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Money & Influence 03.9.2021

Associated Press: State may pioneer public financing of lower-court campaigns

Sydney Tellez, associate state director for the progressive good-government group Common Cause New Mexico, said Friday that current safeguards against conflicts of interest border on the absurd in lower state courts. “Judges find themselves compelled to raise private funds for their election campaigns without learning the name of contributors who submit checks to the campaign treasurers,” she said. “This consistently puts them in an awkward position of holding fundraisers with a room full of potential donors, but also they are expected to turn a blind eye where the check is written and hand it to their campaign treasurer.” “Several judges have indicated to us how problematic the process is,” Tellez said.

House Passage of George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Represents a First Step

Tonight’s House passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act represents an important step toward reforming our broken criminal justice system. But much, much more remains to be done in the days, and months and years ahead to ensure that every American receives equal justice under the law. We hope that this bill will be strengthened in the Senate because we cannot continue to accept this epidemic of injustice. We must reform the system of injustice that treats Americans differently because of the color of their skin or where they live.

New York Times: Pennsylvania G.O.P.’s Push for More Power Over Judiciary Raises Alarms

“We are in the last legislative session of this,” said Alexa Grant, a program advocate with Common Cause. “So we are the last line of defense.”

Rushed Confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett Damages Integrity of SCOTUS & McConnell-Led Senate

Tonight, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s direction, Senate Republicans did profound damage to the Senate and the Supreme Court of the United States. They subverted the serious and deliberative constitutional obligation that we (and many others) called on them to uphold just 38 days ago. Instead, they rushed through Committee hearings and made a mockery of advice-and-consent by ramming Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination through to a lifetime appointment only eight days before Americans finish voting and after more than 60 million Americans have already voted. In so doing, Senate Republicans excused her incomplete answers to basic questions—demurring on whether “climate change is happening” (it is) and whether voter intimidation violates federal law (it does). They smothered Justice Ginsburg’s “most fervent wish” that her replacement be considered after the election. And they did so at the expense of millions of Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic who desperately needed the Senate to negotiate and pass COVID relief legislation.

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Americans Deserve an Impartial Supreme Court

Americans deserve an impartial Supreme Court that puts judicial integrity, the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law above partisan interests. But, unfortunately, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have a different view of justice. The two are rushing to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a champion for all Americans’ constitutional rights and liberties — in the middle of a national election and a pandemic that has led to the deaths of over 200,000 Americans, millions losing their jobs and many people struggling to make ends meet as a result of Trump and McConnell’s failure of leadership.

REACTION: Democrat, Republican leaders criticize Supreme Court for partisan gerrymandering ruling

The Supreme Court decided it would let partisan gerrymandering go unchecked. But the courts aren’t the only path to fair districts. Leaders on both sides of the aisle are chiming in on the issue, and calling out the Supreme Court for its historically bad decision.

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