Schumer: Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch nomination

Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ended Thursday on a confrontational note, with the body’s top Democrat vowing a filibuster that could complicate Gorsuch’s expected confirmation and ultimately upend the traditional approach to approving justices.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will vote no on President Trump’s nominee and asked other Democrats to join him in blocking an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch.

Under Senate rules, it requires 60 votes to overcome such an obstacle. Republicans eager to confirm Gorsuch before their Easter recess — and before the court concludes hearing the current term of cases next month — have only 52 senators.

Republicans have vowed Gorsuch will be confirmed even if it means overhauling the way justices have long been approved. Traditionally, senators can force the Senate to muster a supermajority just to bring up the nomination of a Supreme Court justice. If that is reached, the confirmation requires a simple majority.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer said: “If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes — a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees and George Bush’s last two nominees — the answer isn’t to change the rules. It’s to change the nominee.”

Full article: Schumer: Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch nomination – The Washington Post

And their only real reason is because they are ticked off that Hillary isn’t picking the Supreme Court justice. Oh, and he believes in following the Constitution as it was written. God forbid.

We’re beyond the point where these people need to grow up. Now they need to be removed. What are they going to do, obstruct for four years?

SCOTUS green-lights Menendez corruption trial

The Supreme Court has dashed Robert Menendez’ last hope to prevent the first trial of a sitting US Senator for corruption since Ted Stevens in 2008 (which was posthumously vacated). The top court refused to take the appeal of a Third District appellate ruling that refused to overturn Menendez’ April 2015 indictment on the basis of constitutional privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause. That leaves the door open to a trial in the fall, just as the three-term incumbent ramps up an expected re-election campaign in the midterms:

The Supreme Court has rejected Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to throw out the bribery and corruption charges against him, setting the stage for a trial for the New Jersey Democrat this fall.

With Monday’s announcement, Menendez can no longer block the proceedings against him from moving forward, a major setback for his efforts to avoid criminal trial.

The appellate court ruled that the benefits granted by Menendez to Salomon Melgen were too specific to him for a claim of privilege, Reuters recalls:

Prosecutors allege Menendez accepted campaign donations and gifts, including a stay at a Caribbean villa and private jet flights, from Melgen in exchange for interceding in various matters on his friend’s behalf, including an $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute. Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty to the charges they faced in the 22-count indictment. …

Last July, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that Menendez’s actions amounted to “essentially lobbying on behalf of a particular party,” and thus outside the “safe harbor” provided in the Constitution.

Full article: SCOTUS green-lights Menendez corruption trial « Hot Air

Feinstein: I’m Concerned that Gorsuch Is an ‘Originalist’

Feinstein began by noting she was “deeply disappointed” that Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, did not get the luxury of a hearing. Nevertheless, she said it is now the committee’s job to determine whether Gorsuch is a “reasonable mainstream conservative” fit for the highest court in the land.

She did not seem to have much confidence in the nominee. Feinstein is disturbed by Gorsuch’s originalism, she argued, because she believes the concept “ignores the intent of the framers.”

“It’s a framework on which to build,” she said. “I firmly believe the Constitution is a living document that evolves as our country evolves.”

Full article: Feinstein: I’m Concerned that Gorsuch Is an ‘Originalist’ – Cortney O’Brien

She obviously has a different idea of what the framers intended. I don’t believe the framers meant for it to be a “living document.” I believe they meant for it to limit the powers of the government to benefit the people. That’s why it is so difficult to amend and change. If they wanted it to “evolve,” they would have said so and made changing it much easier.

Unethical Sabotage of Voter ID in US Supreme Court by NC AG

Before Stein won the 2016 election and became North Carolina’s  attorney general, he was also a fact witness at trial for those attacking North Carolina’s election integrity statutes in federal court. 

Lawyers are prohibited by ethical rules from acting as both a fact witness and an attorney of record in any case.  The proper course for Stein was to recuse himself, not file a motion to dismiss a Supreme Court appeal to preserve voter ID

Legislators in North Carolina have filed this pleading with the United States Supreme Court in the voter ID fight.  It challenges the decision by Stein to sabotage the voter ID appeal.  It states:

This motion is intended to ensure that North Carolina’s 2013 election reform laws—including a photo ID requirement—receive their due defense in this Court, notwithstanding North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s unauthorized (and ethically questionable) effort to withdraw the State’s pending petition for certiorari.

After his inauguration in January, Stein filed a motion to outright dismiss the appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down North Carolina’s voter ID law.  Stein never consulted with his client — the legislature — before filing the motion to dismiss.  The legislature had also retained a private firm to defend the voter ID law and Stein’s motion to dismiss the appeal involved a notice to that firm that they could no longer represent the legislature.

Stein’s conduct would effectively terminate an election-integrity package designed to fight proven voter fraud in the state.  For example, lax same-day registration had allowed scores of illegal votes to such a degree that at least one election had to be done a second time.

Most troubling, the legislature’s request to the Supreme Court notes that Stein was a fact witness in the very same case when he was a sitting state senator.  Stein testified as a fact witness for the plaintiffs attacking voter ID and election-integrity laws.

Lawyers cannot represent clients in cases where they also serve as a fact witness at a trial.

North Carolina rules of professional responsibility govern lawyer ethics.  A lawyer may be disbarred for violating them, as long as a complaint is filed against them.

The brief filed to the United States Supreme Court has a long list of professional ethics rules Stein has violated.

Full article: Unethical Sabotage of Voter ID in US Supreme Court by NC AG

As a North Carolinian, this is news to me.

Ginsburg Calls for Change to the Electoral College

Ginsburg said, “There are some things I would like to change, one is the Electoral College.”

She added, “But that would require a constitutional amendment, and amending our Constitution is powerfully hard to do.”

Full article: Ginsburg Calls for Change to the Electoral College – Breitbart

And, as with everyone else crying about the electoral college, if the tables had been turned, would she still support changing it?

Let’s say Donald Trump had taken the popular vote, but Hillary won the election. Would she be telling us about how she’d like to change the electoral college? Would any of these people be saying that? Would these states trying to change their laws unconstitutionally to force electors to vote with the country instead of the state be doing that?

If you’re scratching your head, then you need to pay more attention. The answer would be no. They’d be touting the electoral college as genius. Because that’s how they do things.

Who is Neil Gorsuch? 10 things you need to know about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

To see the whole list, check the link below.

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Neil Gorsuch in a photo provided by the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals via Associated Press

5. He’s pro-term limits (or at least was during the Bush 41 administration):

According to a 1992 paper he co-authored shortly after finishing law school at Harvard:

Recognizing that men are not angels, the Framers of the Constitution put in place a number of institutional checks designed to prevent abuse of the enormous powers they had vested in the legislative branch. Bicameralism, frequent elections, staggered terms, differing qualifications, shared and exclusive powers, and state control over election procedures are all examples of the mechanisms the Framers crafted with the hope of ensuring a responsive yet responsible legislature. A term limit, we suggest, is simply an analogous procedure designed to advance much the same substantive end.

Gorsuch and Guzman argue that this has been upended by the party system, legislative seniority, committee assignments and things of that ilk, thus precipitating term limits.

6. He’s literally written a book on life issues:

After studying the issue at Oxford, Gorsuch penned a book about the moral and legal arguments surrounding the end-of-life debate, entitled “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” Published by Princeton University Press, the work is cited extensively in Ryan Anderson’s Heritage Foundation paper on physician-assisted suicide from 2015.

7. He’s also a rock star on federal regulations administrative law:

One area where Neil Gorsuch appears to be more of an originalist than Justice Scalia is on the question of giving federal agencies the ability to interpret statutes themselves and make de-facto regulations. The so-called Chevron Deference is one area where Gorsuch has made substantial waves as an appellate judge with a dynamite opinion back in August:

“There’s an elephant in the room with us today. We have studiously attempted to work our way around it and even left it unremarked. But the fact is Chevron and Brand X permit executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”

“For administrative law nerds, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch’s” Chevron opinion “is about as thrilling as it gets,” reads a press release from the Pacific Legal Foundation.

With a resume this impressive, Senate Democrats are going to put up one hell of a fight to get someone more “mainstream,” as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (F, 2%) has demanded. Republicans will either have to get rid of the filibuster for judicial nominations or invoke the two-speech rule to get Gorsuch onto the bench.

Full article: Who is Neil Gorsuch? 10 things you need to know about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

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Trump opponents launch last-ditch effort to block him from the White House

With Donald Trump’s inauguration almost here, one group is making a desperate, last-ditch effort on social media to keep the president-elect from taking office.

A message circulating on Twitter is asking people to tweet at Chief Justice John Roberts not to administer the oath of office to President-elect Donald Trump.

The post asks Roberts, who is slated to swear Trump into office on Friday, to refuse to administer the oath until “the allegations of fraud and tampering have been addressed and cleared.”

“You must place country above fraud,” the argument goes.

Full article: Trump opponents launch last-ditch effort to block him from the White House – AOL News

Don’t think this nonsense is going to stop once he’s inaugurated. They’re already talking attempts at impeachment. Which would make Pence the president. So they just need to calm the hell down. They won’t, but they need to.

We survived eight years of Obama. You’ll survive Trump. Trust me.

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