Look Back at 2019 RNLA National Policy Conference

Last Friday, the RNLA hosted its 19th annual National Policy Conference, featuring 2019 Ed Meese III Award winner Senator Lindsey Graham, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, 2019 Betty Murphy Award winner Mike Davis, and many legal experts speaking on panels.  The conference focused on Deregulation and the Administrative State, highlighting what Republicans are doing at the federal level under President Trump and the state level to ease regulatory burdens.  C-SPAN broadcast the morning sessions, and video can be watched here.

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ICYMI: Senate Democrat Hypocrisy on Display over Rules

Under the leadership of Senators Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, James Lankford, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans have been confirming judges at record pace.  Democrats have not tried to substantively oppose most nominees (maybe because they are so well qualified) but have attempted to use obscure Senate procedures to do so.  An example was the “cloture rule:”

This involves Rule 22, which provides a time consuming process to end debate, a necessary step before the Senate can vote on confirmation. Under Rule 22, even when the Senate votes to end debate, there can be up to 30 more hours of consideration. In the past, the minority party cooperated to informally schedule a final confirmation vote. Today, Democrats will not cooperate on anything, forcing the Senate to use this drawn out process for nearly every nomination, including those with no actual opposition.

The Senate has taken six times as many of these unnecessary cloture votes as during the same period under the previous nine presidents combined. You read that right. Even though the Senate votes to end debate every time, Democrats insist that the clock keep running for those 30 hours of debate after cloture. Even worse, they almost never spend time on the Senate floor actually debating these nominations.

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2019 Betty Murphy Award Winner Mike Davis on Judicial Nominations

On Friday during the National Policy Conference, the RNLA gave the 2019 Betty Murphy Award to Mike Davis, former Chief Counsel for Nominations to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Mr. Davis tweeted that former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is the true "unsung hero" of confirming President Trump's judicial nominees:

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RNLA Honors Its 2019 Betty Murphy Award Recipient: Mike Davis

Today, the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) honors its 2019 Betty Murphy Award Recipient: Mike Davis. In the RNLA's Press Release today:

The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) is pleased to announce Mike Davis as the recipient of the 2019 Betty Murphy Award, which will be presented at the National Policy Conference on April 5 in Washington, D.C. Davis was selected for the Betty Murphy Award because he is an unsung hero, member, trailblazer, with entrepreneurial spirit, a community service leader, and an organization builder who inspires others’ efforts.

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2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls on Judges: Senator Kamala Harris

This is the first in a series of posts summarizing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates' views on judges and the courts.  All posts in this series can be viewed here.

Senator Kamala Harris on Judges


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ICYMI: Court Packing a Bad Idea Then, a Bad Idea Now

A litmus test for 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates has become the issue of court packing.  As 2016 Republican Presidential candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio pointed out in a recent op-ed:

Court packing is quickly becoming a litmus test for 2020 Democratic candidates as this ugly, winner-take-all rhetoric gains prominence in progressive circles.

Our nation may not be on the brink of civil war or dissolution, but we are suffering a crisis of confidence and we cannot withstand further erosion of trust in one another and our institutions.  The rhetoric used by some of my Democratic colleagues that suggests our institutions are increasingly unable to resolve modern society’s conflicts is dangerous.

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McConnell Leads Fights Against Continued Democrat Obstruction

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican Senators have had enough of the obstruction by Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer.  Here are a few of the numbers:

  • Until 1968, cloture had never been required for any nomination. By 1978, it had been required for two (2).
  • During the first two years of the last six (6) presidential administrations before President Trump (dating to 1977), 24 total cloture votes had to be held on nominations.  The first two years of President Trump’s administration: 128 cloture votes had to be held on nominations.
  • These cloture votes are not for “controversial nominees.” The list includes 42 different executive branch positions that were forced to endure cloture votes for the first time ever, including:  Assistant Secretaries and Agency General Counsels.
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Post-Mueller Report - What Will Change and What Will Stay the Same?

Now that the Mueller report has confirmed that there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, what will change and what will remain the same in the political landscape?  First, as RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen pointed out yesterday, Democrats will continue to cast doubt on the 2016 election because they still cannot accept that Hillary Clinton lost to President Trump.  The collusion narrative was one way how they justified this inconceivable loss, and being a "sore loser" has become a feature of the modern Democratic Party establishment:

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Supreme Court Considers Partisan Gerrymandering Again

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Rucho v. Common Cause, a partisan gerrymandering claim against North Carolina's congressional map, and Lamone v. Benisek, a First Amendment retaliation partisan gerrymandering claim against one Maryland state legislative district.  Both cases were before the Court last term and were sent back to the district courts for further proceedings.  As in the past, today the justices continued to search for a justiciably manageable standard for considering partisan gerrymandering claims:

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Democrats Have "Egg All Over Their Faces" Over Mueller Report

After a long wait, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion is finally complete and a summary by Attorney General Bill Barr has been released.  RNLA's Vice President for Communications Harmeet Dhillon appeared on Fox News over the weekend to analyze the Mueller report and how the Democrats' "hysterical" claims have been shown to be false:

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