Courts

Cruz: Gorsuch a Principled Constitutionalist, and a ‘Home Run’

Sen. Ted Cruz took to CNN last night after President Trump’s announcement to praise Neil Gorsuch as a ‘home run’ pick for the Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

During an interview on CNN on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated that the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a “home run.”

Cruz said, “During the campaign, he promised the American people that he would nominate a principled constitutionalist to replace Justice Scalia, and tonight President Trump honored that commitment. … I think Judge Gorsuch is a home run. He has a decade of proven experience on the court of appeals of being faithful to the Constitution, following the law, protecting the Bill of Rights and our fundamental liberties, and I think that record will yield a swift confirmation in the United States Senate.”

He added, “Democrats are engaged right now in unprecedented partisan obstruction, but I hope on the Supreme Court they will not engage in that practice. … Democrats will not succeed in filibustering Judge Gorsuch. They may try, but they will not succeed.”

Cruz also addressed whether or not blocking Gorsuch would be fair turnabout for blocking the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland by saying the two nominations took place under a “fundamentally different” set of circumstances because Garland was appointed during an election year.

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Courts

Trump Kept Gorsuch Secret With Back Roads and Military Jet

Trump’s pick for Supreme Court was shrouded in mystery up to the final hour before his announcement last night. And now it’s clear how his team kept it a secret. Is this an indication of how organized his administration is?

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

Less than 48 hours before Neil Gorsuch was introduced as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, he was traveling in secret down Colorado back roads to a military aircraft as part of a White House operation to keep his selection under wraps.

While the Trump White House has seen its inner battles aired in the media during its first days in office, administration officials showed Tuesday they can keep a secret when they want to. While White House officials had strongly signaled to lawmakers that Gorsuch was a contender, the administration wanted Trump’s pick to come out on his terms — in front of a live, prime-time television audience — and they succeeded.

Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal appeals court judge in Denver, was informed that he was Trump’s choice in a Monday phone call from the president, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, describing the measures employed to preserve secrecy. Shortly after the call, Gorsuch — who lives near Boulder, Colorado — went to a neighbor’s house and waited for White House staff to arrive.

Since he was already widely reported as a front-runner for the job, White House staffers drove back roads to make sure they wouldn’t be spotted with him. They ferried him aboard a military jet from Colorado to Washington, where he stayed with a friend rather than at a hotel to avoid being noticed.

Throughout the selection process, the president’s team managed to keep its deliberations out of the public eye. Trump interviewed a total of four candidates and met with Gorsuch and two other candidates — federal appeals court judges Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor — on Jan. 14 at Trump Tower. The judges sneaked past a crowd of reporters who were staking out the building’s lobby elevators.

Members of Congress were informed of the decision about an hour before it was announced from the White House East Room to a nationwide television audience. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee that will oversee the nomination, said he didn’t know Trump’s decision for certain until about 45 minutes before the announcement, when select members of Congress were invited to the White House.

“They can keep a secret,” Graham said.

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Courts

Trump Picks Gorsuch to Replace Scalia on Supreme Court

President Trump announced his choice late in the evening yesterday for whom will replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Conservatives are praising the pick as stellar and predict it will restore the balance of the Court to the conservative side. And now liberals are ready to pounce and ‘Bork’ him.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

President Donald Trump nominated 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch Tuesday night to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

The announcement was during a live prime-time television broadcast from the White House that was also streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.

The 49-year-old is seen as a likely heir to the legacy of Scalia, long the the Court’s most conservative voice. Gorsuch, like Scalia, is viewed as both an originalist and textualist.

A graduate of Columbia, Harvard and Oxford universities, Gorsuch clerked for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He attended Harvard Law with former President Barack Obama.

Trump had promised his pick would be popular with evangelicals, and many of Gorsuch’s rulings square with that assessment.

In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, Gorsuch sided with Christian employers and organizations, arguing they should be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide contraception to employees. He cited the Constitution’s “Free Exercise Clause” stating that Congress cannot make a law establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise.

“The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong,” he wrote in the Hobby Lobby opinion.

The judge writes in his book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” that no form of euthanasia should be made legal, ABC News reports. He made similar arguments in a 2000 law journal article.

Gorsuch was appointed to the 10 Circuit in Colorado in 2006 by President George W. Bush and was confirmed on a voice vote. He is described by supporters as a gifted writer and as an outdoorsman who likes to hunt, fish and ski, according to Politico.

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Courts

Video: Democrats Will Filibuster Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

Senate Democrats are already promising to filibuster President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court…even before they know who the nominee is.

And as if that’s not hypocritical enough, one of the Democrat leaders actually argued against ‘useless filibusters’ in recent years.

Here’s more from DC Statesman:

President Donald Trump today announced he will make his pick for Supreme Court known tomorrow instead of Thursday, as originally planned.

Earlier today he tweeted this out:

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 3.33.15 PM

Before his pick will be revealed Democrats have already come out in opposition. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said in an interview that he fill filibuster any pick that is not Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland. With the chances of that being 0%, the American people can look forward to a bloody confirmation battle:

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees.

This is a pretty shocking statement considering Senator Merkeley doesn’t even know who the pick will be, but will oppose it anyway.

Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate. This will be the second time in recent history that the Senate will attempt a filibuster. Democrats tried in 2006 to block Justice Samuel Alito, but failed. Republicans were quick to condemn Merkeley for his gross partisanship:

“When Democrats were in the majority, Sen. Merkley wanted to end filibusters. But I guess he only meant when Democrats are in the majority and in control of the White House,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Here’s the video in which Sen. Merkley argued against the filibuster:

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Courts

Breaking: Trump Supreme Court Nomination Coming Tomorrow

Perhaps looking to shift the attention away from the debate on his recent ban on refugees, President Trump has moved the announcement day for his Supreme Court nominee from Thursday to tomorrow.

And now the left is scrambling to prepare its attacks in the media.

Here’s more from Daily Mail:

President Donald Trump has chosen a replacement for the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, and he will announce a name tomorrow night.

‘I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.),’ the president wrote on Twitter.

Trump originally said the announcement would come on Thursday. Word of a possible earlier announcement first came as the White House dealt with fallout from Trump’s partial travel ban on Middle Eastern refugees.

As a candidate, Trump often used surprise announcements to shift attention away from negative media coverage.

The timing of the president’s announcement carries an added benefit for Republicans.

CNN is scheduled to host an hour-long town hall event with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, an event that will now be drowned out by reactions to Trump’s choice.

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 9.31.30 AM

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Courts

Huge: Trump to Reveal Supreme Court Pick Next Thursday

Of all the headlines President Trump has been making in his first week in the White House, this one is arguably the most important.

Yesterday Trump tweeted that an announcement will be made one week from today (Thursday) revealing the president’s pick for Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

President Donald Trump says he will reveal his Supreme Court pick next Thursday. The court has had only eight justices since the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Trump tweeted early Wednesday, “I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week. Thank you.”

A person familiar with the process said the president has narrowed his choice to three federal appellate judges. They all were on the list of 21 potential high court picks Trump announced during his presidential campaign.

The leading contenders — who all have met with Trump — are William Pryor, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions.

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Courts

Liberals Panic: Trump Could Flip Leftist 9th Circuit Court

Last week we reported that President Trump will have an unprecedented opportunity to complete reshape the federal judiciary.

Now liberals are freaking out about the possibility that he could flip the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

Liberals are panicking about the fact that President-elect Donald Trump will be able to fill four vacancies on the historically left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when he takes office later this month.

Outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called the vacancies a “judicial emergency,” according to Bay Area public radio station KQED, even though there are 29 judges on the court. The “emergency” is that Trump’s nominees might be able to make the court more conservative.

The Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction covers many West Coast states, and its decisions have often reflected the liberal political culture of California and other “left coast” outposts. Over the past several decades, the frequency with which the U.S. Supreme Court — which had a narrow 5-4 conservative majority until 2016 — reversed Ninth Circuit rulings became a recurring theme. However, the Ninth Circuit has shown flashes of independence, as in recent Second Amendment rulings.

Liberals are worried about that increasing “moderation” at the Ninth Circuit. KQED interviewed University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, who commented: “I think even in the Obama years the court has moved to be more moderate than it used to be, so I think that with those four appointments it could make some difference and move the court further in that direction.”

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Courts

Obama May Try to Sneak Liberal Onto Supreme Court

In the closing weeks of his eight year regime, Barack Obama has been doing everything in his power to poke as many of his fingers in the eyes of those opposed to him as possible. But this final move could take the cake.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

President Obama could try to sneak Merrick Garland onto the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a high stakes legal gamble that many say isn’t worth the fight, The Washington Times reports.

There will be a 5-minute window open just before noon when the Senate gavels the 114th Congress out of session and the time the 115 Congress begins, according to the Times. During those 5 minutes, Obama could test his presidential authority and put his Garland, his nominee, on the high court.

The Times notes it would be a legal gamble since the Supreme Court overturned some of Obama’s 2012 recess appointments, saying the Senate was actually in session and the president could not use his recess powers.

But the court ruled there was a difference between appointments made during an annual yearlong session of Congress, known as “intrasession,” and picks made at the end of the year known as “intersession.”

Even as some activists are urging Obama to go through with it, experts warn it is not worth the risk.

William G. Ross, a law professor at Samford University, confirmed Obama has the power to try to force Garland onto the high court. But he said it would be “politically unwise and damaging to the prestige of the court.”

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Courts

100 Vacancies: Trump Has Chance to Reshape Courts

While the current vacancy in the Supreme Court left by Antonin Scalia was the hot topic of debate during the election, what few pointed to is the fact that at least 100 judges are awaiting appointment to the federal judiciary.

And Trump now has the opportunity to completely remake the federal bench. Wow!

Here’s more from Newsmax:

President-elect Donald Trump will be able to reshape the judicial system once he takes office by filling an estimated 103 court vacancies, The Washington Post reports.

The number, which does not include the opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, is almost double the 54 open judicial openings President Barack Obama was faced with when he took over eight years ago, the newspaper noted.

Once the GOP took control of the Senate in 2015, confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominees was slowed, according to the Post.

Now, as an incoming Republican president, Trump will be able to make lifetime appointments to the bench, who will decide on issues including state gun control laws, abortion restrictions, voter registration and immigration.

“I’m optimistic he’ll come at this right out of the gate,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network,is quoted by the newspaper.

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