Trump's SCOTUS Nomination Could Come Today

Immigrant Ban, Protests Dominate Weekend News

Posted by Dale Eisman on January 30, 2017


Today In Democracy

There are multiple reports this morning that President Trump has advanced the scheduled announcement of his nominee for the Supreme Court and could make the release as soon as today. 


Whoever it is, the nominee is certain to be the most closely scrutinized and likely the most hotly contested in living memory. The President's promise to choose a justice in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia has Democrats gearing up for a fight, particularly after Republican obstruction blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, appeals court Judge Merrick Garland, for nearly a year. 


Politico reports that outside groups are prepared to spend up to $10 million on a public relations campaign to promote Trump's nominee. They apparently will target Democratic senators representing states that Trump carried last fall. Unless Republicans use the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules, the nominee will need 60 votes to win confirmation, so the White House needs to round up at least eight Democratic votes. 


Four appeals court judges are said to be the leading candidates for the vacancy. They are Judges William Pryor of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit, Diane Sykes of the 7th Circuit, and Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit. 

 

The Koch brothers' political network plans to invest up to $400 million to influence politics and policy this year and during 2018, according to reports emerging from the group's annual winter meeting in Southern California. 


The Washington Post reports that the Kochs and their conservative allies are stressing their independence from President Trump and congressional Republicans, many of whom they helped elect or re-elect last fall.  


"The network could present a political dilemma for many GOP lawmakers ahead of the 2018 midterm elections as they choose between two influential forces within the party, a populist wing buoyed by Trump’s “America First” call and the well-organized, well-funded Koch-aligned activists who embrace open trade," the Post's Matea Gold and James Hohmann write. 


A senior aide to the Kochs on Sunday released a statement critical of President Trump's executive order blocking immigration from seven mostly Muslim nations. 


“We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” said Brian Hooks, the president of the Charles Koch Foundation. “The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive. Our country has benefited tremendously from a history of welcoming people from all cultures and backgrounds. This is a hallmark of free and open societies.” 

 

The President's immigration order sparked protests in cities across the country in what USA Today called "part of a groundswell of fury that erupted at airports across the nation Saturday and showed no signs of abating." 


"There is such an energy and anger that I have to do something about it," Jan Rudzinski, of Arden, Del., told the newspaper as she joined a rally in Philadelphia where signs said "Welcome Muslims" and "Let them in." 


The order sent civil liberties-minded attorneys and some Democratic members of Congress running to major airports to offer legal aid and political support to travelers suddenly blocked from entering the U.S.. There was also a protest from two high-profile Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who said they fear the ban may do more to help terrorist groups recruit new followers than to improve security in the U.S. 


The uproar prompted the administration to pull back on part of the order; the White House said holders of "green cards" granting them permanent residency in the U.S. will be allowed to come and go as they wish.

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Office: Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms, Money in Politics

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