Amy Coney Barrett Feared “A Very Marked Shift” In SCOTUS Composition If Hillary Clinton Won In 2016

University of Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett giving a presentation at Jacksonville University On November 3, 2016 , five days before the general elections

An interesting presentation then Professor Amy Coney Barrett gave at Jacksonville University in November 2016, five days before the elections, begs for further scrutiny now that President Trump has formally nominated her to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In her hour long presentation at Jacksonville University, which reasonable people will agree was highly impressive, Professor Barrett delved into a whole host of issues dealing with the U.S. Supreme Court and its Justices. Of particular relevance today, is the fear Professor Barrett expressed of “a very marked shift” in the Supreme Court to the left, were Hillary Clinton to win the presidency in 2016.(see clip below)

Professor Barrett’s concerns in November 2016 are of particular concern today because the “very marked shift” in the U.S. Supreme Court she feared in 2016 has come to pass. The only difference is that the marked shift in the court has been to the right, with Trump as President. More importantly, the very concerns she had about a future President Clinton replacing Justice Scalia with a liberal, is the exact situation we currently find ourselves in, with President Trump getting ready to replace liberal Justice Ginsburg with her–a staunch conservative. Given her fears in 2016, should Trump have nominated someone more liberal to replace Justice Ginsburg? In other words, is Judge Amy Barrett only worried about the U.S. Supreme Court markedly shifting to the left but okay if the shift is to the right?

Specifically, then Professor Barrett argued in her presentation that whoever won the presidency in 2016, who she assumed like many would be Clinton, would have a chance to replace up to four Supreme Court justices, given their advanced ages. Clinton, she argued, would not only fill the vacant Scalia seat with a reliable liberal, tipping the balance of the court leftward, but would also likely replace Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Kennedy with much younger reliable liberals, essentially turning the U.S. Supreme Court into a reliably liberal court. Trump on the other hand, Professor Barrett argued, would fill the vacancies with a “mixed bag” of justices resulting in a somewhat center-right court but definitely not a far right Supreme Court.

Reasonable people will agree that with the appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has already shifted the U.S. Supreme Court to the right. Trump’s nomination of conservative Judge Amy Barrett to replace reliably liberal Justice Ginsburg will therefore lead to the very “marked shift” in the U.S. Supreme Court that then Professor Amy Barrett feared with a Clinton presidency. The question Democratic Senators need to confront Judge Barrett with at her confirmation hearings, is whether she is now comfortable with the marked shift in the Supreme Court to the right. Should Trump have nominated a Supreme Court justice more in the mold of Justice Ginsburg to prevent the marked shift to the right?

It bears pointing out however that Professor Barrett espoused an interpretation of the role of judges generally, and supreme court justices in particular, that many legal scholars will find very refreshing. She stated very clearly that the role of a judge is not to placate to the partisan political camps but rather to follow the law, wherever it leads. She illustrated her point with Justice Scalia, who sided with the liberal justices time and time again on criminal law issues even though as a conservative, Republican voters expected him to be a “law and order” judge, always siding with law enforcement in criminal cases. Professor Barrett said Justice Scalia did so not because he liked criminals, but because that was what the text of the constitution required him to do. This should be a warning shot to Trump Republicans who are fast-tracking her confirmation in the hopes that she will rubber stamp GOP policy positions at the Supreme Court.

Bottom line folks, as things currently stand, Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court is all but certain. There’s literally nothing Democrats can do procedurally or otherwise, to stop her confirmation to the high court. One only hopes that during her confirmation hearings, Democratic Senators will confront her with tough questions, among them, her fears in 2016 of a “marked shift” in the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, Democratic Senators should ask Judge Barrett why she feared a marked shift of the high court to the left but is now seemingly comfortable with a marked shift to the right, thanks to her confirmation.

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Faces Behind Dark Money Group Buying Judges

There’s been a lot of concern in recent years about the increasing politicization of our judiciary both at the state and the federal level. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Brennan Center and a battery of little known “court watcher” groups like Justice at Stake have been in the forefront of this war for years. This issue was even addressed by an esteemed panel of state and federal judges at an event that was televised on CSPAN. Simply put, state high courts and federal courts have become too politicized, and there is a lot of dark money dictating which judges end up in these highly influential courts.

It is however the 2018 highly contentious Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation process that elevated the court politicization debate to a national stage and audience. The reverberations from the 2018 Kavanaugh confirmation process are still heard to this day and with them, mounting questions as to who/what are the powers behind the judges that end up being confirmed to the nation’s highest courts. Well, one name came up in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation process–The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN)

We now know that JCN spent a staggering $22 million dollars just to ensure that Kavanaugh got confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court and that $17 million dollars of that came from one mysterious donor. A reasonable argument can be made that this mysterious donor essentially bought Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court seat.

Prior to Kavanaugh, JCN pumped a lot of money into Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and according to media reports, they also played a very active role in blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merick Garland. So while a lot of the vitriol is directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for blocking Garland’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, it is very important to remember that McConnell was largely playing to the tunes of the JCN who by all accounts appear to be literally buying judgeships both at the state and federal level.

As your trusted grassroots reporter doing what the mainstream media is afraid to do, Yours Truly is therefore forced to dig into the JCN and expose the faces of those seemingly purchasing our judiciary and turning our courts away from their original mission of impartial administration of justice, into partial instruments for the satisfaction of JCN’s political interests–a total travesty!!

Here are the faces behind JCN

According to this 2015 Daily Beast piece titled “The JCN Story: Building a Secretive GOP Judicial Machine”, Carrie Serevino who is JCN’s Chief Counsel, essentially runs this secretive outfit. She however enjoys the support and funding from high powered conservatives like lawyer Ann Corkery, real estate magnate Robin Arkley II, and Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo. The Federalist Society as you know handpicked Kavanaugh and has a list of other Supreme Court nominees ready for Trump in case another Supreme Court vacancy arises. Lawyer Ann Corkery is tied to the Wellspring Committee which funds JCN and has deep ties to the Koch Brothers.

Bottom line folks, it is no secret that our judiciary which the founding fathers hoped would strive for the impartial administration of justice, has fallen prey to Carrie Serevino’s JCN and other Conservative dark money groups. No reasonable person can ever conclude that Carrie Serevino’s JCN, a Conservative political outfit, is pouring all this money to ensure that judges they pick end up in influential state and federal courts, without the expectation that the said handpicked judges will decide cases in JCN’s favor. Simply put folks, Carrie Serevino’s JCN has purchased our judiciary and turned it into what our founding fathers would roundly rebuke–a partial, bought judiciary. Its about time Democrats and the mainstream media took Carrie’s JCN and its shadowy funders to task!!

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Trump And McConnell “Whitening” Federal Courts

OutfrontCNN recently did a segment about a sitting federal judge in mississippi rebuking Trump’s attacks on the federal judges, especially judges of color, and likening such attacks to racial attacks by the Ku Klux KLan. The judge raised several issues of concern but the one that caught Yours Truly’s attention was his assertion that a staggering 90% of Trump’s judicial picks are White. This is a shocking statistic that we rarely hear from the mainstream media and should certainly be explored further especially as Trump’s enforcer in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, continues to bend the rules to push through Trump’s judicial picks. The full OutFrontCNN segment is available here but the relevant clip is below

There are already a lot of complaints about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bending U.S. Senate rules to pack federal courts with right wing judges. This troubling revelation that Sen McConnell and Trump are essentially “Whitening” the federal courts instead of making them more reflective the country’s current racial makeup should concern everybody. As Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson, the guest in the OutFrontCNN segment correctly pointed out, “We need a federal judiciary that looks like the populace.”

Bottom line, Mitch McConnell bending Senate rules to pack the federal courts with right wing judges is in itself, very detrimental to the judiciary’s image because people lose respect for a court that is viewed to be rigged/biased. With this new revelation that there’s a racial element to Trump/MitchMcConnell’s court-packing, everyone should be calling for an immediate pause to the judicial selection process until such a time as a respectable bipartisan mechanism for filling judicial vacancies can be put in place. Simply put, McConnell and Trump packing the courts with 90% White right wing damages is doing irreparable damage to the federal judiciary and must be stopped for the court’s sake. This is not a partisan issue

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Trump’s Sister And Federal Judge Abruptly Retires Amid Tax Fraud Probe

In case you missed it MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently did a segment about Maryanne Trump Barry’s abrupt retirement from the federal bench

Maryanne Trump Barry, Trump’s older sister was a judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. According to Maddow, both President Trump and his federal judge sister are currently targets of a criminal tax fraud investigation related to their deceased father’s estate. Maryanne Trump apparently ended up pocketing a staggering $200 million from the tax fraud scheme.

Naturally the tax fraud probe also led to judicial misconduct complaints against judge Maryanne Trump Barry. Her abrupt retirement effectively ends the judicial misconduct proceedings against her exposing once again the gaping loophole in the judicial misconduct process that allows federal judges to walk away with zero accountability.

Bottom line, as Maddow correctly pointed out, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry’s abrupt retirement brings into focus once again the issue of President Trump’s tax returns. It’s becoming apparent with every single passing day that the reason Trump is terrified to release his tax returns is because it is riddled with criminal conduct that will almost certainly lead to his impeachment.

Sadly, the so-called “moral values” “evangelical christians” occupying today’s Republican Party are the ones helping him hide his tax returns and the criminal conduct embedded in them.

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Chief Justice Roberts Says SCOTUS Is Independent. Is It?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with C.J. John Roberts

In a rare public address Chief Justice Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court talked about the recent contentious Kavanaugh confirmation process and reiterated how important it is that the public views the High Court as independent. C.J. Roberts said regarding judicial independence, “Our role[Supreme Court] is very clear. We are to interpret the constitution and the laws of the United States and ensure that the political branches act within them. That job obviously requires independence from the political branches.”

The problem with that is the person at the center of the public’s disaffection with the Roberts Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has also recently spoken about the Roberts Court. Sen McConnell and by extension his GOP’s view of the Roberts Supreme Court is in stark contrast to what Chief Justice Roberts says. Specifically, there is no question that according to Sen McConnell and his GOP, they have fought hard to pack the Roberts Supreme Court with conservative judges for the express purpose of getting favorable decisions from the court..

Sen McConnell recently said at a press conference following Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. “If you want to have a long term impact, and obviously all of us would like to do that, the single most significant way to do it is judicial appointments and my party has not been in this position all that long. You can go back 100 years and only 20 of the last 100 years have Republicans had the Presidency, the House and Senate the same time, and so these opportunities have not come along that often for us and I do think it is the most consequential thing that I’ve been involved in in my time as leader.”

So what is a regular American looking at Chief Justice Roberts’ remarks about judicial independence and Senator McConnell’s partisan political remarks about judicial appointments supposed to think? Why would Sen McConnell and his GOP block President Obama’s rightful nominee Garland and then ram through Kavanaugh if the end result was to have an independent Supreme Court? Reasonable people would agree that if the Supreme Court was truly independent as Chief Justice Roberts argues, there would be more consensus in the senate confirmation process. In other words the fact that the senate confirmation fights have become so bitter is in itself proof of a partisan Roberts Supreme Court.


Bottom line as Yours Truly said in an earlier post, the Roberts Supreme Court has a serious credibility problem. It is sad to say it but most Americans are more inclined to believe Sen McConnell’s narrative over that of C.J. Roberts–that Republicans have made the Roberts Supreme Court a conservative court with the express intention of using the High Court to advance their Republican agenda–a partisan political court. Simply put, there is no way any reasonable person looking at the way Sen McConnell blocked Obama’s nominee Garland, rammed Kavanaugh through, and then gave a press conference bragging about his legacy of steering the court to the right, can ever conclude that the Roberts Supreme Court is somehow an independent court.

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