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Stacey Abrams repeats claim 2018 governor’s race was ‘stolen’ when pressed by Sen. Ted Cruz

Failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Tuesday repeated her false claims that the 2018 race for governor in Georgia was “stolen” while testifying at a Senate hearing on voting rights.

Abrams was enlisted by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats as the star witness for their hearing, “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote,” which examined the new election reforms adopted by Georgia last month. Democrats, including Abrams and President Joe BIden, have accused Georgia Republicans of reintroducing “Jim Crow,” claiming the Georgia law makes it harder for blacks and other minorities to vote — a charge Republicans vehemently deny.

At the hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Abrams on whether she still believes the 2018 race for governor was stolen from her, noting that she never conceded the race to Gov. Brian Kemp (R).

“It’s been over two years, and you still refuse to concede that you lost the race for governor in Georgia in 2018,” Cruz said. “Yes or no, today, do you still maintain that the 2018 Georgia election was stolen?”

“As I have always said, I acknowledged at the very beginning that Brian Kemp won under the rules in place. What I object to are rules that permitted thousands of Georgia voters to be denied their participation in this election, to have their votes cast out. And so I will continue to disagree with the system until it is fixed,” Abrams replied.

But Cruz pressed her to answer a “yes or no” question on whether she still maintains the 2018 election was stolen.

“My full language was that it was stolen from the voters of Georgia. We do not know what they would have done because not every eligible Georgian was able to participate fully in the election,” she argued.

Following up, Cruz reminded Abrams that she previously told the New York Times that her loss “was fully attributable to voter suppression.”

“Ms. Abrams, do you know in Georgia whether the percentage of African American Georgians who are registered to vote and who turned out to vote is it higher or lower than the national average?” he asked.

Abrams admitted “it is higher than the national average because Georgia’s one of the largest states with an African American population.”

Cruz noted that the percentage of black people registered to vote in Georgia in 2018 was 64.7%, higher than the national average of 60.2%. He said that the percentage of Georgians who voted in 2018 was 56.3%, higher than the national average of 48%.

“Let me ask you this, Ms. Abrams,” Cruz continued. “In 2018, do you know which demographic group in Georgia had the highest registration percentage and the highest turnout percentage?”

“I have a guess but I will defer to you for the answer,” Abrams responded.

“The answer is African Americans had the highest registration and the highest turnout despite your claiming that the election was stolen and that there was somehow voter suppression,” Cruz informed her.

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Mike Lee demands apology from Sen. Dianne Feinstein for implying Trump tweets inspire violence

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Wednesday called on his colleague Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to recant a statement implying President Donald Trump’s tweets incite violence and apologize.

Feinstein’s remarks were made Tuesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter. During her time to speak, Feinstein raised concerns about Trump’s claims that he won the election, asking if Twitter’s warning label on Trump’s tweets “do enough to prevent the tweet’s harms.” She also referred to the Nov. 5 arrest of two armed men by Philadelphia police near the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where ballots were being counted.

“I’m really struck by it, that people armed with assault weapons as a product of a tweet could rally outside an election office,” Feinstein said. “And I think it’s really a serious issue that needs to be considered and there need to be, once you signal that and people respond to it, it has to be in some way abated or some way pointed out or restructured on the internet itself.”

At the hearing, Lee responded to Feinstein, pointing out that “the only violence I’m aware of has occurred in connection with Antifa, Antifa’s response to pro-Trump peaceful rally attenders.”

Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, Lee called on Feinstein to recant her remarks.

“You had Washington, D.C., full to overflowing with peaceful Trump protesters, people protesting or signaling their support for President Trump and showing gratitude for them. Not one act of violence was attributed to them,” Lee said. “Meanwhile, you had people shooting industrial strength fireworks into places where they were eating. You had people approaching and beating up and saying vile things and putting people in physical danger, including elderly people, including women and children. All of this was done by Trump-haters, by Antifa people who couldn’t handle the fact that there were people peacefully showing their support for President Trump.”

“So I don’t know what my colleague Sen. Feinstein is talking about, but I thought that was an inappropriate comment,” he continued. “Not one act of violence has been linked to President Trump in connection with events surrounding this election and I think she needs to recant her statement and apologize.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced questions from lawmakers Tuesday on censorship of social media posts challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election and suppression of conservatives and Trump supporters leading up to the election. Republicans generally demanded answers on whether social media companies were publishers or platforms and how they should be regulated while Democrats raised concerns about the spread of misinformation on social media and wanted to know what Facebook and Twitter were doing to stop President Trump from tweeting statements they say are inaccurate or false.

After the hearing concluded, Lee told Fox News that Congress is headed for “a major overhaul” of the legal protections social media companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act.

“No matter what, they’re now headed for a major overhaul of Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act. It is going to subject them perhaps to some liability, there could be other changes that take them outside of the 230 protection if they don’t stop providing misinformation, if they don’t stop lying to their own customers,” Lee said.

Lee added that Facebook and Twitter could be “subject to aggressive action by Federal Trade Commission” under current law “because they’ve engaged in an unfair and deceptive trade practice.”

“Yesterday they made very clear that they’ve lied to their own customers, they’ve lied to the American people, they’ve coordinated with other people on the left in order to punish the right and make sure that the left wins. This isn’t fair, especially when they speak in terms that make them sound like they’re some sort of state-sponsored media. They’re speaking with an air of officialdom in this and that’s not right, the American people aren’t going to stand for it.”

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Sen. Mike Lee: Facebook and Twitter are guilty of ‘deceptive trade practice’ and could face consequences

Ahead of Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Big Tech censorship and the 2020 election, committee member Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said “big social media platforms” are guilty of “deceptive trade practice” and need to be held to account.

Speaking on Fox News, Lee criticized Facebook and Twitter for promising their customers a platform to freely express themselves and engage with other users without political bias and delivering a service that unfairly punishes conservative viewpoints.

“The more we uncover about how they’re operating their businesses, the more we can see that these big social media platforms are in fact offering one service and providing another,” Lee said. “In other words, they’re claiming that they’re politically unbiased, that they’re not putting their thumb on the scale between one side of the political spectrum and the other. And so they lure their customers in thinking that they’re going to have an unbiased experience.”

“In practice, this is not how it works,” he continued. “In practice, what they’re doing is steadily putting their thumb on the left side of the scale. That’s a problem. That’s a deceptive trade practice and they need to be held accountable for that.”

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter respectively, were again summoned to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday on censorship and their disinformation policy enforcement against users posting complaints of voter fraud and other information challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. In recent weeks, Twitter has put a warning label on any tweet sharing claims about election results that differ from official race calls. Facebook caused outrage among conservatives after the pro-Trump group “Stop the Steal” was removed after gathering over 360,000 followers.

“You don’t see the same type of action occurring on the left,” Lee said. He acknowledged that social media companies are also criticized from the left but drew a distinction, saying that Republicans complain of censorship while those on the left want more of it.

“The people who are actually getting censored, with some rare and less visible exceptions, are overwhelmingly Republican, conservative, pro-life individuals and organizations. You don’t see that happening on the left,” Lee said.

He warned that Facebook and Twitter could face legal consequences under current law if they don’t change their practices.

“I want them to offer the service that they claim they’re going to be offering to their customers. When their customers get on one of these platforms they expect to get both sides, they expect that both sides will be treated fairly, and that’s not what’s happening,” Lee explained. “That’s a deceptive trade practice, and that’s putting them potentially squarely in the crosshairs of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.”

“They don’t want to be there and they shouldn’t be there,” he said.

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Senate Democrats announce they will boycott Amy Coney Barrett’s committee vote

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced they will boycott Thursday’s markup of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, in protest of Republicans’ decision to move forward with President Donald Trump’s high court pick so close to Election Day.

What are the details?

“This has been a sham process from the beginning,” reads the statement release by Schumer and fellow Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Chris Coons (Del.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Cory Booker (N.J.) and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (Calif.).

The Democrats complain:

“Republicans broke the promises they made and rules they created when they blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for eight months under President Obama. Then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.’ Now, Republicans have moved at breakneck speed to jam through this nominee, ignoring her troubling record and unprecedented evasions, and breaking longstanding committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote.”

“Throughout the hearings last week, committee Democrats demonstrated the damage a Justice Barrett would do — to health care, reproductive freedoms, the ability to vote, and other core rights that Americans cherish,” the statement continues, concluding, “We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway.”

NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur noted on Twitter that use of the words “‘further legitimacy’ is the tell here.” He asked rhetorically, “If Democrats see this process as a sham, why legitimize the hearings but not the vote? The boycott comes after blowback for their ranking member lavishing praise on Lindsey Graham and his leadership in the ACB hearings.”

Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein has faced calls from Democratic operatives and far-left groups to have her ousted from leadership on the committee ever since she thanked Graham, the committee chairman, for conducting what she called “the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”

In reaction to questions about whether the 87-year-old senator from California will remain in her leadership position on the panel, Schumer told the press Tuesday, “I’ve had a long talk with Senator Feinstein. That’s all I’m going to say about it right now.”

Anything else?

Prior to the Democrats’ official announcement of their boycott, the HuffPost reported that the plan had not yet been finalized according to one aide, but that “Democrats are preparing to fill their empty seats with poster-sized photos of people who would be hurt by Barrett potentially casting a deciding vote against the Affordable Care Act.”

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‘I don’t give a damn whether they come voluntarily or under subpoena’: Ted Cruz fights for tech CEO hearing BEFORE election

The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on subpoenas to compel Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on alleged censorship and bias across their platforms. But that all changed when Republican committee members “expressed reservation about the maneuver,” Politico reports.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who chairs Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, was definitely not one of the committee members with cold feet. On the radio program Tuesday, he told Glenn Beck that he’s fighting “vociferously” to ensure Dorsey and others testify before the Nov. 3 election.

“Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are both going to testify. They’re going to testify in person. They’re going to testify before Election Day. That’s what I think should happen,” Cruz said. “That’s what I’m fighting vociferously to happen. Right now, the companies are negotiating with the chairman’s office to discuss terms to come voluntarily. I don’t give a damn whether they come voluntarily or under subpoena. They need to testify in person and answer questions for the American people about why they are trying to steal this election, to suppress the free speech, and to censor the press.”

The subpoenas would require Big Tech leaders to testify on the alleged “suppression and/or censorship” of two consecutive blockbuster stories from the New York Post. The first story was about emails that allegedly came from Hunter Biden’s computer, which are currently being investigated by the FBI, and the second was based on additional emails that allegedly showed communist China directly offering millions of dollars to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

“Big Tech stepped in, and they’ve done something they’ve never done before,” Cruz explained. “We know that Big Tech has been censoring individual conservatives, trying to suppress conservative speech. But the step they took here is, they blocked if any individual user tried to share either of the New York Post stories, [they] were blocked … Sharing a news story, from a major media outlet is part of democracy, part of free speech. And not only that, they blocked the New York Post itself. Right now, today, the New York Post is not being allowed to post its own damn stories on corruption. This is ridiculous. It’s a threshold that’s never been crossed before, of Silicon Valley oligarchs declaring the authority to determine what the press is allowed to report, and who is allowed to see it.”

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Amy Coney Barrett invokes Ginsburg rule, refuses to answer questions on specific court cases

Judge Amy Coney Barrett followed in the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s footsteps Tuesday during the second round of her confirmation hearings, refusing to answer questions from senators about how she would rule on particular cases that may come before the Supreme Court.

Barrett faced questions from Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats on abortion and Roe v. Wade, pending court cases on the Affordable Care Act, and hypothetical scenarios about the election being resolved by the Supreme Court. In each answer, Barrett reiterated her position that it would be inappropriate to give her opinion about a specific case, citing Justices Ginsburg and Elena Kagan who gave similar answers during their confirmation hearings.

In one exchange with committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Roe v. Wade, Barrett said that expressing her personal opinion on that landmark abortion rights case would tell potential litigants “that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case.”

“Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?” Feinstein asked.

“Senator, I do want to be forthright and answer every question so far as I can,” Barrett answered. “I think on that question, you know, I’m going to invoke Justice Kagan’s description, which I think is perfectly put. When she was in her confirmation hearing, she said that she was not going to grade precedent, or give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. And I think that in an area where precedent continues to be pressed and litigated … it would actually be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to do that as a sitting judge.”

“If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case,” Barrett explained.

Barrett’s answer is modeled after the so-called “Ginsburg rule,” which was a standard established in the 1993 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ginsburg by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.). Biden asked that senators refrain from asking questions about “how [Ginsburg] will decide any specific case that may come before her.” His rule established that Ginsburg had no obligation to answer questions about cases that might come before the Supreme Court or her personal views on court precedent.

As Ginsburg herself explained during her hearing, “a judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Barrett if she agreed with Ginsburg’s standard.

“Yes, I agree the Ginsburg rule reinforces judicial independence,” Barrett replied.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) also cited the Ginsburg rule during his time to speak, responding to one of his Democratic colleagues who accused Barrett of using a “political talking point” by invoking Ginsburg and Kagan’s precedential refusal to answer questions on specific cases.

“To the extent that that’s what any colleague has suggested, I’d remind that colleague that’s just wildly incorrect,” Lee said.

Barrett also repeatedly made clear that she has not made any promises or commitments to either the executive branch or the legislative branch about how she would rule on specific cases as a justice on the Supreme Court.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) questioned Barrett on the Affordable Care Act and a hypothetical election dispute, inquiring as to whether Barrett would recuse herself if the election did come before the court.

WATCH: Sen. Patrick Leahy questions Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

“Sen. Leahy, I want to begin by making two very important points, and they have to do with the ACA and with any election dispute that may or may not arise,” Barrett said. “I have had no conversation with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule in that case. It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case and how I would rule.”

“I also think it would be a complete violation of the independence of the judiciary for anyone to put a justice on the court as a means of obtaining a particular result,” she added.

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VIDEO: Sen. Josh Hawley eviscerates media, Democrats for attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s faith

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday sternly rebuked the press and his Senate Democratic colleagues for asking questions critical of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s faith in his opening remarks for the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.

“We’ve gotten to read a lot about you in the press, and in particular about your religious beliefs,” Hawley said to Barrett. “One attack after another in the liberal media, one hit piece after another, many of them echoed by members of this committee.”

In recent weeks, several articles were published putting the spotlight on Barrett’s Catholic faith and her ties to “People of Praise,” a small charismatic Christian fellowship group based in Indiana. The articles have raised questions about the group, suggesting that its Catholic doctrinal beliefs on abortion, contraception, IVF, and gender roles would have undue influence on Barrett’s jurisprudence should she be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Republicans have criticized the questions as a “religious smear.”

The point of the questions about Barrett’s faith, Hawley surmised, is to question whether Barrett has “the independence to be a judge, a justice on the United States Supreme Court.”

He called out Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who sits on the judiciary committee, for previously questioning judicial nominees about their relationships to Catholic groups:

And it’s not just in the newspapers; it’s members of this committee, including the Democratic nominee for vice president of the United States, who has questioned past nominees who have come before this committee about their membership in Catholic fraternal organizations like the Knights of Columbus. And for those watching at home, that’s right, you heard me correctly, Sen. Harris and others on this committee have repeatedly questioned judicial nominees’ fitness for office because of their membership in the Knights of Columbus.

Hawley also referred to ranking member and California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s infamous “the dogma lives loudly within you” comment from Barrett’s confirmation hearing for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, calling such language “the very terminology of anti-Catholic bigotry.”

“Let’s be clear about what this is: This is an attempt to broach a new frontier. To set up a new standard,” Hawley said. “Actually, it’s an attempt to bring back an old standard that the Constitution of the United States explicitly forbids. I’m talking about a religious test for office.”

Hawley then cited Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the United States.”

Now that was big news in 1787 when it was written, and it’s worth remembering why. It’s because no country, no republic in the history of the world had ever guaranteed to its citizens the right to freedom of conscience and religious liberty. Every other country that had ever existed tied together the religious beliefs that would be approved by the powerful and the right to serve in office, or to vote, or just to be a citizen. In every other country across history, you had to agree with what those in power agreed with in order to hold office or be a citizen in good standing. …

So when our founders put Article VI into the Constitution of the United States, they were making a very deliberate choice. They were breaking with all of that past history and they were saying in America it would be different. In the United States of America we would not allow the ruling class to have veto power over your faith, over what Americans believed, over who we gathered with to worship, and why and where and how.

Now, in this country, the people of the United States would be free to follow their own religious convictions. Free to worship, free to exercise their religion. And people of faith would be welcome in the public sphere … they’d be welcome without having to get the approval of those in power, like those on this committee. They would be welcome to come and to bring their religious beliefs to bear on their lives, on their office, in all that they do. So long of course as they are peaceful citizens who’d follow the law.

Religious people of all backgrounds would be welcome in public life, and no person in power would be able to control what the American people, any American citizen, thought or believed or who they worshiped. This freedom of conscience and religious liberty undergirds all of our other rights, because it tells the government that it cannot tell us what to think or who we can assemble with or how we can worship or what we can say.

Hawley pointed out that Article VI comes even before the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment in the Constitution, stressing its importance. He warned that the attacks on Barrett’s faith undermine the principles and liberties the Constitution was written to protect.

“This bedrock principle of American liberty is now under attack,” he said. “That is what is at stake when we read these stories attacking Judge Barrett for her faith. That is what is at stake when my Democratic colleagues repeatedly question Judge Barrett and many other nominees about their religious beliefs, about their religious membership, about their religious practices, about their family beliefs and practices. That is an attempt to bring back the days of the religious test. That is an attempt to bring back the veto power of the powerful over the religious beliefs and sincerely held convictions of the American people. And that is what is at stake in this confirmation hearing.”

WATCH: Sen. Josh Hawley’s full opening statement in Barrett Supreme Court confirmation hearing

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Ted Cruz embarrasses Senate Democrats, points out they aren’t even talking about Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday lambasted Senate Democrats for making policy arguments about the Affordable Care Act during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“Let me observe, as Sherlock Holmes famously observed, that ‘what speaks the loudest is the dog that didn’t bark.’ Which is, to date, of every Democrat who’s spoken, we’ve heard virtually not a single word about Judge Barrett,” Cruz said.

Accusing Democrats of engaging in “political rhetoric” against President Donald Trump and other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz asserted that his colleagues on the other side of the aisle are not discussing Barrett’s credentials because they are “impeccable.”

He noted that the American Bar Association, “which typically leans hard left and has a long pattern of favoring Democratic nominees over nominees appointed by Republican presidents, had no choice” but to give Barrett its highest rating.

Cruz dismantled Democratic talking points that this Supreme Court nomination is “illegitimate” based on the timing or the fact that it is an election year. He reviewed the history of 29 Supreme Court appointments that occurred during an election year, reminding Democrats that 19 appointments were made when the president and the Senate majority shared the same party and that 17 of those 19 nominees were confirmed, even during an election year.

He added that partisan complaints over which party was in control of the Senate at a given time miss the point of the Senate’s constitutional function when there is a court vacancy.

“The framers of the Constitution deliberately set up a system of checks and balances so that nobody could become a Supreme Court nominee without both the president and the Senate,” Cruz explained. “Each was designed to check the other. That system of checks and balances limits power ultimately and protects the voters. And indeed, the voters made a clear choice.”

Cruz said that the previous statements by both Democrats and Republicans Monday morning demonstrated that the parties have “fundamentally different visions of the court, of what the Supreme Court is supposed to do, what its function is.”

“Democratic senators view the court as a super-legislature, as a policymaking body, as a body that will decree outcomes to the American people,” Cruz continued. “Now, that vision of the court is something found nowhere in the Constitution. And it’s a curious way to want to run a country. Even if on any particular policy issue you might happen to agree with wherever a majority of the court is on any given day, who in their right mind would want the United States of America ruled by five unelected lawyers wearing black robes?”

“It’s hard to think of a less democratic notion than unelected philosopher-kings with life tenure decreeing rules for 330 million Americans,” he added. “That is not in fact the court’s job. The court’s job is to decide cases according to the law and to leave policymaking to the elected legislatures”

Cruz said policymaking is best left to elected representatives, like those in the Senate.

“If a rogue court implements policies you don’t like,” Cruz said, “you the American people have very limited ability to check them. If a rogue Congress implements policies you don’t like, you have a direct ability to check us by throwing the bums out and voting them out and voting in new representatives.”

Cruz castigated Democrats for making “policy arguments” over the Affordable Care Act instead of acknowledging Barrett’s qualifications for the Supreme Court.

“Our Democratic colleagues simply want a promise from a judicial nominee that this nominee will work to implement their policy vision of health care,” Cruz said. “That is not a judge’s job. That is not the responsibility of a judge; in fact, making that promise would be violating the judicial oaths.”

Cruz added that Democrats have made a “political decision” to make pre-existing conditions the “central issue” of this nomination.

“Every single member of the Senate agrees that pre-existing conditions can and should be protected. Period. The end,” he said. “There it is, complete unanimity on this. Now, it so happens that there are a number of us on the Republican side that also want to see premiums go down. Obamacare has caused premiums to skyrocket, the average family’s premiums have risen over $5,000 a year, millions of Americans can’t afford health care because of the policy failures of Obamacare. Those questions should be resolved in this body. It’s not a justice’s job to do that, it’s not a court’s job to do that; it’s the elected legislature’s job to do that.”

“Judge Barrett brings impeccable credentials, a judicial temperament, and a faithfulness to the law,” Cruz continued. “That’s what we should be looking for in Supreme Court justices. And if Democratic senators want to engage in policy arguments, they can do so here, not by filibustering every bill, as they have done over and over and over again. Whether it’s pandemic relief or Obamacare relief to lower premiums and expand choices, today our Democratic colleagues filibuster everything and then complain nothing gets passed.”

“This is the body that has to resolve those questions. This is also the body that, consistent with two centuries of precedent, can, should, and I believe will confirm Judge Barrett as Justice Barrett,” he said.

Ted Cruz EMBARRASSES Dems, Points Out They Aren’t Even Talking About ACB In the Hearing for Her

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WATCH LIVE: The Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court confirmation hearings

The Senate confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, are set to begin this week. If confirmed, Barrett, 48, will take her place on the high court, replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What are the details?

The hearings, which begin Monday morning and will last through Thursday, are expected to be contentious. The nomination is a political lightning rod, as Democrats are opposed to appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice so close to a presidential election and Republicans are likewise determined to confirm Barrett to shore up a conservative majority on the court while they have the votes to do so.

Coming into the hearings, Republicans appear to have the necessary votes to confirm Barrett, with only two members of the GOP’s 53-member majority signaling they won’t vote support the nomination.

According to NPR, the first day of proceedings will feature opening statements by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). That will be followed by by an opening statement by Barrett, who currently serves on the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tuesday and Wednesday will feature open questioning of Barrett by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and on Thursday, outside witnesses will testify for and against her nomination.

Watch it here:

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American Bar Association gives Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett its highest rating

The American Bar Association on Sunday announced that it has given Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett its highest rating.

Monday is the start of Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings.

What are the details?

In a Sunday letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the American Bar Association advised that Barrett is “well qualified” for a position on the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, DC Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy shared the letter on Twitter, writing, “The American Bar Association released its determination that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is ‘Well Qualified’ on the eve of the start of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.”

A portion of the letter reads, “The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the federal judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated by the President to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

“As you know, the Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament,” the letter continues. “A substantial majority of the standing committee determined that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified,’ and a minority is of the opinion that she is ‘Qualified’ to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The letter concludes, “The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”

What else?

As noted by the Daily Wire, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2001 referred to the American Bar Association’s judicial ratings as the “gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.”

On Sunday night, Barrett released the opening statement she plans to issue on Monday morning.

A portion of her remarks read:

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.

You can read the remarks in their entirety here and below.

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VIDEO: Sen. Mike Lee unloads on James Comey during Senate hearing

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was visibly angry with former FBI Director James Comey, rebuking him for his inability to answer several questions Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Lee, a longtime advocate for reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court program, said Comey broke “good faith” promises he made to the senator to ensure that the FISA court was not abused before he was confirmed as FBI director.

“I’m very disappointed to see that those promises now, to me, seem very insincere,” Lee said. “Now, Mr. Comey, with all due respect, you don’t seem to know anything about an investigation that you ran.”

Comey testified Wednesday as part of the Judiciary Committee’s review of the FBI’s Russia probe. Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the other Republicans on the committee wanted Comey to answer questions related to newly declassified information alleging that Hillary Clinton approved a campaign plan to invent a scandal against her rival presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him and his campaign to the Russian government. The Intelligence Community learned of this allegation from Russian intelligence analysis and has not verified it.

In a letter sent to Graham, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe wrote, “The [Intelligence Community] does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

The letter said that on Sept. 7, 2016, “U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding ‘U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.'”

Comey was asked about this “investigative referral” and in his response said he didn’t remember receiving any such notice.

“You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community?” Graham asked . “You don’t remember getting that?”

“That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey replied.

“Well, that’s a pretty stunning thing that it didn’t ring a bell, but it did come to you,” Graham said.

The FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” has been highly controversial. During the investigation, the FBI obtained a FISA court warrant to investigate Carter Page, an associate of the Trump campaign. To obtain the warrant, the FBI agents conducting the investigation used a dossier sourced by someone who was under suspicion by the FBI of being a possible Russian agent, a dossier containing Russian disinformation. Critics of the FBI say the agents knew the information was unreliable, obtained the warrant anyway, and violated Page’s civil liberties in the process.

Comey, as director of the FBI, was ultimately responsible for overseeing Crossfire Hurricane until he was fired by President Donald Trump in 2017.

Lee, during his time to ask questions, criticized Comey for suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin may yet have unknown ties to Trump.

Yet confronted once more by Graham, Comey again denied knowing anything about information suggesting Hillary Clinton approved a plan to tie Trump to Russia.

“How can you as a private citizen now come to us, and in your capacity as former FBI director show up and then speculate freely regarding any alleged ties between President Putin and President Trump … when you don’t seem to know anything about this investigation that you ran?” Lee asked.

“Because I have eyes and ears,” Comey said. “That’s how it struck me watching the president in Helsinki take Putin’s side against his Intelligence Committee, and things like that.”

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

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Lindsey Graham tells Senate Judiciary Democrats there will be hearings on President Trump’s SCOTUS nomination

Protests outside the home of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will not stop him from holding confirmation hearings on President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nomination.

In a letter sent Monday to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Graham announced his intention to hold confirmation hearings for Trump’s nominee this year.

After offering condolences for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Graham explained that the Republican majority in 2016 acted constitutionally in refusing to begin confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

“When the American people elected a Republican Senate majority in 2014, Americans did so because we committed to checking and balancing the end of President Obama’s lame duck presidency,” the letter states. “We did so. We followed the precedent and that the Senate has followed for 140 years: since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee during an election year.”

But this year, the presidency and the Senate majority are both held by the Republican Party.

“Because our Senate majority committed to confirming President Trump’s excellent judicial nominees — and particularly because we committed to supporting his Supreme Court nominees — the American people expanded the Republican majority in 2018,” Graham wrote. “We should honor that mandate. And unlike in 2016, President Trump is currently standing for reelection: the people will have a say in his choices.”

In 2016, Graham opposed holding confirmation hearings for Garland and called on his critics to “use my words against me” if he ever changed his position.

“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,'” he said. “And you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right.”

But in his letter Graham explains that his views have changed after witnessing how Justice Brett Kavanaugh was severely mistreated by Senate Democrats and the media during his confirmation hearings. He asks his colleagues to compare how Republican nominees Kavanaugh, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito were treated vs. Democratic nominees to the court, including Ginsburg herself.

“I now have a different view of the judicial-confirmation process,” Graham wrote. “It’s clear that there already is one set of rules for a Republican president and one set of rules for a Democrat president.”

“I therefore think it is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy,” he continued. “I am certain that if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same.”

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Senate committee authorizes subpoena power in ‘Obamagate’ probe — and it could be used against Jim Comey and Susan Rice

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoena power in the investigation into the motivation for the FBI probe into Russian election interference.

The vote allows Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) to demand testimony and documents from infamous figures implicated in what many call “Obamagate,” including former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Susan Rice.

The 12-10 vote fell along partisan lines on Thursday.

“Today, the Judiciary Committee resumed its mission to get to the bottom of Crossfire Hurricane and the Russia investigation by authorizing dozens of new subpoenas to former Obama administration officials involved in these operations,” said Graham in a tweet.

Democrats attempted to include in the motion authority to subpoena Trump administration officials, but those efforts were thwarted by Republicans who accused them of trying to end the probe.

“I’m not going to be stopped,” responded Graham.

Republicans and other allies of the president claim that the probe into Russian interference was motivated by a political agenda to bring down the incoming Trump administration.

Democrats claim the investigation was conducted in good faith and sought to uncover if the Trump campaign had reached out to Russia to obtain information that could have swung the 2016 election.

Here’s more about the “Obamagate” scandal:

Sen. Graham on FBI misconduct: On the left they only care about getting Trump

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Breaking: Lindsey Graham announces vote to seek subpoenas of former Obama officials in probe of ‘Obamagate’ scandal

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced that the committee would be voting to authorize subpoenas of former Obama officials in the investigation into “ObamaGate.”

Graham made the announcement in a press release on Monday.

“Obamagate” is the nickname for the scandal tying former President Barack Obama to the allegedly politically motivated investigation into Trump campaign officials around the 2016 election.

Graham said they were seeking “subpoena authorization related to the FISA abuse investigation and oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

The notice said once granted the authorization, he could issue a subpoena for “witnesses, documents, or other materials.”

Among those named in the press release were former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign denied the accusations that the FISA process had been politicized in order to target Trump campaign officials, and instead blamed racism for the claims.

Earlier on Monday U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that he didn’t expect either Obama or Biden to face a criminal investigation.

“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said to reporters. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”

Graham indicated that the vote would take place on June 4.

Here’s more about the Obamagate scandal:

Sen. Graham on Flynn case: No one is above the law, not even Obama