Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Judges

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

 

On Neil Gorsuch:                     Voted No. [i]

  • In a fundraising email, she stated: “President Trump just announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to the Supreme Court, and I’m ready to consider him on his merits,” the missive reads. “But President Trump has made it clear that he wants a justice who will carry on Scalia’s legacy of limiting Americans’ constitutional rights…If that is the case, let me make one thing very clear: You can count on me to fight back against ANY nomination that threatens the rights of Americans.”[ii]
  • “Gillibrand said in an interview that she believes Justice Neil Gorsuch essentially possesses an illegitimate seat after Garland was denied even a committee hearing. The New York Democrat added that the Senate should move swiftly to impose strict ethics rules on the Supreme Court.”[iii]
  • “Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch has proven to have a judicial philosophy outside of the mainstream and time and again has subjugated individual rights to those of corporations...I plan to stand up for individuals over corporations and oppose his nomination....”[iv]

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:              Voted No.[v]

  •  “If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, he would tip the balance of the Supreme Court even more against workers’ rights, civil rights, and women’s rights for decades to come. I do not think he is the right choice for our country, and I am going to vote against him and urge my colleagues to do the same….I strongly oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and I urge all New Yorkers to raise their voices and join me in opposing him. We need a justice who will protect the rights of all people in our state — not just some.”[vi]

 

Her Opposition to Trump’s Nominees:

Overall, Senator Gillibrand voted in favor of just 15 of President Trump’s judicial nominees during the last Congress, or just over 26% of 57 nominated.[vii]

Regarding President Trump’s judicial nominees, Senator Gillibrand is on the record stating:

  • “President Trump and Senate Republicans are stacking the courts with extremist right-wing judges who are not independent or impartial. The decision to move forward with these nominees without the support of both home-state Senators is unacceptable. As long as Senate Republicans are going to preside over a broken process, I will oppose all Circuit Court nominations. The American people deserve a judiciary that is fair and unbiased.” [viii]
  • “Demand Justice, a liberal group that works to galvanize Democratic engagement on the federal judiciary, said Gillibrand ‘has quickly emerged as one of the most consistent allies in the fight against Donald Trump's court-packing" and others "ought to immediately follow her lead.’” [ix]

 

Position on Expanding the Supreme Court:

  • “Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand told POLITICO they would not rule out expanding the Supreme Court if elected president, showcasing a new level of interest in the Democratic field on an issue that has until recently remained on the fringes of debate.”[x]
  • On March 19, 2019, The Hill reported:  “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told “Pod Save America” that the idea [of adding Supreme Courts justices and term limits to Supreme Court justices’ tenure]  was ‘interesting’ and she would ‘need to think more about it.’”[xi]

 

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Senator Amy Klobuchar on Judges

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

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:           Voted No. [i]

On the nomination of Judge Kavanagh to the Supreme Court, Senator Klobuchar said the following:

  • “There were many highly credentialed nominees like yourself [Judge Kavanaugh] that could have been sitting before us today, but—to my colleagues—what concerns me is that during this critical juncture in history, the President has hand-picked a nominee to the Court with the most expansive view of Presidential power possible… a nominee who has actually written that a President—on his own—can declare laws unconstitutional.” [ii]
  • “I just think we could have had someone who was more independent.” [iii]
  • In a television townhall, Senator Klobuchar: “[Judge Kavanaugh] was basically politicizing the whole judiciary with how he acted [during his confirmation hearings].” [iv]

 

On Neil Gorsuch:                  Voted No.[v] 

On the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senator Klobuchar stated:

  • “After thorough examination and consideration, I have decided that I will not vote in favor of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination. His judicial record on critical issues including the rights of children with disabilities, campaign finance, and preserving health and safety protections have led me to conclude that I cannot support his nomination.” [vi]
  • “I felt that he [Judge Gorsuch] was out of the mainstream, not really in—how he interacted personally. I had a very good conversation with him…I’m not going to relitigate the whole thing today, but there were some real concerns about his philosophy.”[vii]

 

Her opposition to Trump’s judicial nominees: 

During the last Congress, Senator Klobuchar voted against Trump judicial nominations about half of the time, or 50.9% of the time. Of the 57 lower court judicial nominations, Senator Klobuchar voted to confirm 29 nominees. [viii]

  • In September 2018, Senator Amy Klobuchar stated that she regrets Senate Democrats eliminating the filibuster for most judicial nominees in 2013. She went on to say: “I would prefer to bring it back…But we are where we are and now I don’t think anyone’s going to want to hamstring themselves.” [ix]
  • Regarding the recent post-cloture time change in April to overcome Senate Democrat obstruction of Trump nominees, Senator Klobuchar stated: “I don’t know why they are continuing to pursue this [rule change] except that they want to ram through judges, they want to ram through Justice Department people.”[x]
  • In apparent attempt to justify Senate Democrat obstruction on President Trump’s nominees, she made the follow remarks on the Senate Floor: “At a time of blistering rhetoric, anger and divisiveness, this is no time to cede this chamber’s ability to do its due diligence by removing the guardrails that help ensure judicial nominees have the qualifications for lifetime appointments to the federal bench.”[xi]

 

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Is James Clapper the Michael Avenatti of the Intelligence Community?

Yesterday, Democrat Presidential Candidate and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper a “blatant liar.”  Gabbard said:

"I think you had the director of the Department of National Intelligence at that time, James Clapper, who sat before the United States Senate and blatantly lied," Gabbard charged.

"He was asked very directly, 'Are you collecting this information,' and he said 'no.' 'Are you collecting this information on American citizens' and he said, 'no.' And yet, he is somebody you see on TV almost every day as an expert in this country without any consequence lying to the American people."

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House Democrats Are Trying to Effectively Repeal the First Amendment?

House Democrats and their most loyal liberal allies are attempting in multiple different ways to effectively repeal the First Amendment.  By taking away donor privacy and controlling how money is spent.  The effort was their top priority as shown by the very symbolically numbered HR 1.  As Real Clear Politics describes it:

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US Attorney selected to investigate origins of Russian probe & FBI Spying

Attorney General Bill Barr has selected U.S. attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Russian probe and FBI spying on the Trump campaign. It’s time for the American people to know why this partisan mess of an investigation full of false accusations against our President started.

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California Laws Allow Double Voting

Many residents in California are voting twice and it’s time for Secretary of State Alex Padilla to stop ignoring the problem. This flaw in their system has been an issue for years and the integrity of our elections is at stake.

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Senator Bernard ("Bernie") Sanders on Judges

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

 

On Neil Gorsuch:     Voted no.[1]

  • On April 4, 2017, Senator Sanders addressed the floor of the Senate to oppose Neil Gorsuch. Sanders stated that he was basing his decision to vote no partly on the fact that he did not believe Gorsuch would vote to reverse Citizens United, or Shelby County v. Holder.[2]
  • Sanders argued that changing the filibuster rule for Supreme Court Justices was inappropriate because former Majority Leader Harry Reid had declined to do that when Democrats held the Senate and that Reid understood that Supreme Court Justices were of a different magnitude than other nominees.[3]
  • In a press release, Sanders stated that Gorsuch “refused to answer legitimate questions and brought the confirmation process to a new low in a thick fog of evasion.”[4]

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:     Voted no.[5]

  • Sanders tweeted his opposition to Brett Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018, the same day as President Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh. Sanders stated that Kavanaugh would “have a profoundly negative effect on workers’ rights, women’s rights and voting rights for decades to come.”  Sanders also stated that “We must do everything we can to stop this nomination.”[6]
  • On September 6, 2018, Sanders again tweeted that “We must do everything we can to defeat Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.”[7]

 

His opposition to President Trump’s judicial nominees:     Sanders voted to confirm 15 of the 71 judges nominated by President Trump, or around 21% of the nominees.[8]

  • As of April 25, 2019, a total 71 Article III judges have received confirmation votes in the U.S. Senate since President Trump took office. All were confirmed.  This does not include 32 judges that were confirmed by voice vote.
  • Sanders voted against 55 of the judges nominated by President Trump, or over 77% of the nominees.[9]
  • Sanders missed one vote on a judge nominated by President Trump.[10]
  • Sanders received an A- grade from Demand Justice for opposing President Trump’s judicial nominees.[11]

 

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Former Vice President Joseph Biden on Judges

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

 

On Neil Gorsuch:

  • In a March 28, 2018 interview on podcast, “Pod Save America,” Biden stated “I would work like the devil if I were in the Senate, if we had a Democratic Senate, to keep [another] Gorsuch from going on the court again. The single most damaging thing thus far, short of what may happen to our foreign policy, to all the things I care about, was Gorsuch going to the court.”[1]

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:

  • In a written statement on the September 29, 2018 hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Biden wrote, “What we witnessed yesterday from the Republican Judiciary Committee members was a degree of invective, blind rage and brute partisanship that threatens not only the Senate and the Supreme Court — it threatens the basic faith in fairness and justice that binds this country together.”[2]
  • Biden voted “No” for Brett Kavanaugh’s DC Circuit Court confirmation on May 26, 2006.[3]

 

His opposition to Trump’s judicial nominees:

  • Of all of President Trump’s appointees to the Court of Appeals, only one was a district court judge who had a roll call vote when Biden was a Senator.  Biden voted ‘Yes.’[4]
  • Of all the current district court judges appointed by President Trump, Joe Biden prevented one from becoming a judge by not offering timely senatorial “blue slip” approval of a candidate from Delaware.[5]

 

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Senator Cory Booker on Judges

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

 

On Neil Gorsuch:      Voted No.[1]

  • “I will be opposing Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, every step of the way as his nomination moves through the Senate. Requiring 60 Senate votes is not something new for Supreme Court nominees to overcome. It helps ensure that presidents seek nominees whose views are in the mainstream. And make no mistake: Judge Gorsuch is out of the mainstream.” [2]
  • “Based on what I have read of his past rulings and statements, I believe that Judge Gorsuch's interpretation of the Constitution falls far outside of the mainstream and I question whether he will put the interests of working families in New Jersey and throughout the country before those of big corporations, or adequately protect the rights of women, minorities, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Any Supreme Court nominee must possess a judicial philosophy and track record that promotes the equal rights of all people and shows an understanding of how the Court's decisions impact the lives of everyday Americans -- I will hold Judge Gorsuch and all future nominees to this fundamental standard.” [3]

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:      Voted No. [4]

  • Stated that those who support Justice Kavanaugh are “complicit in the evil,” stating “I’m here to call on folks to understand that in a moral moment, there is no neutral. In a moral moment, there is no bystanders. You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.” [5]
  • Released confidential documents from Justice Kavanaugh’s time as White House Counsel, declaring “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.” [6]
  • Demanded his Twitter followers flood the Senate with phone calls opposing the nomination, stating that “the time to call your senators is now. #StopKavanaugh #BelieveSurvivors.” [7]
  • Stated that Justice Kavanaugh “has an immensely troubling record on issues that impact everyday Americans. President Trump has been clear about his intent to nominate only justices that support overturning Roe v. Wade, and there’s no question Judge Kavanaugh has passed this litmus test. He’s demonstrated a hostility to the Affordable Care Act that the Trump administration is continually working to undermine. And his decisions show a clear favoritism toward corporations over workers trying to organize for better wages and working conditions.” [8]

 

His opposition to Trump’s Judicial Nominees:      Senator Booker has only supported 13% of President Trump’s judicial nominations. [9]

  • Has asked judicial nominees about their religious beliefs, including whether certain behaviors “are a sin.” [10]
  • Under the Obama administration, Senator Booker called on Republicans to speed up the confirmation process due to the crisis in the courts: “Today’s vote couldn’t come at a more urgent time—Judge Martinotti’s nomination has been pending in the Senate for over a year, and 24 other judicial nominations are still pending before the Senate while 83 federal judgeships sit vacant nationwide. We simply cannot expect our federal judicial system to function as intended when these critical positions are left vacant for months and years at a time. It’s past time for Senate Republican leadership to bring the rest of the Senate’s pending judicial nominations up for a vote, including that of Judge Julien Neals.” [11]

 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren on Judges

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

 

On Neil Gorsuch:     Voted No.[1]  

  • “They stole a Supreme Court seat, and they’ve installed union-buster Neil Gorsuch on the bench. And now their investment is paying off.” [2]
  • “Republicans and their billionaire buddies have pushed through judges like Justice Gorsuch to rig the system against workers. They can use a stolen Supreme Court seat to try to break the backs of unions and deliver punch after punch to working people—but we will fight back.” [3]

 

On Brett Kavanaugh:     Voted No. [4]

  • “He is the ‘trifecta’ for Trump, someone who will be committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, someone who will be committed to rolling back health care for millions of Americans, and someone who, it looks pretty likely, will help Donald Trump if he gets into serious criminal trouble." [5]
  • “Brett Kavanaugh's record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law – and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. I'll be voting no.” [6]

 

Her opposition to Trump’s judicial nominees:     Voted against Trump judicial nominations 81% of the time.[7]    

  • In a Senate floor speech, she stated “President Trump has been all in, nominating extreme and partisan judges to the federal judiciary at lightning speed.  Trump judges can easily fill a who’s who of radical, right-wing, pro-corporate lawyers….” [8]
  • “Republicans know that every time they try to lock voters out of the democratic process, they will be challenged in the courts.  But they have a plan for that.  They have been working at breakneck speed to stack federal courts with a cadre of conservative federal judges whose record show they have no intention of protecting our democracy.” [9]

 

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