Mitch McConnell and the Appointment of Federal Judges

Following Mitch's Money, Presentation by Doug Price on June 15, 2020

Senator McConnell is running for re-election in Kentucky and our group is working to elect a Democratic opponent.

There are 3 strong Democratic candidates to replace Mitch. Mitch has received by far more money from PACS totaling almost $4 million. The 3 Democratic candidates have received under $175,000 combined. All of the candidates have a combined total of $35 million dollars cash on hand. We are going to see a ton of advertising in the last few days of the Primary followed by much more prior to the November 3rd Primary Election!

Earlier I talked about Mitch and appointing judges and this will be a follow-up to that discussion.

During Obamas second term the Republicans controlled

the Senate with Mitch as Majority leader. Following the

February 2016 death of Associate Justice of the Supreme

Court Antonin Scalia, President Obama nominated

Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat on the Supreme

Court.

Before Obama had named Garland Senate

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared any

appointment by the sitting president to be null and void.

He said the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen

by the next president — to be elected later that year.

Senate Democrats responded there was sufficient

time to vote on a nominee before the election.

Garland’s nomination expired on January 3, 2017, with

the end of the 114th Congress. The nomination remained

before the Senate for 293 days, which is more than

twice as long as any other Supreme Court nomination.

Fast forward to January 31, 2017, when newly elected

President Donald Trump announced his selection of Judge Neil

Gorsuch for the position. Gorsuch was later confirmed on April

7, 2017 by a vote of 54 — 45 and sworn in on April 10, 2017.

Let’s look at present day.

From the Atlantic: With four words and a proud smile, the Senate majority leader recently confirmed what those who have watched him closely have long understood to be true: If a vacancy on the high court occurs in the election year of 2020, the Republican majority that McConnell leads would vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee. “Oh, we’d fill it,”

“Of course,” said McConnell, “the American people should have a say in the court’s direction. It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent.”

Meanwhile Moscow Mitch nominated Justin Walker, a 37-

year-old federal judge for a seat on the most powerful

appeals court in the country.

He was approved by a Senate panel on May 30th and awaits a

full confirmation vote from the Senate.

The nomination exemplifies McConnell’s enduring pledge

to make the confirmation of judges his top priority. Walker’s

critics say he is unqualified in part because he only graduated

from law school a little more than a decade ago.

There is a concern that McConnell is attempting to appoint far-

right justices who pose a threat to progressive values — like

women’s health issues, anti-corruption laws and LGBTQ issues.

Additionally some believe that he is nominating unqualified

federal judges.

Let’s use Judge Walker as an example.

As a federal District Judge, Walker issued a temporary

restraining order blocking Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer from

forbidding drive-in Church services on Easter Sunday.

Out of health concerns related to Covid-19, the mayor

had said, “We are not allowing churches to gather, either

In-person or any kind of drive-thru capacity.”

On May 20th the US Supreme Court addressed a similar

situation. The Supreme Court turned away a request from a

church in California to block enforcement of state restrictions

on attendance at religious services.

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a

majority.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote: “Although California’s guidelines

place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions

appear consistent with the free exercise clause of the First

Amendment,”

Essentially this ruling overrode Judge Walker’s ruling.

Wonder if Mitch still believes that Judge Walker should be

elevated to a higher court? Will the Senate vote be on party lines?

Once confirmed judges are appointed for life. These judges will be on the bench for decades. If all of these judges are by their nature conservative what happens to those of us who by our nature are liberal? How does this affect environmental regulations, voting rights issues? American needs balance not what Mitch thinks we need.

I would like to end this discussion on a positive note for America and one that might concern Mitch: Today June 15th the Supreme Court ruled 6–3 that gay, lesbian and transgender workers are protected by federal civil rights law. Trumps nominee (Neil Gorsuch) who was pushed through by Mitch voted with the liberal justices. That had to hurt!

We can make the right choice on November 3, 2020 and Ditch Moscow Mitch.

Doug Price is a member/treasurer of the MMRC and a regular participant on the #MoscowMitchMonday live stream, discussing Mitch and Money. Doug is an advocate of governmental change on the State/Federal level and has periodically worked on Democratic campaigns dating back to the 80s. Follow Doug on Twitter @ PriceDoug