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Koch Coalition, Republican Cheating, & the Flood of Incompetent Judges

The Koch network knows their agenda of enriching the most wealthy Americans at the expense of the rest of us, education, infrastructure, research, and government services is unpopular.

So they rely on a coalition of people who distrust the poor, people who fear minorities or immigrants, gun owners, people uncomfortable with LGBT individuals, and anti-abortion voters.

The Koch network trained their judges and politicians to give ever more power to corporations and billionaires, reject all gun safety laws, and constantly chip away at gay rights and abortion rights.

Instead of seeking justice, these right-wing judges are hell-bent on protecting the interests of big corporations and the rich and making America less fair and less equal.

In the past, Obama and previous presidents would carefully and exhaustively review and choose judges, using judicial recommendation committees, the input of state senators, the Justice Department, and the American Bar Association.

Now Trump and Republicans in Congress deliberately choose young, white, male, bigoted, anti-voting rights, and extreme pro-corporate, pro-wealthy judges to make sure their views will dominate our courts for many decades.

During the Obama years, Republicans refused or delayed many nominated judges, despite Obama carefully choosing moderates likely to win Republican support.

  • Republicans even blocked nominees they themselves had recommended.
  • By tradition, Senators accept nominees for judges in their state with a blue strip. If they refuse the blue slip, the nominee is rejected.
  • In Wisconsin, Republicans refused to blue slip any judge for 6 years.
  • After taking back the Senate in 2014, Republicans blocked so many Obama nominees that in his last two years, Obama placed the fewest judges of any president since Harry Truman.

Republicans refused to consider the highly qualified Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, even though many Republicans had praised Garland and his strong law-and-order history.

  • In fact, Obama had angered his own base by trying to please Republicans with the nomination of the centrist Garland.
  • Yet Republicans never held a single confirmation hearing on Merrick Garland for the entire 10 months left in Obama’s term as president.
  • One unnamed donor in the Koch coalition spent $17 million just to block Garland’s nomination and support the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.
  • John McCain and Ted Cruz even said if Hillary Clinton won the election, they would refuse to consider any Supreme Court justice for another 4 to 8 more years, as long as she was president!

After Trump became president, he nominated Neil Gorsuch but Republicans couldn’t get enough votes to confirm him.

  • So Republicans eliminated the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court judges that helped to eliminate extreme judges by requiring bipartisan support.
  • In this way, Trump placed both Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
  • One unnamed donor in the Koch coalition, perhaps the same one who blocked Garland and supported Gorsuch, spent another $17 million to support the nomination of Kavanaugh.
  • The National Rifle Association (NRA) also spend $1 million to help put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
  • Now they have lowered the required Senate debate time for district court nominees from 30 hours to just 2 hours.

Now that Republicans control the Senate, they are placing bigoted, anti-democratic, extreme pro-corporate judges at record-breaking speed and numbers.  They’ve already placed over 100 judges on the federal courts.

Republicans Are Even Nominating Completely Incompetent Judges

  • One had never even tried a case, made oral arguments in court, or conducted a deposition.
  • That same completely inexperienced judge helped white supremacist Stephen Miller develop Trump’s Muslim bans.
  • And he also helped Betsy Devos both weaken protections for sexual assault victims on campuses and illegally use private Social Security data to deny debt relief to thousands of students cheated by for-profit colleges.
  • Another judge hunted ghosts and praised the original Klu Klux Klan.
  • Another wrote a memo justifying torture and tried to eliminate a court judgment because the judge was gay.
  • Another blamed women for date rape.
  • Another said sexism was “irrelevant pouting” and multiculturalism was a “sickness.”
  • Nine Trump nominees had a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.
  • Besides ignoring the voice of state senators (blue slip rejections), Republicans are also ignoring the required support of state nominating commissions.
  • They are scheduling hearings before nominees are evaluated by the American Bar Association and ignoring their “not qualified” ratings.
  • They are ignoring it when nominees fail to disclose required information.

Many of the new Koch network, Republican judges are against voting rights, LGBT rights, and birth control and abortion rights.

  • One called birth control “an assault on religious liberty.”
  • One compared abortion to slavery and mocked climate change.
  • One falsely linked abortion to cancer and claimed Planned Parenthood “kills over 150,000 females a year.”
  • One denied that LGBT people exist and claimed being transgender was a delusion.
  • Another said the right to same-sex intimacy logically extends to necrophilia, bestiality, and pedophilia.
  • Both civil rights and human rights groups have opposed many of these judges.
  • One nomination drew opposition from over 2o0 civil and human rights groups.
  • Some of these judges even refuse to say segregation is wrong and the Supreme Court decisions against it are correct.
  • One has a record of challenging Native American tribal sovereignty and federal recognition of tribes.
  • One volunteered to defend a fear-mongering state law forcing abortion clinics to give each woman a lecture full of anti-abortion propaganda, including the lie that abortion increases women’s suicides.

Many of the new Republican judges are so extreme even President George W. Bush’s administration would have rejected them as unqualified.

For example, Trump installed Jeff Sessions to run the Justice Department even though 30 years ago, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions as too racist to be even a federal judge.

  • During his tenure, Sessions reversed guidelines that helped fix racially abusive police departments.
  • Sessions also brought back the racist war against low-level drug offenders that experts agree destroys people’s lives and tears up families instead of helping them succeed with addiction treatment.

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