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Legal

Sen. Hirono Should Step Up for Justice

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As a woman and as an American,  I’m dismayed by the message Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) delivered this week telling  “men of this country and the men in this committee” to “just shut up and step up” to the allegation of sexual assault from 36 years ago against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  Let’s be clear, these allegations are just that — allegations. They are not facts backed up by evidence, and they are unsubstantiated by eyewitnesses.  Judge Kavanaugh, under oath, has categorically denied the claims. And yet, Sen. Hirono has served as judge and jury in condemning not only Judge Kavanaugh, but all men as complicit in the process.

Make no mistake, this is a form of sexism of an insidious nature.  In her rush to condemn, Sen. Hirono is exploiting the sexes, advocating a culture that favors, without questions, the accuser over the accused (even when wrongly accused). Her misguided view lacks any standard of justice.  She is making a mockery of the judicial system and the oath she took to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States that expresslyprotects due process.

We should fear for our children — girls and boys — and the message this sends.  What exactly is the purpose of Sen. Hirono asking men to “shut up and step up”?  Truth?  Justice?  Hardly. Ironically, truth is exactly what the 11 Republican “old white men” on the Senate Judiciary Committee are trying to seek.  Since learning of these 11thhour allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, which Sen. Hirono’s own colleague, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), concealed for months, the Senate Judiciary Committee has set out to investigate these claims, as is their obligation under Senate rules.  Chairman Chuck Grassley has offered any way possible for this accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to be interviewed and/or to testify in public or private.  This offer has so far gone unaccepted (but he continues graciously to maintain the offer open).

Senate Democrats are looking more and more complicit in colluding with her handlers to set the terms and conditions under which her testimony might be heard to further their ultimate objective of delaying the nomination until after the election and ultimately derailing it altogether.

Make no mistake, too many women have faced sexual assault without the confidence of due process to come forward. But Sen. Hirono’s rant, essentially condemning the male race as abusers first, disregards the very standards of justice that underpin civility and our freedom.   Yes, the #MeToo era has merit, but not at the expense and erosion of the foundations of our democracy.  Sen. Hirono should step up for justice, for women and for men, and perform her duty to uphold the Constitution that she swore under oath to defend.

CWA Supports Grassley at Tense Town Hall Meeting in Iowa

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Monday, CWA’s Iowa State Director, Tamara Scott, Iowa native and National Field Director, Janae Stracke, and a handful of other CWA of Iowa supporters attended Sen. Grassley’s (R-Iowa) 99th Town Hall Meeting, which concluded his 38th annual 99 county tour. As expected, the meeting was filled with liberal protesters and contention over the issue of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s pending confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Over the years, CWA of Iowa has attended many of Sen. Grassley’s town hall meetings to offer support for our shared conservative values, but this last meeting was certainly one of the more disruptive. The protesters were disrespectful, yelling, and interrupting both other attendees and the Senator. Several times throughout the hour-long meeting, frustrated attendees would chime in with a “Let him speak!” or a “Show some respect!” as protesters continued to disrupt what is usually a civil meeting with objections to Judge Kavanuagh.

When Stracke was called on to share a comment or ask a question, she started by thanking Sen. Grassley for making himself available to hear from the public face to face, something most senators are not willing to do. She apologized for the disruptive nature of this meeting and referred back to her experiences with protesters at the Kavanaugh hearings in D.C. the previous week. Stracke referred to one instance when a Kavanaugh protester could not make any claim against the judge’s record; rather, they could only talk about the issue of abortion. The point Stracke wanted to make was that there are no legitimate reasons to oppose Judge Kavanaugh based on his years of work and solid record. This was, of course, very upsetting to the protesters present at the meeting in Iowa and interruptions began.

In an effort to unite everyone on common ground, the last person called on to speak stood and asked to close the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, something that represents a lot, one being the right of everyone present to publicly disagree and voice their opinion. Unfortunately, even our Pledge of Allegiance is no longer common ground for some Americans; a handful of protesters started yelling in opposition to saying the pledge and ultimately kneeled as others in the room stood in respect the flag and what it represents.

This battle we are in spans much further than one issue. It runs far and wide, and as Ephesians 6:12 tells us, we know we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but rather “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We must continue to fight on our knees in prayer and then stand to take action with our legs and voices. Offering support to your Members of Congress is just one way to do that; if you haven’t already, be sure to contact your senator and/or local media and let them know you support Judge Kavanaugh and want them to support him as well.

You can watch a Facebook Live of Tamara Scott and Janae Stracke following the town hall meeting here.

Last-Ditch Effort from Dems to Obstruct Judge Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

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Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Feinstein (D-California) released a statement saying she referred an anonymous letter to federal investigative authorities concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. The contents of the letter are unknown.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America issued the following statement in response:

“CWA just wrapped up four days spent listening to every word of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing last week. He was stalwart, answering every question as a Judge should. He stood in support of the Constitution and adhered to precedent in response to each question.

“We have looked carefully at his record which is impeccable, by the way. Anyone who takes the time to consider Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and experience will find the same. Judge Kavanaugh has served 12 years as a D.C. Circuit Court Judge and has been thoroughly vetted by the FBI throughout his 25 years of public service.

“We are thankful to Judge Kavanaugh for being a leader among his peers in hiring female clerks. More than half of his clerks were women, each of whom have successful careers and have given him their outright support for his nomination to the Supreme Court (unless barred by their current position) .

“In the face of his qualifications, his record, and his character, Democrats are left with nothing, and so we’re faced with this last-ditch effort to defame this outstanding nominee. We knew all along that the left would try a last minute dirty trick (as they have done in the past). “Somebody” saying “something” is simply not even close enough to any kind of evidence to halt or even slow down the process. There is nothing substantive in this dubious charge.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

CWA of Iowa State Director Responds to Protesters in Sen. Grassley’s (R-Iowa) Office

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Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, CWA of Iowa State Director, Tamara Scott, was inside her Senator’s office when a swarm of protesters came to hold a sit-in protesting Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Judge Kavanaugh.

Tamara Scott, CWA of Iowa State Director, issued the following statement: 

“Thursday I was in Sen. Grassley’s office before heading to the Kavanaugh Hearing when a large group of defiant protestors stormed in with cameras, rehearsed rhetoric and a proud defiance.  They pounded on inner office doors, made demands of staff, and staged a display the media was all too eager to capture.   It does not matter that Kavanaugh has support from colleagues across ideological spectrums because they trust him to be Constitutional not political. The antics of the New Left are sadly not about civil discourse, but disruption and destruction of the sacred traditions of diplomacy America has known. They simply have no respect for our Constitutional process.

“Sadly, the protestors that stormed Sen. Grassley’s office Thursday morning were not interested in dialogue or informed on Kavanaugh, who has received support from colleagues across the ideological spectrum because they trust him to be constitutional not political. This group did not care.  Their goal was not discussion or even civil discourse – they were there to disrupt the process, distract from facts, and destroy the foundations of our Republic and the media present seemed all too delighted to help.”

 

For an interview with Tamara Scott contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Field Update: CWA State Leaders at Kavanaugh Hearing

By | Blog, Iowa, Legal, Missouri, News and Events, North Dakota, SCOTUS | No Comments

This week some of our state leaders who helped with our Women for Kavanaugh bus tour were able to fly to D.C. to be present at Judge Kavanaugh’s hearings. These women were able to sit in for portions of the hearings and prayed over all of the proceedings. While in town, they all made use of their time here and made visits to some of their members of Congress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CWA’s Missouri State Director, Bev Ehlen and CWA of MO supporter Sophie Shore met with staff and left notes for Sen. Blunt (R-Missouri), Representatives Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri), Jason Smith (R-Missouri), Billy Long (R-Missouri), Sam Graves (R-Missouri), and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri). The duo also stopped by Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Missouri) office and were not able to meet with staff, but left a message asking Sen. McCaskill to commit to voting “yes” for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CWA’s Iowa State Director Tamara Scott and CWA of Iowa supporter Barb Hovland were also able to meet with Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and personally thanked, encouraged, and prayed with him. Scott and Hovland were sure to spend some time in Sen. Joni Ernst’s office thanking her as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former CWA of North Dakota State Director and current North Dakota State Senator, Janne Mrydal, also made the trek to D.C. and when not in the hearings, she was able to visit in Sen. John Hoeven’s (R-North Dakota) office. She also put in multiple requests to meet with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), but was told they did not have time. Unfortunately, this is not a new response from Heitkamp’s office.

Kavanaugh: calm in the midst of chaos

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Walking into the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building the first day of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was absolutely not what was expected. It’s just a year and a half past the confirmation hearing of Justice Gorsuch which was pivotal and exciting in its own right, but largely uneventful.

This go around has been a whole different story. Tuesday morning saw the Hart atrium full of protesters. Purple NARAL shirts swarmed the halls, and people with Planned Parenthood buttons and signs gathered around the media while women dressed as handmaids stood silently and strategically throughout the building. Not long after arriving the whole room went silent. Everyone huddled in a circle, and the crowd turned on electric candles and held them up while the Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood began a vigil mourning the supposed loss of women’s rights at the hands of Judge Kavanaugh.

 

 

 

 

 

CWA was there taking videos, pictures, and doing media interviews. We were not there to engage in antics and fear tactics but to professionally engage about the issues and the facts at hand.

Concerned Women for America had very specific goals for these hearings: we were there to show support to Sen. Grassley, Judge Kavanaugh, cover that room in prayer, and be a voice of truth to the media at every opportunity.

There was not a moment of this hearing that didn’t see at least two CWA staff or members inside the hearing room. During some of the more intense sessions, we made sure to have even more people there to support and pray. Late Wednesday night was the first opportunity Sen. Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Harris (D-California) had to question Judge Kavanaugh, and they did not hold back. We had nine staff and members of CWA burning the midnight oil with the Judiciary Committee. The room was audibly astonished at their behavior towards the Judge, especially during Sen. Harris’ time.

On Thursday afternoon, Senator and Judiciary Committee member Tillis (R-North Carolina) noted that up to that point, there had been over 200 interruptions from the public listening section at the back of the room.

And those protests paled in comparison to what was happening in Sen. Grassley’s (R-Iowa) office.  On Thursday morning, CWA’s Communications Coordinator, Annabelle Rutledge, and Iowa State Director, Tamara Scott, were at Sen. Grassley’s office when a group of protesters came in yelling, chanting, and waving cameras. From 9:00 a.m. to around 4:00 p.m., they held a sit-in. His staff had to go in the back of the office to continue working as the protesters took over behind the desks. They brought lunch, bringing groups of people in shifts to make sure the office was full throughout the day.

Annabelle was inside trying to take video at the beginning of the protest but had her camera blocked repeatedly and was physically blocked from leaving the room as she was called a coward. Most of the media chose to ignore us despite the fact that our Iowa State Director, a constituent of Sen. Grassley was being introduced to them. They chose instead to pull screaming protesters for interviews. CNN told us that they were too busy and didn’t have time for us. It was clear that the facts we had to share did not fit their narrative of hysteria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the chaos, the hysterics, and the fear tactics, it has been incredible to witness Judge Kavanaugh throughout this week. On Wednesday, he sat through more than 12 hours of intense questioning. Thursday was more of the same, even going into a third round of questions at night. You would never guess how exhausted he must be by his good spirits, calm demeanor, and insightful, clear, and direct answers. He has held fast to the Constitution and precedent just as his predecessors in their hearings. Democratic Senators’ attempts to make him sound anything but qualified and ready for the task at hand fell flat. His qualifications, his deep understanding of law, his dedication to the Constitution, and his character cannot be hidden.

Thank you to each one of you who have kept up with his hearing and prayed alongside of us.

 

Kavanaugh Confirmation Legislative Update: What Now?

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The Kavanaugh hearings have officially come to an end after no shortage of political theater by both Senators and paid disrupters. There’s still a lot that needs to happen before he can be confirmed. The Senate Judiciary Committee must give his nomination either a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the entire Senate. This vote in the committee will be scheduled next week, but Democrats can object to a motion to proceed to a vote and delay the process.  If they do (and we fully expect that they will), the committee must wait one week before meeting again to consider the nomination. Once this time is burned, the vote can be taken, and then the committee can report the nomination to the full Senate.  Cloture can be filed the day after the committee gives their final report (cloture is a vote to end debate) and then the clock starts ticking to burn 30 hours of Senate floor debate.

It normally takes 60 votes to stop debate, but remember former Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the Senate rules in 2015 to allow for a simple majority (51) to end debate for lower court judges and cabinet nominees. When Democrats obstructed the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice for the Supreme Court in 2017, Majority Leader McConnell was forced to change the Senate rules again to lower the cloture threshold for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority. The vote to end debate on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination will require this same simple majority. After debate is over, the final vote will occur for confirmation; this vote also requires a simple majority of Senators present to pass.

This will likely take us into the end of September, and if all goes according to plan, including a successful floor vote, it appears that Judge Kavanaugh will be Justice Kavanaugh in time for the Supreme Court’s term beginning the first Monday in October (October 1).

Kavanaugh Hearing Update Day – 3

By | Kennedy, Legal, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Today’s update of Kavanaugh’s outstanding performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee must start with the debacle that was Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) as they questioned the nominee late last night.

To sum, it was all fluff and no substance. Sen. Booker decided to question Kavanaugh on emails from the Bush White House that the nominee could not access (more on that drama later).  One particular email Sen. Booker focused on as particularly ominous actually showed Judge Kavanaugh agreeing with Sen. Booker that racial profiling shouldn’t be used. But the pompous way and mysterious circumstances of the whole exchange, where the email couldn’t be shown were all very dramatic.

It was clear Sen. Booker was there to make a point and was not interested at all on anything Kavanaugh had to say. The ironic thing is that Kavanaugh has shown through his record that he has been one of the leading voices advocating for minorities in the legal field.

Here is a bit of what he said about his efforts to help get more minority law clerks:

“Justice Thomas and Justice Brayer were testifying before the Appropriations Committee, and they were asked about minority law clerks and the lack of them at the Supreme Court. And they said, in essence, we’re hiring from the lower courts. And I remember reading that and thinking, well, I need to do something about that. I’m the lower court. I’m one of them. So, after that, I thought what can I do? And I didn’t just sit there. I went and thought what can I do, and I started on my own going to the Yale Black Law Students Association every year starting in 2012. I think I’m the only judge who has done something like that, or one of the few. And I just cold-called them, cold-e-mailed them and said I’d like to speak about minority law clerk hiring because I’m told there’s a problem there. And I showed up the first time wondering how it would go, and I explained, and I got a good crowd from the Black Law Students Association. And I said we need more law clerks. There’s a problem. Let me tell you how to do it. Here’s why you should clerk, and here’s how you clerk. Here are the classes you should take and the things you need. And I gave them my phone number and e-mail and said call me any time if you want to help. And it was a big success.  I got a lot of e-mails after that. I helped students. I help students get clerkships with other judges. One of them recently finished the Supreme Court and thanked me for starting him on that road…  I’ve continued to encourage African American law clerks, but not just encouragement. I’ve given them help and advice and been a source of counsel… I tried to be very proactive on that, including my own court hiring where there are only networks that prevented women and African Americans and minorities from getting clerkships, I have been very aggressive about trying to break down those barriers and be very proactive on that.”

Sen. Booker should be highlighting these great efforts, lifting Kavanaugh up as a model for other judges to follow. Instead, he was blatantly disparaging Kavanaugh’s record with unsubstantiated innuendo to make him look as if he didn’t care about civil rights.

Sen. Harris was also incredibly disappointing in her questions. She was very aggressive, and you can tell she came out “for blood,” so to speak. But, substantively, she delivered very little.  The most telling exchange came when she dramatically asked Judge Kavanaugh over and over, “Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer?”

As you might expect, Judge Kavanaugh was apprehensive and said he didn’t think so and he would need to see who works there.  But Sen. Harris was stern: “Be sure about your answer, sir.”

The social media commentary was ratcheted up a hundred-fold. What did she know? She went so far as to tell him, “I think you’re thinking of someone, and you don’t want to tell us.”

But as The Los Angeles Times reported, there was no big reveal. It was all a show and it, “failed miserably.” So miserably, the law firm itself had to respond that they had no idea about what she was talking. “There have been no discussions regarding Robert Mueller’s investigation between Judge Kavanaugh and anyone at our firm,” a spokesman told CNBC.

What a dud.

The amazing thing, though, was the incredible demeanor and grace with which Judge Kavanaugh treated all of them. After more than 12 hours of questioning and answering questions with very few breaks, he was still in good spirits to the very end.

And today it was more of the same. Judge Kavanaugh started and remained in that same spirit of cordiality and respect towards all there.

Which brings us back to more of Sen. Booker’s antics. While complaining about the emails that he couldn’t show yesterday to the Judge because they were marked “Committee Confidential,” which meant he would need to discuss them with the Judge at the private session they had today, Sen. Booker revealed he was defying Senate rules and the committee to release the emails publicly. He was engaging in an act of “civil disobedience,” like Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’m saying I’m knowingly violating the rules,” he said dramatically, referring to the moment as his “Spartacus moment,” if you can believe it.

Only the documents he was releasing as an act of public disobedience had already been opened to the public the night before after a simple request was made. A statement from the George W. Bush’s record representative read, “We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to. We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public.”

And so, the hearings went on. The histrionics (which seems like an appropriate term) will surely continue. But Judge Kavanaugh was magnificent. There is no other way of putting it.

Tonight, they will conduct a private session with the judge and tomorrow several outside groups will speak in support and against his nomination. But his work is done—largely mistake-free.