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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Dem Senator Corey Booker is advancing a novel legal theory(#BookerTheory), a brilliant one as far as Yours Truly is concerned, arguing that because Trump is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation (TrumpRussia), his nomination of a Supreme Court Justice to replace retiring Justice Kennedy creates an unacceptable conflict of interest. Senator Booker made the argument when he appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.
According to Senator Booker, this is unacceptable because it boils down to Trump appointing a Supreme Court Justice for the specific purpose of helping him with the TrumpRussia investigation. There’s a very realistic chance that at some point, TeamTrump will challenge an aspect of Mueller probe in federal court, especially a subpoena for his testimony. Such a challenge would most likely end up in the Supreme Court to be adjudicated by Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Senator Booker’s argument is that this creates an unacceptable conflict of interest that may further tarnish the image of the Roberts Supreme Court.
It’s also worth pointing out that no previous U.S. President has nominated a Supreme Court justice while under criminal investigation. This is probably the strongest argument in the #BookerTheory because simply put, we’ve never been here before. The founding fathers never envisioned that someone engaged in or suspected of criminal conduct would ever rise to be President.
The fact that we are in unchartered waters means there is no Supreme Court precedent establishing Trump’s ability to nominate a Supreme Court justice under these circumstances but more importantly, creates a fertile ground for a legal challenge testing Senator Booker’s novel legal theory.
While Dems are engaged in an all out warfare with Republicans over whether Trump’s Supreme Court nominee should be seated before or after the midterms, maybe they should step aside and give serious consideration to the #BookerTheory–whether the ongoing Mueller probe precludes Trump from making the said Supreme Court nomination in the first place. Brace yourselves folks it’s Bush v Gore all over again.
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