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Amy coney barrett IMPEACHMENT Intelwars Quid pro quo Supreme Court

Leftists already want Amy Coney Barrett impeached from SCOTUS if she doesn’t do what they demand

Amy Coney Barrett has officially been an associate justice on the Supreme Court for barely 24 hours, but liberals have already concocted scenarios demanding that she be impeached and removed from the high court.

Despite the fact that Barrett has not yet heard a single case, liberals want Barrett to recuse herself from a critical case with major election implications, or else be removed from the court.

“If Amy Barrett doesn’t recuse herself on the Pennsylvania voter suppression case going to the Supreme Court she should be impeached,” radio host Chip Franklin said Tuesday.

Franklin is referring to a case in which Pennsylvania Republicans have asked the Supreme Court to determine whether mail-in ballots received after Election Day should be counted.

As TheBlaze reported, the Supreme Court failed to make a determinative ruling last week — due, in part, to the court vacancy — which allowed a ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority, to stand. The court had ruled that ballots received up to three days after Election Day should be counted, regardless of whether or not a ballot’s postmark is legible or even present.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the bureau of elections for Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, filed a motion with the Supreme Court on Tuesday requesting that Barrett recuse herself from the case.

“This recusal is compelled since Justice Barrett’s ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned’ … given the circumstances of her nomination and confirmation,” the attorneys said. The request was later rescinded because it had been filed without first consulting county leaders.

Others accused Barrett of engaging in a quid pro quo.

Norman Ornstein, a scholar who works at the American Enterprise Institute, claimed Trump appointed Barrett to “sway the election,” and Barrett’s participation in such a plot would warrant her impeachment.

“I repeat: If Barrett, acceding to a partisan swearing in at the White House, knowing that Trump explicitly said he nominated her to sway the election, does not recuse, it is an overt quid pro quo. The House should impeach her to leave an irrevocable stain on a dishonorable justice,” Ornstein wrote on Twitter.

Similarly, PBS host Alexander Heffner propagated the conspiracy theory that Barrett will interfere with the election, claiming that Barrett “refusing to recuse herself” from the Pennsylvania mail-in ballot case — which implies that Barrett has an obligation to recuse herself, which she most certainly does not — “would clearly amount to a quid pro quo for Trump’s re-election.”

“By voting against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and interfering in state’s electoral practices, Barrett’s rank duplicity will be unmistakable,” Heffner claimed.

“This is when Democrats need to pounce on her ethically and legally dubious approach — to serve the interests of the Republican Party rather than uphold the law — and make the argument they were right about not seating her. Any public support for the nominee-turned-justice will crumble. And while there will not be a 2-3 majority to convict in the Senate, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and House Democrats can swiftly impeach her,” he continued.

Heffner, however, provided zero evidence to back his claim that Barrett will “serve the interests of the Republican Party rather than uphold the law.”

In fact, Barrett made clear at her Senate confirmation hearings that the Constitution and law, not political ideology, is exactly what she is interested in serving.

Barrett will begin hearing oral arguments next week.

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Horowitz: Will the Supreme Court finally confirm Nov. 3 as Election Day?

Throughout this election season, lower federal court judges have illegally intruded into state election laws governing the qualifications of voters and voting procedures. The Supreme Court has largely allowed these lower courts to run roughshod over the constitutionally vested powers of state legislatures. Finally, Monday night, the Supreme Court smacked down a Democrat election sham to essentially extend Election Day for six days in the critical state of Wisconsin.

Liberal judges are using COVID-19 as an excuse to nullify long-standing voter integrity laws or registration and ballot deadlines. It’s funny how this epidemic seems to result in every Democrat policy goal. In Wisconsin, a federal district judge took this meddling to the next level by ruling that absentee ballots don’t have to be returned by Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. In doing so, the judge was not only illegally intruding on state powers to set qualifications for election procedures but was essentially nullifying the national Election Day.

On Monday, five
Supreme Court justices sided with a Seventh Circuit decision to stay this district court ruling. While conservatives have been disappointed by some recent opinions of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, they both wrote solid concurrences categorically rejecting the notion that a judge can somehow legislate a new Election Day because of the virus.

In an opinion that is clearly a veiled shot not only at this lower court opinion, but at many of the other recent legislative changes to election law by liberal judges and governors, Gorsuch reminded people that the Constitution still matters.

The Constitution provides that state legislatures—not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials—bear primary responsibility for setting election rules. Art. I, §4, cl. 1. … Nothing in our founding document contemplates the kind of judicial intervention that took place here, nor is there precedent for it in 230 years of this Court’s decisions.

Justice Kavanaugh, in a lengthy concurrence, explains the absurdity of federal judges creating a right to tardy voting:

To state the obvious, a State cannot conduct an election without deadlines. It follows that the right to vote is not substantially burdened by a requirement that voters “act in a timely fashion if they wish to express their views in the voting booth.” … Voters who, for example, show up to vote at midnight after the polls close on election night do not have a right to demand that the State nonetheless count their votes. Voters who submit their absentee ballots after the State’s deadline similarly do not have a right to demand that the State count their votes.

I would argue further that any effort by any judge or political body other than Congress to backhandedly alter a federal election deadline is unconstitutional. Although states were to have control over all the administrative aspects of voting and voter eligibility (which courts are now violating), Congress was granted the authority to set the national Election Day for president. In 1845, Congress designated that day as “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” In 1872, Congress enacted the same law governing elections to the U.S. House (2 U.S.C. § 7), and when the 17th Amendment was ratified, Congress dictated that Senate elections should be held on the same day as well (2 U.S.C. § 1). Congress never intended voting to begin more than a month before that day, as is practiced in many states.

Also, the spirit of the Constitution clearly dictates that Election Day should be uniform. Although the clause dictating that the “day shall be the same throughout the United States” was referring to the day the electors choose the president, it was clearly understood as granting Congress the sole authority to set the uniform day for choosing the electors (what we regard as national Election Day).

The great constitutional historian Justice Joseph Story
wrote that when Congress first designated the date for choosing the electors in 1792 (not just the date for the electors choosing the president), it was “in pursuance of the authority given by this clause.”

When defending the election clause from those who felt it gave the federal government too much power, former North Carolina Gov. Richard Dobbs Spaight gave a robust defense at the North Carolina ratification convention on July 26, 1788.
From the context of his words, it is clear that the power granted to Congress and the desire for uniformity applied both to the day the people choose the electors and to the day the electors actually vote for president:

Mr. Spaight replied, that he was surprised that the gentleman objected to the power of Congress to determine the time of choosing the electors, and not to that of fixing the day of the election of the President; that the power in the one case could not possibly answer the purpose of uniformity without having it in the other; that the power, in both cases, could be exercised properly only by one general superintending power; that, if Congress had not this power, there would be no uniformity at all, and that a great deal of time would be taken up in order to agree upon the time.

While many delegates to various state conventions objected to any federal control of elections, it was very clear that the Constitution, as eventually adopted, indeed vested Congress with the power to create a single election day.

The truth be told, it’s hard to see how in-person early voting for an entire month doesn’t violate federal law. Ever since the Presidential Election Day Act set that date as “the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,” it’s hard to see how a state holding multiple election days for in-person voting — without any excuse — is not a violation of this law, at least in spirit.

A quick glance at the congressional debates preceding passage of the election day law for presidents in 1845 and the election day for the House of Representatives in 1872 reveals that Congress clearly intended that states should have polls open
only on the day prescribed in the statute. In 1871, Rep. Benjamin Butler (R-Mass.) spoke on the House floor about the need for a uniform voting day because otherwise “we may have a canvass going on all over the union at different times.” Butler’s concern was that it would give some states and political parties “an undue advantage.” He spoke of how the announcement of vote results in some states helped influence the momentum of the election (Cong. Globe, 42d Cong., 2d Sess., 141 (1871)).

In his “Commentaries on the Constitution,” Justice Story presciently
observed that the need for a uniform day was “self evident”:

Every reason of public policy and convenience seems in favour of a fixed time of giving the electoral votes, and that it should be the same throughout the Union. Such a measure is calculated to repress political intrigues and speculations, by rendering a combination among the electoral colleges, as to their votes, if not utterly impracticable, at least very difficult; and thus secures the people against those ready expedients, which corruption never fails to employ to accomplish its designs.

It goes without saying that, aside from the aforementioned reasons to end early voting, holding the vote over a protracted period invites corruption and fraud. It gives “those ready expedients” (think Soros community organizing groups) ample time for corruption “to employ to accomplish its designs.”

The principle that Congress intended only one election day both for presidential and congressional elections because of voter fraud and undue influences was clearly expressed by Sen. Allen Thurman (D-Ohio) during debate on the 1872 law.

I think as a general principle it is best to have our elections on the same day whenever we can. We provided long ago by law that the election of electors of President and Vice President should take place on the same day throughout the United States, and for the same reason we may well provide that the election of member of Congress shall take place on the same day. Whenever you provide that elections shall take place upon the same day, you do interpose a not inconsiderable check to frauds in elections, to double voting, to the transmission of voters from one State to another, and you do allow the people to vote for their Representatives undisturbed by considerations which they ought not to take at all into account (Cong. Globe, 42 Cong., 2d Sess. 618 (1872) (remarks of Sen. Thurman)).

Unfortunately, early voting has become an obsession, as we continue to render verdicts in elections before the end of the trial, so to speak. But for now, it is to be hoped that the Supreme Court will at least put an end to the practice of arbitrary late voting imposed on states by liberal judges. John Roberts, in a short concurrence in the Wisconsin case, made it clear that he felt less inclined to reverse similar decisions in Pennsylvania. However, with Amy Barrett on the court, those who believe in the rule of law might no longer need Roberts for the fifth vote.

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Washington Post’s lefty writer Dana Milbank says only John Roberts can save the Supreme Court — and he’d better do it … or else

Since the moment Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed, the American left has been in panic over the makeup of the court.

When President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left after Ginsburg’s death, the cries became more shrill.

Now that the Senate has confirmed Barrett to the high court and she is firmly ensconced on the bench, the left has increased their threats to pack the court by any means — including nuking the filibuster in the Senate — and find whatever ways they can to rein in a conservative court.

The New York Times even ran a special feature on “How to Fix the Supreme Court.” It included creating a new court, term limits for justices, preventing the court from choosing its cases, increasing the threats to pack the court, actually packing the courts, and expanding the lower courts.

But one famous liberal writer is pretty sure he knows exactly who needs to come to the rescue: Chief Justice John Roberts.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank’s column Monday night declared, “It’s up to John Roberts to save his court.”

What did Milbank say?

After recounting and lamenting what he called the “pell-mell scramble” to get Barrett on the court, the liberal Milbank said Barrett’s confirmation “shreds whatever remained of the high court’s integrity and independence” — even though Barrett has yet to hear, much less rule on, a single case.

No matter, though, for Milbank. Only Roberts can save the U.S. now.

So, how should he do it? Milbank has ideas:

? Play the heavy.

He can lean heavily on Barrett to recuse herself from any case arising from the presidential election next week.

? Save Obamacare like he did before.

He can use his influence to make sure the court upholds the Affordable Care Act after it hears arguments next month — not a legalistic punt on technical matters of “severability” but a ruling that puts an end to the constant assaults on Obamacare.

? Reject religious freedom when it clashes with Obergefell.

He can persuade his conservative colleagues to join him in upholding the rights of LGBTQ Americans as established in the 2015 Obergefell case, by rejecting a challenge to it by Catholic Social Services that will be argued the morning after the election next week.

? Make Trump hand over his financial records.

He can forge a majority to reject Trump’s latest tired attempt to use the Supreme Court to further delay handing over his financial records to New York prosecutors.

? Uphold Roe at any cost.

And he and his colleagues can agree to hear one of the many challenges to Roe v. Wade now making their way through lower courts — and vote to uphold Roe for now. That would be the surest sign that the Roberts Court is not going to turn (immediately at least) into the reactionary caricature that most expect.

If Roberts can’t get the conservatives on the court to back the Milbank agenda, then, according to the writer, “they can count on being joined next year by a whole batch of new colleagues” nominated by President Joe Biden.

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Amy coney barrett ed markey Election 2020 Intelwars mike lee Supreme Court us senate

Mike Lee, furious, calls on fellow senator to take back the ‘worst’ thing any Democrat has said about Amy Coney Barrett

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) lambasted one of his Democratic colleagues Tuesday for calling the originalist judicial philosophy racist, sexist and homophobic.

Ahead of the Senate vote confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Monday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) bashed Barrett’s originalist judicial philosophy on Twitter, accusing originalism of being “just a fancy word for discrimination.”

Markey, who is up for reelection this year, also demanded that the Senate abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.

Lee, in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” said Markey’s comments were “patently irresponsible” in a rare show of anger.

“Of all the irresponsible and inflammatory statements I’ve heard over the last few weeks, and I’ve heard some doozies, this might well be the worst,” Lee said.

“If you think about what he is really saying there, Senator Markey has essentially said that our Constitution is racist. And an effort to understand it, understand its words at the time they were written, is itself racist and bigoted. I can’t think of a statement that has a greater tendency to undermine the foundation of our constitutional republic. I hope, expect, and demand that Sen. Markey retract his statement. It’s irresponsible; he can’t defend that,” Lee said.

Watch:

Earlier in the interview, Lee said he attended the swearing-in ceremony for Justice Barrett.

“It was a fantastic moment,” Lee said, praising President Trump for nominating her.

“This was the SCOTUS trifecta that he managed to pull off, in his first term alone having put three justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. That doesn’t happen very often, and I’m glad it did, and I think he might well have saved the best for last, Justice Barrett is going to be terrific.”

Going on to explain why he supports Barrett’s originalist philosophy, Lee said the reason she is “making the heads of Democrats explode everywhere” is because “they don’t want the courts to be limited to judging institutions. They want them to be institutions of social change, of social policy, they want them to take debatable matters beyond debate.

“They want something much bigger, much grander than what the Constitution actually allows. Justice Barrett sees the elegant simplicity of the fact that you want judges to interpret the law based on what it says,” he continued.

Responding to Democratic calls to pack the Supreme Court, Lee said such an effort is “threatening serious damage to the judicial independence of the Supreme Court.”

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Election 2020 Intelwars Justice brett kavanaugh Justice Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS Supreme Court supreme court decision Wisconsin

Justice Kavanaugh accused of helping Trump ‘steal the election’ after SCOTUS rejects Wisconsin mail-in ballot extension

Justice Brett Kavanaugh is being accused of paving the way for President Donald Trump to “steal the election” after the Supreme Court on Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats to have mail-in absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day counted even if they arrive after the election.

In a 5-3 decision, the court ruled that absentee ballots in Wisconsin could only be counted if they were in the possession of election clerks by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. State Democrats attempted to have the deadline for counting absentee ballots extended a full six days after Election Day, CNBC reports. They argued the extension was necessary due to the surge in mail-in voting caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, District Court Judge William Conley agreed with the Democrats’ arguments, ordering the deadline to be extended. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Conley’s decision in October and Democrats appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled against the Democrats. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for himself and joined in part by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said that the Constitution gives elected legislators the power to set election rules and that judges cannot overstep the separation of powers when the Legislature fails to act.

“Legislators can be held accountable by the people for the rules they write or fail to write; typically, judges cannot,” Gorsuch wrote. “Legislatures make policy and bring to bear the collective wisdom of the whole people when they do, while courts dispense the judgment of only a single person or a handful.”

In his concurring opinion, Kavanaugh said that while he understands the concerns over COVID-19, “you need deadlines to hold elections — there is just no wishing away or getting around that fundamental point. And Wisconsin’s deadline is the same as that in 30 other States and is a reasonable deadline given all the circumstances.”

“Moving a deadline would not prevent ballots from arriving after the newly minted deadline any more than moving first base would mean no more close plays,” he added.

Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion has been cited by critics on the left as evidence he wants to help Trump “steal the election” by discounting mail-in votes.

“Brett Kavanaugh Lays Out a Plan to Help Trump Steal the Election” reads one headline at Mother Jones, while “Brett Kavanaugh Signals He’s Open to Stealing the Election for Trump” is a piece by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate. These articles accuse Kavanaugh’s “frankly terrifying” opinion (Stern’s words) of echoing Trump’s rhetoric opposing mail-in voting in one passage wherein Kavanaugh defends states that have statutes similar to a Wisconsin law that disqualifies ballots received after Election Day:

Those States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election. And those States also want to be able to definitively announce the results of the election on election night, or as soon as possible thereafter.

“It is genuinely alarming that the justice cast these aspersions on late-arriving ballots,” Stern writes.

Another area of Kavanaugh’s opinion that’s under attack is a footnote where he positively cites Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s opinion in Bush v. Gore on why federal courts should step in to review state court interpretations of state election laws that affect federal elections, such as presidential election.

“Whatever the reasons behind Kavanaugh’s performance on Monday, he has given the nation another legitimate reason to fear that this election may end with a Bush v. Gore–like disaster for American democracy, but even worse than the original,” he concludes.

A CNN report on Kavanaugh’s opinion shares a similar premise with the headline “Brett Kavanaugh foreshadows how Supreme Court could disrupt vote counting,” suggesting that Wisconsin following state election law would disrupt the election. Another article for USA Today also suggests Kavanaugh is “echoing Trump.”

President Trump has frequently criticized mail-in voting, predicting that fully counting votes could take months after the election and suggesting “mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters. They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases. They have to vote. They should have voter ID, by the way.”

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Coming Friday: Mississippi heartbeat bill among first cases Justice Amy Coney Barrett will consider

The Supreme Court will deliberate Friday on whether it will review a Mississippi pro-life law that bans abortion after an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will be the first potential challenge to Roe v. Wade‘s precedent to come before the court with newly installed Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett hearing the arguments.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch petitioned the court last week to review the state’s 15-week abortion ban, asking the court to clarify how lower courts should interpret a previous Supreme Court decision striking down a Louisiana pro-life law, CBS News reported. He cited several opinions from federal appeals court judges that varied in their reasoning on separate abortion-related cases, some citing the Supreme Court’s majority opinion from Medical Services v. Russo to strike down restrictions on abortion, others referring to Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurring opinion to keep those regulations in place.

“This case remains an ideal vehicle to promptly resolve both that question and the first question presented — the contradictions in this Court’s decisions over use of ‘viability’ as a bright line for measuring pro-life legislation,” Fitch wrote in a supplemental brief sent to the Supreme Court.

The case asks the court to decide “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” taking direct aim at the heart of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion before fetal viability at 24 weeks nationally.

The lawyer for the pro-choice group challenging Mississippi’s heartbeat law told CBS News the law explicitly violates Roe‘s precedent.

“Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban defies nearly fifty years of Supreme Court precedent,” Hillary Schneller, the staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told CBS News. “Mississippi’s abortion ban, by definition, is a complete and insurmountable obstacle for pregnant people seeking abortion care after 15 weeks.”

On Friday, the nine justices of the Supreme Court will meet to discuss and vote on whether they will hear this case and others. Four justices must agree to take the case before the Supreme Court will hear the arguments. An announcement on the Supreme Court’s decision is expected to come Monday.

All eyes are on newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett as the court weighs this decision. Progressives fear and conservatives hope that Barrett’s addition to the court has cemented a 6-3 originalist-leaning majority that will overturn Roe, ending the national legalization of abortion and sending the issue back to the states.

The last abortion-related case to come before the court was Medical Services v. Russo, in which a 5-4 majority blocked a Louisiana law that required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four progressives on the court in a concurring opinion, saying that while he disagrees with prior rulings declaring such restrictions unconstitutional, the court is bound by precedent.

Multiple senators questioned Barrett on the role of Supreme Court precedent during her confirmation hearings, with Democrats attempting to have her clarify her views on Roe in particular. Barrett, following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s example, refused to give her opinion on Roe v. Wade‘s precedent, noting that there were pending cases before the court system challenging aspects of Roe and that it would be unethical for her to signal to potential litigants how she might rule.

During one exchange with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), however, Barrett did not list Roe among several cases she called “super-precedents” that the court cannot overturn because they are established law. An example of one such case would be Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 court ruling that declared “separate is not equal,” ending racial segregation in public schools.

She didn’t tip her cards, though, deftly answering Klobuchar’s questions in a way that left her position on Roe‘s precedent ambiguous.

Roe is not a super-precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased, but that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled,” Barrett explained.

Other pending cases the Supreme Court may consider are whether a New York prosecutor will get access to President Donald Trump’s financial information and election-related cases.

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Alexandria ocasio-cortez Amy coney barrett AOC Ben Shapiro filibuster Harry Reid Intelwars nuclear option Supreme Court

Ben Shapiro hits AOC with history lesson after she lashes out over Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation

Democrats exploded in anger Monday after Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court and then sworn in as the court’s newest associate justice. They promised retaliation and blamed Republicans for escalating tribalism in American politics.

But conservative commentator and lawyer Ben Shapiro was quick to provide Democrats with a history lesson.

What did Democrats say?

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said expanding the Supreme Court and packing it with liberal justices is necessary because such measures will fix what she called a “broken system.”

“Remember that Republicans have lost 6 of the last 7 popular votes, but have appointed 6 of the last 9 justices,” Omar claimed. “By expanding the court we fix this broken system and have the court better represent the values of the American people.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said Democrats should not stop at the Supreme Court — he said Democrats should pack the entire federal judiciary with liberal justices.

Enter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who claimed that Republicans are “bulldozing” their agenda into reality.

“Expand the court,” Ocasio-Cortez said immediately after the Senate confirmed Barrett.

“Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion,” she added.

What’s the truth?

As Shapiro was quick to point out, Democrats began political escalation — particularly in the Senate — years ago, and those chickens are now coming home to roost.

According to Shapiro, Democrats are responsible for the political environment that has resulted in the confirmation of judges like Barrett.

“The funniest part about this tweet is that Democrats were first to destroy judicial candidates for mere interpretational disagreement, the first to use the filibuster against judges, and the first to nuke the filibuster against judges…but she thinks the Republicans started it,” Shpairo wrote in response to Ocasio-Cortez.

Indeed, Senate Democrats have spent decades tearing down conservative-leaning judges nominated to the federal judiciary.

The climax of such behavior happened in the fall of 2018 during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, when Democrats pushed unsubstantiated claims that he was a serial sexual assaulter.

Meanwhile, as the Heritage Foundation explains, the filibuster, implemented in the early 1800s, was originally meant for legislative purposes, but Democrats were the first to invoke the filibuster in 2003 against nearly one dozen federal judicial nominees appointed by then-President George W. Bush.

And who could forget when, in 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) forever changed the landscape of the Senate by invoking the so-called “nuclear option” to lower the vote-threshold required to approve federal judges. Democrats did this in retaliation against Senate Republicans — who at the time were in the minority in the Senate — for taking a play from the Democratic playbook and using the filibuster to block many of then-President Barack Obama’s executive nominees.

Previously, judges and executive nominees needed three-fifths approval, or 60 votes in the Senate, to end debate on their confirmation. But because Democrats changed the rules, only a simple majority, or 51 votes, is required to end debate on confirmation.

One year later, Democrats confirmed 89 federal judges using the re-written rules.

After Democrats changed the rules, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell left Democrats with a sobering warning, “You’ll regret this — and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

Turns out, McConnell was right.

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BREAKING: Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court

The United States Senate has officially confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a U.S. Supreme Court justice in a 52-48 vote, despite pushback from Democrats who fought to stop the Republican-led upper chamber from moving forward with President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of Election Day.

Every GOP senator voted for Barrett’s confirmation except Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who joined Democrats in arguing that the nomination of a new justice should be made by whomever wins the presidential election on Nov. 3.

What are the details?

Ahead of the actual vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), declared from the floor that “today…will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”

He went on to warn Republicans, “You may win this vote… But you will never, ever, get your credibility back. And the next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited your right to tell us how to run that majority.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave a history of what has occurred in recent decades in the confirmation of justices, and explained to the chamber in his speech following Schumer’s: “The reason we were able to do what we did in 2016, 2018 and 2020 was because we had the majority.”

Vice President Mike Pence had originally been expected to preside over Barrett’s confirmation vote in the Senate, but those plans were changed after several of Pence’s close aides recently tested positive for COVID-19. As The Hill pointed out ahead of the vote, 52 Senate Republicans were “expected to vote for Barrett, which means the vice president” was not needed to break a 50-50 tie. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) served as Senate president during the proceedings.

Barrett, 48, is expected to attend a ceremony at the White House on Monday evening following her confirmation, where she will reportedly take the constitutional oath administered by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a White House official told Fox News.

The outlet noted that “Thomas has long been considered one of the more conservative justices on the Court, along with Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

President Trump said earlier in the day that the celebration at the White House would be “not a large event, just a very nice event.”

In addition to the constitutional oath, Barrett must also take the judicial oath before being able to execute the duties of her appointed office, according to ABC News, which noted that “recent tradition holds that at least one of the oaths is taken at the court itself.”

According to The New York Times, Justice Barrett “could start work” at the Supreme Court as early as Tuesday, once she has taken her oaths.

Roll Call reported that Barrett’s confirmation “boost[s] the long-running advantage for justices appointed by Republican presidents from 5-4 to 6-3, which [means] the liberal wing would have to pick up at least two votes from the conservative wing to find any victories in cases on ideologically divisive issues.”

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Amy Coney Barrett will most certainly be confirmed, but GOP Sen. Susan Collins will vote ‘No’

Sen. Susan Colins (R-Maine) restated her opposition to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court Sunday ahead of Monday evening’s scheduled final vote on the Senate floor.

Noting her vote does not reflect her opinion of Judge Barrett, Collins said that it would not be “fair nor consistent” for the Senate to confirm her to the court after refusing to consider President Barrack Obama’s nominee Judge Merrick Garland four years ago.

“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election,” Collins
said in a statement. “Since her passing, I have reiterated that in fairness to the American people — who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one — the decision on the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy should be made by whoever is elected on November 3rd.”

“Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” she added.

On Sunday, Senate Republicans voted 51-48 to advance Barrett’s nomination on the Senate floor, triggering a 30-hour period for debate before the final vote will take place Monday evening. Every Republican except Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted in favor of advancing Barrett, and all Democrats opposed.

Though Murkowski voted against advancing the nomination, she said in a speech Sunday that she will vote for Barrett’s confirmation.

“I have no doubt about her intellect. I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament. I have no doubt about her capability to do the job,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor. “I have concluded that she is the sort of person we want on the Supreme Court.”

Collins is expected to be the lone Senate Republican voting against Barrett’s confirmation. No Democrats have announced their intention to vote for Barrett.

After Barrett cleared the final procedural hurdle before the final confirmation vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remarked that the Senate should be proud of advancing Barrett.

“A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election,” McConnell said. “They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

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GOP Sen. Murkowski reverses course, says she will support Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS confirmation

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Saturday that she will vote for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation after initially being opposed to voting on a nominee before Election Day.

“I have no doubt about her intellect. I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament. I have no doubt about her capability to do the job,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor, The Hill reported.

“I have concluded that she is the sort of person we want on the Supreme Court,” she added.


Senators Meet With Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett

Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

However, the Alaska Republican said she will vote against cloture on Barrett’s nomination, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, explaining that she believes Barrett’s confirmation vote should happen after Election Day.

“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility. I will vote no on the procedural votes ahead of us, but yes to confirm Judge Barrett when the question before us is her qualification to be an associate justice,” Murkowski explained.

Murkowski was one of the final Republican Party votes that remained in limbo.

Murkowski, one of the Republican Party’s most moderate lawmakers, was the only Republican to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation in 2018.

According to The Hill, Murkowski’s “yes” vote means Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose Senate career is on life-support, will be the only Republican to oppose Barrett’s confirmation.

As TheBlaze reported, Murkowski initially opposed confirming a new Supreme Court justice prior to the election. However, she later backtracked, saying that she would, in fact, participate in such a vote.

The Senate is expected to vote on Barrett’s nomination sometime early next week. With the Republican majority, that means Barrett will become the newest Supreme Court justice within a matter of days.

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Is the Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett Unconstitutional?

On Oct. 10, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden claimed that nominating and potentially approving Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court during election season was “not constitutional.”

You might think Biden knows what he’s talking about. Trained as a lawyer, he served a long tenure in the Senate and eight years as vice president. For eight years as well, he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate committee most involved in constitutional issues. During all this time, the Constitution was the source of Biden’s power and a rule book governing his job.

Keep in mind that the Constitution is not a particularly long document. It’s not too much to expect a member of the Senate, and especially of the Judiciary Committee, to be familiar with it.

On Oct. 15, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called the Barrett nomination and approval process “illegitimate”—that is, illegal. Leahy is another lawyer who has been in the Senate for many years. He chaired the Judiciary Committee even longer than Biden.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), still another lawyer, was likewise a member of the Judiciary Committee. He apparently professes some constitutional expertise, for he now heads the American Constitution Society, an organization of liberal lawyers, professors, and law students. In circular emails Feingold has asserted repeatedly that the Barrett nomination and confirmation process is “illegitimate” and would “steal” a Supreme Court seat.

Buttressing the presumed credibility of these three lawyers is the code of ethics governing them: Lawyers are supposed to tell the truth.

But let’s test the statements of these three men against the Constitution itself.

The relevant sections of the document are simple and straightforward. Article II of the Constitution states: “[The president] … shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the Supreme Court.”

Consider this sentence for a moment: The Constitution grants many powers that officials are free to exercise or not, as they wish. But in this grant of power, exercise is mandatory. This sentence is in a grammatical form called the future imperative: “shall nominate” and “shall appoint.” The language is similar to the Constitution’s requirement that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” A president who systematically refused to enforce laws—or to nominate judges—during election season would be violating his constitutional duty.

This conclusion is underscored by another sentence in Article II: The president “shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years.” In the case of President Trump, that means from Jan. 20, 2017 until Jan. 20, 2021 (or until Jan. 20, 2025, if he is re-elected).

The fixed four-year term was a flat rejection of the system in countries where the executive stayed in office for life or until an event whose timing was not known in advance. For example, Great Britain divided executive power between the king, who served for life, and the ministry, which held power while it enjoyed a parliamentary majority.

One reason for the fixed-length term was precisely to ensure that the president remained reasonably independent of the legislature and of external events—even pending elections.

In sum, the president not only may nominate Supreme Court justices, but also must do so, irrespective of when vacancies arise.

Once the president has nominated a potential justice, the Senate has the job of “advice and consent.” This means it must give an answer—yes or no—to the nomination. (It does not necessarily mean it must hold hearings.) Like the president, Senators also serve for fixed terms (6 years), and a Senator may not ignore his or her obligation merely because an election campaign occurs during his or her period in office.

A federal law affirms that the president’s duty to nominate and the Senate’s duty to respond do not go away during election season. Title 28, Section 1 of the U.S. Code states that “The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices …” [emphasis added]

Presently the Court is in session with only seven associate justices. While the court may legally do this (its quorum is six), federal law contemplates eight associate justices. A president or Senator who refused to respond to a vacancy merely because an election is pending certainly would be violating the spirit of this statute.

Thus, the statements by Biden, Leahy, and Feingold are flatly incorrect. The current proceedings are neither “unconstitutional” nor “illegitimate” nor an attempt to “steal” anything. On the contrary, both the president and the Senate are carrying out their constitutional and legal duties. While many legal conclusions are arguable, this one really is not.

So why did these three supposedly qualified individuals make the statements they did?

Cornelius Tacitus—whose Latin-language writings are widely considered the best historical works produced by ancient Rome—once observed that governments both great and small are afflicted with two common problems. The first is ignorantia recti: ignorance of what is right. I suppose that Biden, Leahy, and/or Feingold might have made their statements out of honest ignorance. As I have pointed out elsewhere, some public officials display astonishing levels of ignorance.

Tacitus identified the other common defect as invidia. This Latin word usually means “envy,” but in this context it’s more accurately translated as “spite” or “ill-will.” A claim motivated by pure spite is not an honest one; it’s often an outright lie.

There’s a third common political problem that’s a blend of the two that Tacitus identified. You might call it willful ignorance. A person is willfully ignorant of important facts if he knows he’s ignorant but just doesn’t care enough to learn the truth.

The reader can decide for himself whether the Biden–Leahy–Feingold allegations flow from simple ignorance, spite, or willful ignorance.

This article first appeared in the October 20, 2020 Epoch Times.

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Joe Biden says commission to ‘reform’ Supreme Court will go ‘well beyond’ court packing

During a yet-to-be-aired “60 Minutes” interview, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that, if elected in November, he would establish a commission to reform the Supreme Court — and changes to be considered would go “well beyond” just court packing.

“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission of, a bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative. And I will ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack … the way in which it’s being handled,” Biden said in a clip from the interview posted to Twitter Thursday.

“And it’s not about court packing. There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make,” he added.

“There’s a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing,” he indicated. “The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football — whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme court justices stay for generations.”

It was not immediately clear to what “alternatives” Biden was referring to, and it’s doubtful that the candidate will disclose them before the election, anyhow.

The comments are likely to stir up more controversy around the issue as Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have been purposefully tightlipped about their intentions, refusing to indicate whether they would add seats to the court in response to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s expected confirmation to the Supreme Court.

At one point earlier this month, Biden even snapped after being asked about his intentions and amazingly stated that voters don’t deserve to know his stance on the issue before the election.

Then last week, when pressed on the issue once again, Biden hinted that he’s “not a fan” of court packing but still refused to give a clear answer on the issue.

TheBlaze noted in a recent report that any attempt to grow the Supreme Court will need to go through Congress first, and thus a number of moderate Democrats, especially in the Senate, would need to be convinced.

That effort may prove to be particularly difficult since a majority of Americans — 58% — still oppose court packing, according to a recent poll conducted by the New York Times.

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Poll: A majority of voters support Amy Comey Barrett’s confirmation after hearings

Over the duration of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Judge Amy Coney Barrett earned the support of a majority of American voters, according to a new poll.

The latest Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that a majority of registered voters surveyed, 51%, said the Senate should vote to confirm her as a Supreme Court justice. Only 28% of those surveyed said the Senate should not vote to confirm her. About 1 in 5 voters, 21%, have no opinion on Barrett’s confirmation.

Since Morning Consult began polling voters on Barrett’s nomination in September, support for the judge has steadily grown. In September, only 37% of voters supported her confirmation to the Supreme Court. In early October that number grew to 46% of all voters and by mid-October it was 48%. Now at a 51% majority, support for Barrett has grown 14 points since her nomination was announced.

The biggest increase in support is among independent voters. On Sept. 26, only 28% of self-identified independents supported Barrett, while 31% of independents said they opposed the Senate voting to confirm Barrett. Now, 44% of independent voters support Barrett’s confirmation and 24% oppose it.

Barrett even made strides with Democrats. While most Democrats still oppose her confirmation, in September only 14% said they supported her. Now, 32% of Democrats surveyed say they support a Senate vote to confirm Barrett, despite most voters expecting she will move the court in a more conservative direction.

“A slim majority of voters now back Senate confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court — a level of support that has increased by double digits since President Trump nominated her last month,” said Kyle Dropp, co-founder and president of Morning Consult. “Voters are also aware of the impact her confirmation could have on the court, as 54 percent believe her confirmation will make the Supreme Court at least somewhat more conservative.”

The survey also asked voters if Congress should pass a law increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Only 24% of voters support packing the court, while 47% of voters said Congress should only allow nine justices to serve on the court. And 29% of those surveyed did not have an opinion on the size of the court.

Judge Barrett is meeting with senators on Capitol Hill this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote to advance her nomination on Thursday. The full Senate is expected to vote to confirm Barrett on Monday, Oct. 26.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week indicated he believes Republicans have enough votes to confirm Barrett to the high court. Only Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have each said they don’t believe the Senate should vote on a Supreme Court nomination before the Nov. 3 election.

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A Brief History of Court Packing

Since the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the determination of President Donald Trump to fill her Supreme Court seat before Election Day with the traditionalist Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the concept of court packing has reared its head. The phrase “court packing” is a derogatory reference to legislation that alters the number of seats on the Supreme Court to alter its perceived ideological makeup.

The origins of modern court packing are from the depression era when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to expand the court from nine to 15 by adding a new justice for every sitting justice who declined to retire upon reaching his 70th birthday. FDR offered the plan in the spring of 1937, shortly after he was inaugurated to his second term. He had just been reelected in a landslide and was frustrated that much of his legislation had been invalidated by the Supreme Court as beyond the powers of the federal government.

FDR’s stated reasoning was that the court had a “congestion of cases” since its nine justices were, he claimed, slow to address the appeals that came before them, and a larger number of justices would make for a more efficient court. Few believed this subterfuge. If nine were too slow, then 15 would be slower.

FDR really wanted more pro-New Deal justices who would ratify his radical proposals to centralize, plan and control the economy. Nevertheless, his court packing was immensely unpopular and the plan never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But historians have debated whether the proposal actually worked, and here is why. Before FDR’s plan died, one of the conservative justices, Owen Roberts, had a change of heart on the constitutional scope of the federal government, and he began voting with the court’s liberal wing to uphold New Deal legislation against constitutional challenges.

Though the case in which Roberts broke ranks involved a Washington state minimum wage law — which the court upheld 5 to 4 with Roberts joining the liberals — the hook on which Roberts hung his constitutional hat was the Commerce Clause. That clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states.

Prior to the New Deal, congressional power over commerce was generally interpreted as James Madison intended it. Congress can regulate — that is, keep regular — the movement of goods over intestate borders among merchants and bar the states from favoring their own merchants.

After Roberts’ change of heart, a majority of the court began to view the commerce power in a wildly expansive way, nowhere justified by the language of the Constitution or its original understanding. The new — and regrettably, current — view of Congress’ commerce power is that the Constitution empowers Congress to regulate anything that affects interstate commerce, even private personal economic behavior too minuscule to measure, behavior that is not commercial in nature and behavior wholly within one state.

Roberts’ shift, which he never justified publicly, was coined “the switch in time that saved nine.” FDR could not have known that his court packing stunt would have so terrified a conservative justice as to turn him into a big government liberal. But it did.

Soon, retirements of justices allowed FDR to fill five vacancies on the court during his 12 years in office, and the landscape of American constitutional law would never be the same.

The number of justices on the court is fixed by legislation because the Constitution is silent on this. Though FDR’s stunt was a misguided effort to treat the court as if it were a super-legislature, it is constitutionally permissible for Congress to alter the number of sitting justices.

The only time this was done, it was the Republicans who were the scoundrels. The era was Reconstruction, and the unpopular and impeached-but-acquitted President Andrew Johnson was in the White House.

Fearing that Johnson would fill the court with southern sympathizers, the Radical Republicans in Congress “unpacked” the court.

There were two issues that the Republicans feared would bring judicial invalidation of their legislation. One was Reconstruction and the other was legal tender.

Reconstruction placed the Southern states that had joined the Confederacy under a military occupation so draconian that congressional leaders feared the court would invalidate it. Thus they enacted legislation that withdrew the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over Reconstruction and reduced the number of justices by attrition from the fluctuating nine and sometimes 10 down to a permanent and fixed seven. The latter prevented Johnson from replacing retiring justices unless the court’s membership fell to six.

The legal tender issue involved Civil War-era legislation that declared paper money — unbacked by gold or silver as the Constitution requires, and just printed by the government — to be lawful legal tender. When the nine-member court invalidated paper money for private debts, the Republicans struck with their unpacking.

It worked. After Ulysses S. Grant became president, Congress returned the number of justices to nine, Grant filled the vacancies with his buddies, and the new justices joined the former dissenters in another legal tender case that upheld the use of paper money for private debts.

No matter the outcome on Nov. 3, we will soon have a conservative top-heavy Supreme Court. If Joe Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats control Congress, some will try to pack the court by expanding its number. But history teaches that tinkering with the judiciary for political reasons is dangerous to freedom and to longevity in office.

The court is not a legislature. Its purpose is to restrain — not to unleash — the president, Congress and popular majorities from infringing upon constitutional rights.

Without this anti-democratic structure, who or what will protect us from the tyranny of the majority?

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Sen. Chris Coons: Democrats might have to pack the courts to ‘rebalance the federal judiciary’

For the second time in as many weeks, Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons was pressed for his views on court-packing during the Sunday morning talk shows. And for the second time in as many weeks, Coons indicated that Democrats will almost certainly attempt to pack the Supreme Court — as well as take other measures — as retribution against the Republicans for confirming President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, including potentially Amy Coney Barrett.

In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Coons stated that he’s “not a fan” of court-packing, but made clear that he would support such a measure if Republicans proceed to confirm Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

“We have a few weeks here to see whether there are four Republicans who will step back from this precipice,” Coons said in response to a question about whether he favors court-packing.

“It is the Republican majority that’s responsible for racing forward with this extreme unqualified nominee, unqualified because of her extreme judicial philosophy, and that is who should be bearing the brunt at the ballot box in this election. We need to focus on that, and then if we happen to be in the fact pattern where we have a President Biden, we’ll have to look at what the right steps are to rebalance our federal judiciary,” Coons continued.

Although Coons had by this point made his position obvious, Tapper continued to press whether Coons’ mind was “open” to adding justices to the Supreme Court, to which Coons responded, “Yes.”

This isn’t the first time that Coons has suggested that there is something improper about a Republican Senate confirming the judicial nominees of a Republican president, as it is expressly permitted to do by the Constitution. The previous Sunday, when Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked if he favors court-packing, Coons responded, “I’ll tell you, for the last four years I’ve seen unprecedented court-packing. … Instead of passing a COVID relief package that will help millions of Americans who are unemployed, who have been infected, whose businesses or employers have closed, we are focusing on jamming through Judge Barrett. I think this constitutes court-packing.”

Of course, if Barrett is confirmed, she will become the ninth justice on the Supreme Court, which is a clear indication that her confirmation would not constitute court-packing, as the term has been understood since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.

Multiple recent polls have confirmed that the American public is solidly opposed to adding more justices to the Supreme Court.

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Horowitz: Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh suggest that identity theft might not warrant deportation of illegal alien

Democrats are panicking that, with Amy Coney Barrett’s impending confirmation, conservatives are on the cusp of a long-term five-seat majority on the Supreme Court. If only that were true. Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch have already demonstrated that they are not on the level of Amy Coney Barrett, so at most, we will likely have only three reliable originalists on the court. Nowhere is this more evident than on the issue of illegal aliens continuously getting standing to block deportations.

For over 130 years, the Supreme Court has established a simple principle that all immigrants, and certainly those here illegally who commit crimes, are only in this country at the pleasure of the political branches of government and can be removed at any time without interference from the courts. This principle “has become about as firmly embedded in the legislative and judicial tissues of our body politic as any aspect of our government,” not “merely” by “a page of history … but a whole volume” (Galvan v. Press). The concept is “inherent in sovereignty,” consistent with “ancient principles” of international law, and “to be exercised exclusively by the political branches of government” (Kleindienst v. Mandel).

The lower courts and the leftists on the Supreme Court have gradually chipped away at this principle in recent years, and unless we get an originalist majority to push back against this trend, immigration enforcement will go the way of abortion regulations. Rather than upholding this doctrine, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch appear to be playing a dangerous game of flirting with the notion that courts can second-guess deportations of even criminal aliens by gradually granting them an array of due process they simply don’t have in our immigration law.

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Pereida v. Barr, one of many cases in which criminal aliens are trying to litigate a right to remain in the country. Mexican citizen Clemente Pereida was convicted of stealing the identity of a citizen in order to obtain employment in Iowa as an illegal alien and is now seeking relief from deportation, despite a denial from an immigration judge and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Even without stealing identity, he came here illegally and should have no legal standing to remain in the country. This case should never even have been in court, yet there were some disturbing comments from justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch indicating a sea change in the legal thinking of illegal immigration.

Law360 reports that Justice Kavanaugh “expressed doubt over the government’s claim that immigrants facing deportation carry the burden of proving they are eligible for immigration protections despite being convicted of certain crimes, when the record surrounding such convictions is incomplete or unclear.”

“He’s lived here for 25 years in the United States, has a wife and three kids here, one of whom is a U.S. citizen, works construction and cleaning, had a fraudulent Social Security number which got him a $100 fine but no jail time under state law,” Justice Kavanaugh said. “That seems a thin reed to make someone categorically ineligible for cancellation of removal.”

This statement is very concerning. Pereida’s life story doesn’t matter to the law, and identity theft is a very serious crime that has devastating effects on its victims. Moreover, this man is here illegally, so he has no right to remain regardless of whether he committed a serious crime or no crime at all. The entire philosophy behind sovereignty and the long-standing judicial doctrine that the executive branch has plenary power over these decisions is rooted in the fact that the burden of proof is on the alien to show that he is entitled to remain in the country.

Yes, the attorney general “may” grant cancellation of removal to some illegal aliens, but since when did that give aliens a judicial right to demand this voluntary act of leniency? The onus is on the alien to show that his record does not fit the standard of “crimes involving moral turpitude,” and if the record is too incomplete to determine that, he is on the losing end of the argument. As the law clearly states (8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(4)(A)(i)), “An alien applying for relief or protection from removal has the burden of proof to establish that the alien … satisfies the applicable eligibility requirements.” Unlike with criminal punishment, request for an immigration benefit places the burden of proof on the individual, not the government.

Then there is Neil Gorsuch. According to Law360, Gorsuch was concerned “that immigrants convicted of misdemeanors, where the underlying criminal statute is vague or broad, may struggle to produce sufficient court records to show that their conviction shouldn’t bar them from deportation relief.”

This has been Gorsuch’s game from day one. He takes simple concepts and makes them complicated. A half-century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, he suddenly felt that the definition of human sexuality in the context of sex discrimination was vague and could possibly include transgenderism! In Sessions v. Damaya, he struck down an entire section of criminal law governing the deportation of clearly violent aliens because he felt the statute was “too vague.” As I noted at the time, even if he was correct about the vagueness in the law, aliens have no due process right in the context of the vagueness doctrine to know what is a deportable offense. They remain here at the discretion of the political branches of government until they are naturalized. Thousands of criminal aliens have remained in this country because of that opinion.

What was further disconcerting and downright offensive is that Gorsuch dismissed and downplayed Pereida’s offense on account that he “wasn’t using a Social Security card to defraud anybody of anything, but just to get a job.”

Tell that to the millions of victims of identity theft! It often takes years to clean up the financial mess, the endless purchases under the victim’s name, and the watchlists that he was placed on as a result of the illicit activity. It has particularly devastating consequences for the child victims, who begin their adulthood saddled with all of the criminality, fiscal liabilities, and taxes of these illegal aliens. Hispanic Americans with Latino-sounding surnames are most vulnerable to such theft. Illegal aliens seeking employment will often be given the stolen Social Security numbers of children by the smuggling industry, because that will take longer to be detected.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Eight of the 10 states with the highest percentage of illegal aliens in their total population are among the top 10 states in identity theft.” In Arizona alone, over one million children are victims of stolen identity, more than four times the national rate.

The fact that we have two of Trump’s appointees accepting the Left’s legal and philosophical outlook on sovereignty and due process is very concerning. Kavanaugh already said during his confirmation hearings that he disagrees with the plenary power doctrine (which is settled precedent) as expressed in a great dissent by his former colleague on the D.C. federal appeals court, Karen Henderson, that illegal aliens are considered to be standing outside our boundaries. He also wrote a shocking 7-2 opinion (in Nasrallah v. Barr) ruling that illegal aliens have access to judicial review to fight a denial of relief from deportation under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), despite a clear statute stripping the courts of jurisdiction to review such a case. Gorsuch signed on to the opinion, while Thomas and Alito dissented.

In addition, as Art Arthur, a former immigration judge and fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, observed, Kavanaugh used the term “non-citizen” 19 times instead of illegal alien in his concurrence in Preap, an immigration case from last year. Judges are usually very precise with these sort of terms, and technically, his use of this word actually made a few of his statements factually incorrect (see Arthur’s column for more).

It’s also important to remember that we have several million criminal aliens in this country out of 12-20 million illegal aliens. Those individuals should be out of this country immediately, according to any standard. Yet it takes years to remove even the worst gang members because each one can encumber his deportation order in court indefinitely. Pereida had his first court hearing in 2009! As Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told me, “What is especially concerning about this case is Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh’s apparent willingness to intrude on the clearly established executive branch authority to adjudicate an immigration benefit – in this case, cancellation of removal.”

The consequences are enormous, and we are already seeing them in the increased flow at our border because so many illegal immigrants rightly believe they can litigate themselves into legal status. “We can’t have every illegal alien who is told to go home, every failed applicant for immigration benefits, or every unqualified visa applicant taking their case to the federal courts,” warned Vaughan. “We can’t have federal judges and Supreme Court justices deciding routine immigration applications.”

When it comes to immigration and judicial picks, Trump was given bad advice and has swung and missed on two occasions. It is to be hoped that Barrett will not result in a strikeout. The bad news is that we still need two more originalist justices simply to uphold our national sovereignty and long-standing Supreme Court precedent.

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Joe Biden’s latest court-packing non-answer: I’m open to it, but it depends

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday gave his most definitive non-answer yet on whether he would, as president of the United States, sign a law expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court should Congress confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Under pressure in the town hall setting, Biden said he would be open to packing the court, depending on how the Barrett confirmation is handled in the Senate.

During an ABC News town hall, host George Stephanopoulos asked Biden about his position on packing the court, noting that one year ago at a Democratic primary debate, Biden said he was opposed to the idea now being advocated by some Democrats.

“I have not been a fan of court-packing because … whoever wins, it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable,” Biden said.

“So, you’re still not a fan?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well, I’m not a fan. It depends on how this turns out, not how [Trump] wins, but how it’s handled,” Biden said, referring to the confirmation vote for Barrett.

“What does that mean, how it’s handled?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“Well, for example, if there’s actually real live debate on the floor, if people are really going to be able to have a time to go through this — you know, I don’t know anybody who’s gone on the floor and just, that’s been a controversial justice, in terms of fundamentally altering the makeup of the court, that’s gone through in a day kind of thing. I mean, it depends on how much they rush this,” Biden answered.


Joe Biden pressed on his reluctance to give firm answer on expanding the court l ABC News Town Hall

youtu.be

“So, if they vote on it before the election, you are open to expanding the court?” Stephanopoulos asked Biden.

“I am open to considering what happens from that point on,” Biden said.

Stephanopoulos attempted to get a more specific answer from Biden, who deflected.

“No matter what answer I gave you, if I say it, that’s the headline tomorrow. It won’t be about what’s going on now, the improper way they’re proceeding,” Biden said.

“But don’t voters have a right to know where you stand?” Stephanopoulos followed up.

“They do have a right to know where I stand, and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote,” Biden admitted.

“So you’ll come out with a clear position before Election Day?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Yes, depending on how they handle this,” Biden concluded.

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WATCH LIVE: Amy Coney Barrett faces Senate Judiciary Committee again in third day of hearings

The third day of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court are set to begin at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The first day of hearings on Monday saw only opening statements from committee members and the nominee.

Senators spent all day Tuesday giving speeches, advancing conspiracy theories, and peppering Barrett with questions about judicial philosophy, her family, her personal beliefs, the Constitution — and whether she has ever committed sexual assault.

During the Tuesday meeting, Barrett faced several questions from Democratic senators on how she might rule on potential cases at the high court. Each time, she responded by invoking the so-called “Ginsburg Rule,” noting it would be inappropriate to give her opinion about specific cases.

She also responded to left-wing and Democratic smears of her mixed-race family. Leftists and Democratic operatives attacked Barrett and her husband for adopting black children, which Barrett called “deeply offensive and hurtful.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) — who relentlessly attacked and accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings of committing sexual assault — asked Barrett if she has ever committed sexual assault.

“Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?” Hirono asked.

Barrett answered “No, Sen. Hirono.”

“Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?” the senator asked..

“No, Senator,” Barrett replied.

In one of the stranger moments of Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehousej (D-R.I.) launched into a diatribe about a conspiracy that connected “dark money” and the courts.

Wednesday’s hearing offers more of the same with senators getting a second round of questions for the nominee.

Watch the hearings live here:


Confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett (day 3)

www.youtube.com

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Biden: The 56% of Americans who say they’re better off today than four years ago ‘probably shouldn’t’ vote for me

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden said in a recent interview that Americans who believe they’re better off now than they were four years ago “probably shouldn’t” vote for him in the upcoming election.

A recent survey from Gallup found that a majority, 56% of U.S. registered voters, believe they are better off today under President Donald Trump than they were four years ago when President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden held office. In the 36 years since Gallup began asking voters if they were better off now than they were four years ago, Trump is the only president to have a majority of respondents say yes.

A reporter for WKRC-TV in Cincinnati brought up the poll to Biden and asked, “Why should people who feel they are better off today, under the Trump administration, vote for you?”

“Well, if they think that, they probably shouldn’t,” Biden replied. “They think 54% of the American people are better off economically today than they were under our administration? Well, their memory is not very good, quite frankly. And in addition to that, we have a president who doesn’t share the values of most Americans. He’s not very honest with people; he is flouting the conventions relative to public safety in terms of even now, not wearing a mask, a guy who’s been a super-spreader.”

“Look, whatever they believe, they should go out and vote,” Biden added. “People should vote, period. If I’m elected, I’m not going to be president, a Democratic president, I’m going to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for me or against me.”

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan ran for president against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter, his famous closing argument asked the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Joseph Curl, writing for JustTheNews.com, noted that since Gallup began polling the question, presidents who poll at least in the mid-40s have typically won re-election.

Historically, president who are at least in the mid-40s on the question have won re-election. In December 2012, shortly after President Barack Obama was re-elected, Gallup found 45% felt that they were better off than four years ago. Just before President George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, Gallup found that 47% said they were better off. And before Reagan won re-election in a 49-state landslide in 1984, 44% said they were better off.

But during President George H.W. Bush’s re-election bid in 1992, just 38% of Americans told Gallup they were better off than four years before. He lost.

Despite the Gallup poll, Biden remains favored to win the election by most political forecasters. FiveThirtyEight’s election model simulated the election 40,000 times and found that President Trump won re-election about 13 in 100 times. The FiveThirtyEight model “relies mainly on state polls, which it combines with demographic, economic and other data to forecast what will happen on Election Day.”

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Biden, under pressure, admits he’s ‘not a fan’ of court-packing — but doesn’t say he won’t do it

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden admitted Monday that he is “not a fan” of court-packing (adding seats to the Supreme Court) but did not go further about whether he plans to do so should he be elected president in November.

“I’m not a fan of court packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused,” Biden told WKRC-TV. “The president would like nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court, etc. The focus is, why is he doing what he’s doing now?”

The former vice president made the comments after he was pressed once again on the issue while campaigning in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have refused for weeks to clearly state their intentions on the matter.

WKRC-TV reporter Kyle Inskeep spurred Biden into answering on the matter by asking the candidate what he would say to undecided voters who would like to know his intentions about packing the court prior to the election.

In his response, Biden also attempted to transfer the heat onto his political opponents by suggesting that President Trump and Republicans are the ones who are actually court-packing by attempting to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

“What I want them to focus on, [what] I’d respectfully suggest, is that court-packing is going on now,” Biden said. “Never before, when an election has already begun and millions of votes are already cast, has it ever been that a Supreme Court nominee is put forward.”

“One of the reasons is the only shot the American people get to determine who will be on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court or federal court is when they pick their senator or their president,” he continued.

Biden has previously described questions about his position on court-packing as a distraction, suggesting that “the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be on the answer to that question.”

Last week, Biden appeared to snap when a reporter in Las Vegas suggested that “voters deserve to know” his position on court-packing.

“No, they don’t,” an irritated Biden shot back. “I’m not gonna play [Trump’s] game. He’d love me to talk about, and I’ve already said something on court-packing, he’d love that to be the discussion instead of what he’s doing now.”

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WATCH LIVE: Day 2 of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings

The second day of hearings for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court begins today at 9 a.m. ET.

Monday’s hearing was full of opening statements from committee members and Judge Barrett. Some of the more notable statements came from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who noted that Democrats spent very little time discussing Barrett and her qualifications and a lot of time discussing Obamacare, and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who went after the Democrats’ and media’s past attacks on Barrett’s Catholic faith.

You can watch today’s hearings live here:


Confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett (Day 2)

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Chris Wallace asks Dem senator’s thoughts on Biden’s noncommittal court-packing response. Judging by his answer, it seems the lawmaker doesn’t know what ‘court-packing’ means.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace got snippy with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) during a recent interview after Coons clearly refused to speak to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s stance on court-packing.

The Delaware lawmaker also said that it was Republicans who are guilty of “court-packing” — or expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court — as pointed out by the Daily Caller.

What are the details?

Coons appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where he spoke to Wallace about court-packing as it related Biden’s refusal to answer whether he plans to pack the court if he wins the presidency.

In a recent campaign stop, Biden told the press that he would only make such an announcement following a presumptive Nov. 3 win. The former vice president later told a reporter that voters don’t deserve to know his stance on the highly important matter.

During Coons’ appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Wallace highlighted Biden’s continued refusal to commit to an answer on the issue and said that he simply doesn’t understand Biden’s response.

“Senator, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I don’t understand that answer,” Wallace said. “[Biden] says ‘You’ll find out what my position is after the election, and if I were to tell you, it would be a headline in every paper.’ Why not just be straight with the American voters on this issue before the election?”

The Democratic lawmaker argued that Republicans are already packing the court and said that President Donald Trump and his administration are hell-bent on filling judicial vacancies with the appointments of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as with the nomination of Christian conservative Amy Coney Barrett.

Coons answered, “I’ll tell you, for the last four years I’ve seen unprecedented court-packing. … Instead of passing a COVID relief package that will help millions of Americans who are unemployed, who have been infected, whose businesses or employers have closed, we are focusing on jamming through Judge Barrett.”

“I think this constitutes court-packing,” he insisted.

Wallace then turned on Coons and accused him of attempting to manipulate the question.

“Senator,” Wallace responded, “with all due respect, you’re not being straight with me, and you’re not answering my question. We have 23 days left until the election. Can Vice President Biden, can Senator Harris, his running mate, can they continue to stonewall on a perfectly legitimate question?”

The Fox host continued, “Biden says it’s legitimate. If you’re elected, will you try to change one of the three branches of government by adding justices to the court? There haven’t been any more than nine justices — I think it’s since the 1870s. It’s a pretty important question. Can he hold out and stonewall on that issue for three weeks?”

Coons once again refused to answer the question and, instead, said that he has high hopes for more Republicans to come together with Democrats in order to vote against the confirmation of Barrett.

“Let me just say — I’m just going to say, that’s a different issue than packing the court,” Wallace said. “That’s the question, is whether or not the court should — the Senate should vote to confirm Barrett, that’s different than changing the number of justices on the court. Senator Coons, I got to leave it there. Thank you.”

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Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement is out, and liberals are already outraged

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett released on Sunday the opening statement she will read when her confirmation hearing begins this week — and liberal outrage over what Barrett will say immediately ensued.

Barrett’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin in-person on Monday.

What will Barrett say?

In addition to giving the committee biographical information, Barrett will preview her judicial philosophy — and it already has liberals up in arms.

Barrett, a conservative-leaning justice, will tell the committee that “policy decisions and value judgments” should be made by government branches that are held accountable to the American people — which is not the Supreme Court.

Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.

That is the approach I have strived to follow as a judge on the Seventh Circuit. In every case, I have carefully considered the arguments presented by the parties, discussed the issues with my colleagues on the court, and done my utmost to reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be. I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the most important one to the parties involved. After all, cases are not like statutes,which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who stand to gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.

What was the response?

Those opposed to Barrett’s nomination immediately began gnashing their teeth.

  • “She has under 3 years experience as a judge. Couldn’t find someone with more experience? I wouldn’t trust someone to remodel my kitchen with less than 3 years experience,” one person said.
  • “Except apparently for more than reasonable gun laws like Illinois’ that barred felons from owning guns which she voted to overturn. What an insidious, hypocrite Barrett is,” another person said.
  • “Since Barrett, an extremist, is insisting on making this about her children, Americans have the right to hear whether she thinks one of her daughters should have the legal right to terminate a pregnancy or to marry a woman,” another person said.
  • “Wow she’s really opening her argument with a swipe at gay marriage. She’s gonna try to overturn gay rights and certainly prevent any other rights like gay adoption be stopped,” one person claimed.
  • “This argument is such garbage. The ACA is the law of the land, voted on by the house and senate then signed into law by the president. They can’t overturn it legislatively so they are turning to their activist judges to do so. Reporters should explain this to people,” another person said.
  • “Shorter ACB: better get abortion and gay marriage into law quick or else I’m taking them away as soon as I can,” another person said.
  • “Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity. Each conservative nominee says this, and then gets on the Court and implements the will of the GOP. An exception here or there, but they ratify the wishes of the GOP, ignoring precedent wherever it suits,” another person said.
  • “this is probably the one and only time i want misogyny to do it’s thing and let this woman f***ing fail,” one person responded.
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Jake Tapper schools top Biden official with constitutional lesson for defending false claim from Biden

CNN host Jake Tapper schooled a top Biden campaign official on Sunday who defended Joe Biden’s recent claim that Republicans are acting unconstitutionally by filing the Supreme Court vacancy with Amy Coney Barrett.

As TheBlaze reported, Biden has refused to state his position on court-packing, which Democrats have promised to do if Barrett is confirmed before Election Day.

On Saturday, Biden once again dodged questions about court-packing, instead claiming that, “It’s not constitutional what they’re doing.”

What happened on CNN?

Tapper confronted Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” over exactly what unconstitutional actions Republicans have taken. It did not end well for Bedingfield.

Tapper asked, “[Biden] said it’s not constitutional, what they’re doing. How is it not constitutional what they’re doing?”

Bedingfield claimed in response that Biden’s comments are referring to polls that show the majority of Americans want the winner of the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

“His point is that the people have an opportunity to weigh in on this constitutional process through their vote,” Bedingfield said. “And we are now in the midst of the election. Millions of people have already cast their votes. And you see that the vast majority of people say that they want the person who wins the election on November 3 to nominate the justice to take this seat.”

Tapper fired back, “That’s a poll. That’s not the Constitution.”

“So, by trying to — by trying to — that is their constitutional — there’s the constitutional process of advise and consent,” Bedingfield responded. “The American people get to have their say by voting for president, by voting for senators. We are now 23 days from the election.”

“Right, but it’s not unconstitutional,” Tapper shot back.

When Bedingfield then claimed that millions of “voters are being denied their constitutional right to have a say in this process,” Tapper gave Bedingfield another constitutional lesson.

“They elected the Senate,” Tapper informed Bedingfield.

Bedingfield responded by claiming “most Americans vehemently disagree” with confirming Barrett prior to the election.

“Again, Kate, that’s a poll,” Tapper fired back. “That’s not what the word constitutional means. Constitutional doesn’t mean, I like it or I don’t like it. It means it’s according to the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing unconstitutional about what the U.S. Senate is doing.”


CNN’s Tapper Confronts Biden Campaign: “Nothing Unconstitutional About What The Senate Is Doing”

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