With the nation's eyes largely elsewhere in a sea of distraction on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee quietly advanced 44 of President Donald Trump's federal judicial nominees in what civil rights defenders denounced as a "monster markup" that threatens to leave the president's dangerous ideological footprint on the nation's courts for generations to come.
Senate Democrats struck a deal last week with Republicans that saw the quick confirmation of 15 more conservative judges in exchange for a rapid flight to the campaign trail. Liberal activists were infuriated, but after the brutally divisive fight to confirm Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the agreement held out a promise of peace.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.
For everything that’s happened in this process, in many ways what stuns me most is what Sen. Grassley is doing right now. He is again going back to this claim that the Democrats held the sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh “in reserve” for the last moment to spring on the helpless judge.
Conservatives did not stand idle while the FBI completed its limited investigation on Brett Kavanaugh. While this unfolded, Dr Christine Blasey Ford has been subjected to a full-frontal personal attack, which has been taken up by all segments of rightwing media. But while most ostensibly respectable outlets contented themselves with attacks on her credibility, others have leapt headlong into conspiracy theory.
The FBI hasn’t interviewed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford because it doesn’t have clear authority from the White House to do so, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Instead, the White House has indicated to the FBI that testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford, who has accused him of attempting to rape her when they were in high school, before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week is sufficient, said the people, who asked to not be identified discussing the sensitive matter.
Last year, before he became a supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh hired the son of a close friend to serve as his clerk, even though the clerk had not earned a spot on the Yale Law Journal, as almost all Kavanaugh’s previous Yale clerks had. The decision to hire Clayton Kozinski, son of the now disgraced judge Alex Kozinski, smacked of the kind of cronyism that is rife in federal courts. It was especially common for Kavanaugh, who not only had a reputation for hiring “model-like” female clerks, but also the children of powerful friends and allies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh after securing a key vote from Sen. Jeff Flake, who asked for a delay of up to a week before the full Senate votes. Flake (R-Ariz.) said the delay would allow a limited FBI investigation of allegations of sexual assault while Kavanaugh was a teenager.
Merkley is alleging that the Trump administration is violating the separation of powers by not releasing hundreds of thousands of documents related to Kavanaugh’s time as a lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, charging that this knowingly prevented senators from doing their constitutional duty to advise and consent the president by vetting Kavanaugh.
The Utah lawmaker Orrin Hatch, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a 44-page amicus brief earlier this month in Gamble v. United States, a case that will consider whether the dual-sovereignty doctrine should be put to rest. The 150-year-old exception to the Fifth Amendment’s double-jeopardy clause allows state and federal courts to prosecute the same person for the same criminal offense.
President Trump on Tuesday attacked the second woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, dismissing her account because she was “totally inebriated and all messed up,” and accused Democrats of playing a “con game” in an attempt to derail his Supreme Court nominee.
A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.
Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
I used to know Brett Kavanaugh pretty well. And, when I think of Brett now, in the midst of his hearings for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, all I can think of is the old "Aesop's Fables" adage: "A man is known by the company he keeps." And that's why I want to tell any senator who cares about our democracy: Vote no.
It’s objectively unprecedented for the Senate to be provided such a small fraction of the documents related to a Supreme Court nominee’s past work, as in the case of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. During Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) caught Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in an apparent lie about why that is.
An Oklahoma County District Court judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the EPA to turn over thousands of communications to a watchdog group. The order is the latest turn in a lawsuit against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt brought by the Center for Media and Democracy earlier this month. CMD charges Pruitt violated the Oklahoma Open Records Act for declining to make public official documents the group has requested since 2015.
In an extraordinarily rare move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell interrupted Warren's speech, saying she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King.
The former chief executive of Exxon Mobil found himself on the defensive over his reluctance to declare that some dictators were violators of human rights. On climate change, Mr. Tillerson said he did not view it as the imminent national security threat that some others did. On Iran he tried to strike a middle ground between Republicans who said the deal should be scrapped - including Vice President-elect Mike Pence - and those who simply call for tougher enforcement of its provisions.