inmate) for purely personal reasons, the rapes did not benefit county but harmed it, he knew the rapes did not serve county, and the rapes were outside the scope."
With the ruling, the judge acknowledged that the woman "loses perhaps her best chance to collect the judgment. But (the law) does not make public employers absolute insurers against all wrongs."
In a similar case this year, however, Barrett joined a majority of the full Seventh Circuit Court to find that Wisconsin's Polk County was liable in a case where a jail guard sexually assaulted five women hundreds of times.
The case was filed after former prison guard Daryl Christensen was convicted of sexually assaulting the women hundreds of times over three years in 2016. Two of the victims, identified as J.K.J. and M.J.J., sued Christensen and Polk County in federal court, according to Courthouse News.
A complaint filed by one of the women alleged that the Polk County Sheriff's Department was liable, because it failed to protect her from Christensen and chose not to accept state-provided training materials on prison rape.
The lawsuit largely echoed the allegations in the criminal complaint, accusing Christensen of leading women inmates to areas of the jail where there were no security cameras before digitally penetrating them and forcing them to perform oral sex on him.
Christensen was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and a jury awarded the women $11.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages, according to Courthouse News. Polk County was ordered to pay $4 million of the award, which the outlet noted was "the only part of the award the women will ever possibly receive."
A split three-judge Seventh Circuit Court panel overturned the ruling against the county last year, with the majority arguing that it should not be held liable for actions taken by a "rogue guard" in violation of the jail's policy.
The full court voted to rehear the case in December, and it voted 7-4 to hold the county responsible in May. Barrett joined the majority.
"The jury was furnished with sufficient evidence to hold Polk County liable not on the basis of Christensen's horrific acts but rather the county's own deliberate choice to stand idly by while the female inmates under its care were exposed to an unmistakable risk that they would be sexually assaulted — a choice that was the moving force behind the harm inflicted on J.K.J. and M.J.J.," Judge Michael Scudder wrote in the majority opinion.
Scudder added that "the jury was entitled to conclude that if Polk County had taken action in response to the glaring risk that its female inmates' health and safety were in danger, J.K.J. and M.J.J.'s assaults would have stopped sooner, or never happened at all."
Barrett penned an influential decision last year which made it easier for college students accused of sexual assault to sue their universities over the handling of investigations.
She wrote the decision for a Seventh Circuit panel which ruled that Purdue University might have discriminated against a male student accused of sexual assault when it suspended him for one year, costing him a spot in the Navy ROTC program.
"It is plausible that [university officials] chose to believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man," Barrett wrote in the decision.
Barrett said the discrimination claim was plausible, in part because the Obama administration had pressured schools to prioritize sexual assault investigations and later opened two investigations into Purdue.
"The Department of Education made clear that it took the letter and its enforcement very seriously," Barrett wrote. "The pressure on the university to demonstrate compliance was far from abstract."
Emily Martin, the vice president for education and workplace justice at the National Women's Law Center, expressed concerns that Barrett's description of the Education Department's efforts to go after campus sexual assault was evidence of discrimination against men.
Martin told The Washington Post that late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion of women's rights and lamented the prospect of "replacing someone like that with a judge who is eager to use the language of sex discrimination in order to defend the status quo and to use the statutes that were created to forward gender equality as swords against that very purpose."
Beth Barnhill, the executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, penned an op-ed this week warning that Barrett "holds extreme positions on areas of the law on which victims of sexual assault depend."
"Survivors want and deserve a Supreme Court that works for all of us, yet a previous ruling from Barrett made it easier for students who are held accountable for sexual assault to sue their schools for sex discrimination," Barnhill wrote. "She suggested that a school's commitment to taking sexual misconduct seriously is evidence of sex discrimination against the people who caused harm. This is deeply problematic and troubling for survivors."
https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/a-sup ... y-barrett/A Supreme Court case decided over a decade ago may come back to haunt Judge Amy Coney Barrett
A Supreme Court case that was decided over a decade ago may come back to haunt Judge Amy Coney Barrett as America enters an impending post-election 2020 judicial nightmare; one in which the sitting president may deny a peaceful transfer of power.
Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. was argued in 2009 with the primary holding that a judge cannot hear a case that centers on the financial interests of someone who supported him substantially in his campaign for election. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority that “recusal may be constitutionally required even where a judge is not actually biased, if there is a ‘serious risk’ of actual bias.”
Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the majority for constitutionalizing the judge’s recusal decision “in a manner ungoverned by any discernable rule,” but wrote that “in the best of all possible worlds, [judges should] sometimes recuse [themselves] even where the clear commands” of the Constitution don’t require it.
“The question for Barrett, if it arises, will not be whether she personally believes she can be fair in deciding an election case but, rather, whether a reasonable person would conclude that her impartiality would be inescapably overborne by the flood of influences brought to bear on her,” wrote former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig in a column for the Washington Post.
Luttig continued, “Among these pressures are her nomination, due to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, little more than a month before the election, the unavoidable fact that Barrett would be deciding the political fate of the president who nominated her only weeks ago, and President Trump’s ill-timed calls for Barrett’s swift confirmation so that she can be seated in time to decide the election cases. These bludgeoning pressures alone are at once singular and unprecedented, unsurpassed and quite possibly unsurpassable in their magnitude. By comparison, the pressures believed put on the West Virginia judge in Caperton pale.”
https://www.alternet.org/2020/10/servi ... ity-rules/Serving oligarchs: Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rules
The analogy of judges being like umpires calling balls and strikes has been used to argue that judges merely apply the law according to the rules, leaving no room for bias. The misleading nature of this claim has never been more apparent.
Objectivity in judging is a myth. As Justice Cardozo noted, "We (judges) may try to see things as objectively as we please, nonetheless we can never see them with any eyes except our own." A test of principled judging is doctrinal consistency. As Ryan Grim and others argue, Judge Barrett fails that test, notably regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
When Sonia Sotomayor said at her Supreme Court confirmation hearings that her experience as a Latina woman informs her judging, she broke the rules of the game and had to recant in support of the guise of neutrality. The charade continues.
Serving oligarchs, the Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rule.Dahlia Lithwick notes that Barrett "has clothed herself in a cloak of neutrality" contending that this posture will free her to do "pernicious work that will undercut the very ideals she is sworn to uphold."
Barrett proudly claims to be a constitutional originalist, as if this is beyond reproach, which it most certainly is not. Originalism is both historically and logically problematic. Purportedly constraining judges, it may actually serve to unleash them.
Ronald Dworkin's responsibility theory posits that judging with integrity demands honest and transparent inquiry, analysis and reasoning. Dworkin asserts that any honest consideration of judging must recognize the centrality of interpretation. Under the common law judges do make law, unlike the civil law tradition where law is "found". The making of judicial law can be as corrupted as the making of legislation, and as unappetizing as seeing sausage made.
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's presentation on Dark Money shed light on the anti-democratic influences distorting the law. The Court lacks basic disclosure requirements fundamental to judicial integrity. Litigants appearing before the Court should wear badges demanding an end to the flow of dark money. As this would be disallowed, the public must fight secret plutocratic law.
The unprecedented rush to confirm Barrett denied an opportunity to fully investigate Barrett's record and conflicts. It was pathetic that Senator Whitehouse could only conclude his remarks with a plea to Barrett to "please think about these things" when she is on the Court. With hypocrite in chief Lindsay Graham presiding over Barrett's confirmation hearing precedent and principle were, unsurprisingly, conveniently discarded.
Sandra O'Connor decried unseemly law, by which she meant that which went against public opinion. Today's Court cares little about public sentiment as it routinely rules against it. When McConnell stole the seat from Merrick Garland in 2016 to install Neil Gorsuch in 2017 a nail was put in the coffin of the venerable Court. Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett's confirmation process further stained the Court. The disrespect shown to RBG following her death is abhorrent, and with Trump's overt politicization of Barrett's seat marks a new low point for the Court.
Right wing court-packing has been going on for decades, as has judicial activism by Republican appointed judges. Barrett is a prime example.
Serving oligarchs, the Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rule.
Welcome to the new judicial order where stare decisis and neutrality are (ab)used as swords for the rich. Know the rules and play by them. Stop going to a knife fight with an olive branch. Pack the court if you can democrats. If you fail to do so you will be rendered impotent by the right wing activist federal courts. //www.takebackthecourt.today/antidemocracy-scorecard
Team Trump's plan to steal the election using the Court to seal the deal is in plain sight.
In 2000, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett all worked for George W Bush to stop the recount. They may soon vote together to stop the actual counting. Senator Feinstein will surely thank them for their excellent leadership if they do.
Barrett's cagey responses to the senate judiciary committee further expose the discrepancy between judicial theory vs practice. Her refusal to abstain from potential upcoming election challenges before the Court evince a false understanding of the recusal standard. Like her mentor Scalia in Bush v. Gore, she speaks only to actual bias, wearing her robe as a shield, ignoring that the standard for recusal is the appearance of bias. The purpose is to uphold public confidence in the independence and integrity of judicial decision making. There is now little reason for the people to have such confidence.
As the judiciary heads further to the right it is evident it no longer serves the values of the majority of the people. Equal justice under the law is now just a reminder of how wildly the federal judiciary misses the strike zone.
Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee approved Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Thursday, sending the nomination to the full Senate despite a boycott from Democrats on the committee.
Barrett’s nomination is expected to move to the full Senate floor as quickly as tomorrow. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to hold a procedural vote on the confirmation Sunday and a final vote on Monday. Republicans are expected to have the votes needed to approve her.
Democrats on the committee were under mounting pressure from progressives to make a bigger stand against Barrett’s confirmation. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in particular has been under intense scrutiny by fellow Democrats after praising Graham’s handling of the nomination, undercutting Democrats’ message.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/ ... nfirmationDemocrats’ boycott of the vote threatened to force Republicans to violate the committee’s quorum requirements, which demand that two members of the minority party be present for votes. But no one challenged the quorum requirement on Thursday.
Well it's out of committee.CDFingers wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am I'm thinking Schumer won't allow a quorum.
Democrats' boycott of the vote threatened to force Republicans to violate the committee’s quorum requirements, which demand that two members of the minority party be present for votes. But no one challenged the quorum requirement on Thursday.
It would seem so. Or he thinks he can make political noise later claiming a quorum was not present.featureless wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:49 am Did Schumer forget to have a dem present to challenge the quorum requirement?
I thought you were going to be there. No, I thought you were going to be there...
Listened to the whole video. I have no doubt she will stand for issues she believes in. Constitutionality, depends on her perspective and how it plays with her view of an issue. The cynic in me will point out, there was no downside for her to help this woman.
Yep, it speaks to her character, not her politics.sikacz wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:06 pmListened to the whole video. I have no doubt she will stand for issues she believes in. Constitutionality, depends on her perspective and how it plays with her view of an issue. The cynic in me will point out, there was no downside for her to help this woman.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/ ... arrett-setMcConnell Keeps Senate in Session Over Weekend to Shut Down Debate on Barrett, Set Stage for Confirmation Vote
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is keeping the U.S. Senate in session over the weekend in an effort to speedily shut down debate on Amy Coney Barrett and set the stage for the right-wing judge's confirmation to the Supreme Court as early as Monday, just eight days before the November presidential election.
The rare weekend session—something McConnell would not hold to work on desperately needed coronavirus relief—is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday after the Kentucky Republican filed cloture for Barrett's dark money-backed nomination Friday afternoon. A procedural vote to end debate on Barrett's nomination is set to take place Sunday, teeing up a Monday confirmation vote that is expected to fall largely along party lines.
"This is not normal," tweeted Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, one of the many civil rights groups opposed to Barrett's confirmation. "McConnell is keeping the Senate in session all weekend to rush through Barrett nomination while 52 million people have already voted and as the American people are struggling amid the pandemic. Prioritizing power over people."
McConnell's moves paving the way for a final vote on Barrett came just a day after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved President Donald Trump's high court nominee during a Thursday hearing boycotted by Democrats. Like much of the process that preceded it, the vote Thursday violated committee rules requiring the presence of at least two members of the minority party.
"Republicans just voted Amy Coney Barrett out of committee with no Democrats present. This is further proof that the entire process is an illegitimate sham," Meagan Hatcher Mays, director of democracy policy at advocacy group Indivisible, said in a statement following the vote.
"This nominee refused to say whether or not climate change is real," Mays continued. "She refused to say whether abortion is constitutional. She refused to say whether the ACA is the law of the land. She wouldn't even say whether or not the president can unilaterally change the date of the election. (He can't.) Amy Coney Barrett is an extremist who has no business replacing RBG, and has no business serving on the Supreme Court at all."
In a speech on the Senate floor Friday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that "by rushing this nomination through the Senate only eight days before a national election, after 50 million Americans have already voted, the Republican majority is steering the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the country in a very dangerous direction."
Schumer proceeded to force the Senate into a closed-door session without cameras or members of the press present in order to "talk face to face about what this might mean for the country." Republicans emerged from the brief session completely undeterred from plowing ahead Barrett's confirmation just ahead of the election.
"As you likely figured out, this didn't work," tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). "Republicans had no interest in working this out in order to save the Senate. So after a 30 minute break at a crappy rest stop, we are back on the McConnell superhighway to the destruction of the Senate."
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) echoed Murphy, saying that while he can't discuss what specifically was said during the closed session, "you can tell from how briefly we were in there that my GOP colleagues are hellbent on ramming through this nomination even if it means torching Senate's traditions, rules, and integrity."
"Those who care about our country are in anguish," Merkley added. "SCOTUS being corrupted and delegitimized before our eyes. Senate just voted to proceed on Barrett, and McConnell immediately moved to close debate. So much for coverage for preexisting conditions."