Category

Legal

Justice Kavanaugh Confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States

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Washington, D.C. — Today, the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court 50-48.

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

“This confirmation journey has been unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Thank you, President Trump, for choosing such an outstanding and exemplary nominee. What we saw play out over the last month was nothing more than an outrageous display of partisanship at the cost of a good man’s reputation.

“But at the end of the day, truth and justice were victorious. I have been honored to stand alongside and represent half-a-million women who have supported Brett Kavanaugh since July 9. His record and his life of service withstood every salacious and unfounded attack.

“To the senators who endured threats for doing what is right, thank you. Thank you to Sen. Susan Collins who stood up for all women in that historic speech yesterday. To the staff on the hill who dealt with angry mobs at your desks, thank you. To Chairman Grassley, who saw the Judiciary Committee through this unprecedented charade, thank you for your strong and steady leadership. To Leader McConnell, who refused to be bullied, thank you.

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee showed up. Our happy warrior/activist ladies did what they do best. Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of our leaders fought unwaveringly for months. They wrote letters, held rallies, traveled to town halls, and even showed up in D.C. I am proud to stand with them.

“Justice Kavanaugh, thank you for not giving up. We are praying for you and your beautiful family. You made a choice to sacrifice yourself for the good of this nation, and the American people saw that. There is no one more qualified or worthy to sit on this esteemed bench at this time.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.

Legal Case Against Kavanaugh Incredibly Weak

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Rachel Mitchell, Division Chief of the Special Victims Division for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona, sent a devastating memo to Republican senators delineating her independent assessment of Dr. Christine Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. She concludes:

In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.

Click here to see the report in its entirety.

Leg Update: Sen. Judiciary Committee votes on Kavanaugh 11-10, What Now?

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During the Judiciary Committee business meeting this morning, Sen. Flake (R-Arizona) decided that a FBI investigation would be helpful “to mend the nation”. So before he voted on Kavanaugh in committee, he asked for such an investigation to be conducted.  A senator cannot make their vote contingent on anything, so this was mostly symbolic and political. Kavanaugh was reported out of committee favorably 11-10 (voted along party lines); his confirmation can now move to the Senate floor. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) very shortly after the vote echoed Flake’s call for an additional FBI investigation, essentially forcing Leader McConnell to delay the vote for said investigation.

Tomorrow at noon there was a procedural vote (motion to proceed) scheduled, but in a plot twist no one saw coming, about 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, the Senate agreed by unanimous consent request (that means no one, including democrats objected) to the motion to proceed (the one that was scheduled for tomorrow) to move to Executive Session for the consideration of Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Monday at 3:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and continue Kavanaugh’s consideration. There will be other legislation considered then as well.

The White House has now asked the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation into *existing* allegations only, and the investigation must wrap up in one week. This was the exact request from Senate Judiciary. The investigation could last two hours, or it could last all week.  There is no way to know. This is why McConnell moved forward with the motion to proceed regardless.

Chairman Grassley’s repeated remarks this week on why a FBI investigation is useless are helpful.  To summarize: it is not their job to reach conclusions or give recommendations; that is the sole job of the Senate (advice and consent); there was no federal crime committed, so they don’t have jurisdiction anyway.

After the FBI concludes their investigation, there will likely be calls for additional investigations. From day one the Democrats entire goal was to stop this with “everything they have”. There will be more calls for delay. There will very likely be more allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. The pressure on the four undecided senators will be intense (Heidi Heitkamp D-North Dakota, Joe Manchin D-West Virginia, Susan Collins R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska). It will all get much, much worse.  When abortion is your god and life has no value, ruining one man’s life and reputation to “save Roe” is not even an ethical question, it’s a mandate. Leader McConnell is very motivated to move forward. He knows this is important on every level. Floor debate will continue all week.  Once the FBI investigation is over, at some point next week, we will have the cloture vote (end debate), and then the final vote.

Earlier today after the Flake episode, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), one of our “gettable” democrats previously undecided, came out in opposition to Kavanaugh and intends to vote against his confirmation.

Pray for Judge Kavanaugh and please pray for Ashley Kavanaugh, too. I will never forget the look on her face yesterday. I cannot imagine having to explain to my 10 and 13 year old girls that even though half the country thinks their dad gang raped women, that is a lie made up and permeated by politicians. I would also encourage you to watch Senator Graham’s questioning of Kavanaugh yesterday if you haven’t already. It sums it up perfectly, and I found it very encouraging.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh Testify Under Oath Amid Politicized Process

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Washington, D.C. — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify under oath. Judge Kavanaugh offered his defense and was questioned immediately following.

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

“Today’s hearing was difficult for everyone.  Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony was powerful, sincere and appropriately emotional.  As a woman who is a victim of attempted rape and a physical assault, a member of the #MeToo movement, I still believe in the presumption of innocence for everyone.

“The process was politicized from even before he was named when abortion activists held up signs opposing “XX (insert name).” After Judge Kavanaugh was named, they stooped to screaming and interrupting the hearings, dressing as handmaids (and not kidding, condoms) and disrupting senate business by harassing senate members and staff.

“The level of nastiness I have observed in the past few weeks is shocking. Add all of this to the games played by Senator Feinstein and Senate Democrats, and it becomes clear that the politics of personal destruction has made a mockery of the Senate.  Senator Charles Grassley has done an heroic job of patiently working to be fair and thorough.  Enough!  It’s time to vote.  And Concerned Women for America urges the swift confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Coalition Groups Hold Women for Kavanaugh — “I Stand With Brett” Rally

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Washington, D.C. – The “Women for Kavanaugh” bus is making its way to D.C.! Concerned Women for America LAC and coalition groups will be holding a rally on Capitol Hill, Thursday, September 27, in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What: Women for Kavanaugh – ‘I Stand With Brett’ Rally
When: Thursday, September 27, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EST
Where: The Park behind the Russell Senate Office Bldg. on Capitol Hill
The park is located across the street from the Russell Office building and is bordered by C St. N.E., Delaware Ave. N.E., 1st St. N.E. and D St. N.E.
Speakers Include:
 
Penny Young Nance, CEO & President, Concerned Women for America
Peggy Nienaber, Vice President of Operations, Faith and Action
Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director, Judicial Crisis Network and former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas
Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder and National Coordinator, Tea Party Patriots
Allie Stuckey, The Conservative Millennial, Host of the podcast, Relatable
Patrice Onwuka, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women’s Forum
Karin Agness, President, NeW
Jessica Anderson, Vice President, Heritage Action
Kimberly Fletcher, President and Founder, Moms for America
Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Women for a Great America
Penny Morrell, CWA of ME, State Director
Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy
Victoria Belk, YWA Chapter President, Liberty University
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America had this to say:

“Accusations continue to surface, but the fact remains that this frenzy is based on unsubstantiated allegations. Concerned Women for America is committed to standing in support of Judge Kavanaugh, as we have throughout this process. We are also committed to much larger goals – protection of the presumption of innocence, support of due process, and pursuit of truth and justice.”

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 arutledge@cwfa.org 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 arutledge@cwfa.org 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.

Kavanaugh On His Way to Confirmation – Hearing Update Day 2

By | Kennedy, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

The stark contrast between Judge Kavanaugh and his detractors was in full display on the second day of hearings for his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. As senators started their first round of questioning, Judge Kavanaugh was engaging and approachable. He dealt evenly with those senators who questioned him most forcefully, as with those who praised his exemplary record.

His message was clear and concise. It can be summarized by this one statement to Sen. Hatch (R-Utah), “If confirmed to the Supreme Court, and as a sitting judge, I owe my loyalty to the Constitution. That’s what I owe loyalty to. The Constitution establishes me as an independent judge, bound to follow the law as written, the precedents of the Supreme Court as articulated, subject to the rules of stare decisis, and I would do so.”

Loyalty to the Constitution is what is desperately needed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In discussions with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), he described what makes a good judge. He talked about being independent and impartial, and also about someone who takes the law as written. He talked about treating every litigant with respect, judicial temperament and work ethic, among several factors.

Here is a clip where he described a judge that is a judicial activist. He said it is, “[S]omeone who lets his or her personal or policy preferences override the best interpretation of the law.”

 

On the other hand, the vulgar detractors continued to interrupt, disrupt and embarrass themselves with complaints about anything and everything but Kavanaugh’s record.

Having failed miserably yesterday with their own efforts to disrupt the hearings from their seats in the committee, some Democrat Senators, thankfully, decided to greatly reduce (more on this later) their obstructionist tactics to disrupt the committee hearings.

That is not to say they were focused on Kavanaugh’s record. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), for example, decided it was appropriate to ask Kavanaugh about the Federalist Society and the types of policies Kavanaugh would enact for the selection of judges. He asked him about the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Judicial Crisis Network. He was appalled that some groups spend money on ads supporting judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. I was glad to hear Judge Kavanaugh point out that he and his family had seen a lot of ads opposing his nomination too. But, of course, that was not Sen. Whitehouse’s concern – the ones supporting him are the real problem.

In the end, Judge Kavanaugh proved, as Neil Gorsuch did at his hearings, he was the smartest man in the room. He was in his element, discussing the proper role of a judge, precedent, the Constitution and the many cases he has decided. Through it all, he was humble and in good spirits, despite the long hours that would start to weigh on anyone.

Bottom line is, Judge Kavanaugh is on his way to confirmation.

I said I’d have more on the fact that the shenanigans from Democrats being mildly reduced. Here is some of what transpired outside the hearing room where Democrats continued to pounce because they cannot stop the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) objected to a routine request that the Judiciary Committee be allowed to meet beyond the two-hour limit that is required by Senate Rules while they are in session.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was then forced to adjourn the Senate for the day, preventing senators from doing their jobs.

Schumer made it clear he was protesting the fact that they haven’t received all documents related to Kavanaugh.

It bears repeating that Sen. Schumer, within minutes of President Donald Trump’s announcement of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination vowed to oppose him with everything he had. He literally needed no documents to make up his mind.

Not to mention the fact that, as noted in the hearings yesterday, the more than a half million pages of documents the Committee received for Judge Kavanaugh is more than the number of pages they received for the last five Supreme Court nominees combined.

Brett Kavanaugh Shines on Day 1

By | Kennedy, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Radicals tried everything they could to steal this moment from Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They failed.

After Kavanaugh’s opening remarks (text and video below), the picture that emerges following Day 1 of Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing is one of a decent, intelligent, humble man with an unquestionable record that is more than qualified to serve as the 114th justice of the United State Supreme Court.

The man the American people met today bears no resemblance to the histrionics of radical groups fighting against the wind.

Please take the time to read and see the remarks for yourself.  Note his statement on the role of a judge:

A good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy explained in Texas v. Johnson, one of his greatest opinions, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because “the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.” Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.

He also said spoke of his faith and his service to others:

Throughout my life, I have tried to serve the common good, in keeping with my Jesuit high school’s motto, “men for others.” I have spent my career in public service. I have tutored at Washington Jesuit Academy, a rigorous tuition-free school for boys from low-income families. At Catholic Charities at Tenth and G, I serve meals to the homeless with my friend, Father John Enzler. In those works, I keep in mind the message of Matthew 25 — and try to serve the least fortunate among us. I know I fall short at times, but I always want to do more and do better.

Here is the video and transcript of his opening remarks:

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the Committee. I thank Secretary Rice, Senator Portman, and Lisa Blatt for their generous introductions. They are patriots who represent the best of America. I am humbled by their confidence and proud to call each of them a friend.

Over the past eight weeks, I have witnessed first-hand the Senate’s deep appreciation for the vital role of the American Judiciary. I have met with 65 Senators, including almost every Member of this Committee. Those meetings are sometimes referred to as “courtesy calls.” But that term understates how substantive and personal our discussions have been. I have greatly enjoyed all 65 meetings. In listening to all of you, I have learned a great deal about our country and the people you represent. Every Senator is devoted to public service and the public good, and I thank all the Senators for their time and their thoughts.

I thank President Trump for the honor of this nomination. As a judge and as a citizen, I was deeply impressed by the President’s careful attention to the nomination process and by his thorough consideration of potential nominees. I am also very grateful for his courtesy. At the White House on the night of the announcement, the President and Mrs. Trump were very gracious to my daughters, my wife, and my parents. My family will always cherish that night—or as my daughter Liza calls it, her debut on national television.

As a nominee to the Supreme Court, I understand the responsibility I bear. Some 30 years ago, Judge Anthony Kennedy sat in this seat. He became one of the most consequential Justices in American history. I served as his law clerk in 1993. To me, Justice Kennedy is a mentor, a friend, and a hero. As a Member of the Court, he was a model of civility and collegiality. He fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary. And he was a champion of liberty. If you had to sum up Justice Kennedy’s entire career in one word … “liberty.” Justice Kennedy established a legacy of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

I am here today with another of my judicial heroes … my mom. Fifty years ago this week, in September 1968, my mom was 26 and I was 3. That week, my mom started as a public-school teacher at McKinley Tech High School here in Washington, D.C. 1968 was a difficult time for race relations in our city and our country. McKinley Tech had an almost entirely African-American student body. It was east of the park. I vividly remember days as a young boy sitting in the back of my mom’s classroom as she taught American history to a class of African-American teenagers. Her students were born before Brown versus Board of Education or Bolling versus Sharpe. By her example, my mom taught me the importance of equality for all Americans—equal rights, equal dignity, and equal justice under law.

My mom was a trailblazer. When I was 10, she went to law school at American University and became a prosecutor. I am an only child, and my introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing arguments on my dad and me. Her trademark line was: “Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?” One of the few women prosecutors at the time, she overcame barriers and was later appointed by Democratic governors to serve as a Maryland state trial judge. Our federal and state trial judges operate on the front lines of American justice. My mom taught me that judges don’t deal in abstract theories; they decide real cases for real people in the real world. And she taught me that good judges must always stand in the shoes of others. The Chairman referred to me today as Judge Kavanaugh. But to me, that title will always belong to my mom.

For twelve years, I have been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. I have written more than 300 opinions and handled more than 2,000 cases. I have given it my all in every case. I am proud of that body of work, and I stand behind it. I tell people, “Don’t read what others say about my judicial opinions. Read the opinions.” I have served with 17 other judges, each of them a colleague and a friend, on a court now led by our superb chief judge, Merrick Garland. My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent. In deciding cases, a judge must always keep in mind what Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 83: “the rules of legal interpretation are rules of common sense.”

A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy explained in Texas versus Johnson, one of his greatest opinions, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because “the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.” Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.

As Justice Kennedy showed us, a judge must be independent, not swayed by public pressure. Our independent Judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. In our independent Judiciary, the Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The Justices on the Supreme Court do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. If confirmed to the Court, I would be part of a Team of Nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player on the Team of Nine.

Throughout my life, I have tried to serve the common good, in keeping with my Jesuit high school’s motto, “men for others.” I have spent my career in public service. I have tutored at Washington Jesuit Academy, a rigorous tuition-free school for boys from low-income families. At Catholic Charities at Tenth and G, I serve meals to the homeless with my friend Father John Enzler. In those works, I keep in mind the message of Matthew 25—and try to serve the least fortunate among us. I know I fall short at times, but I always want to do more and do better.

For the past seven years, I have coached my daughters’ basketball teams. I love coaching. All the girls I have coached are awesome. And special congratulations to the girls on this year’s sixth-grade CYO championship team: Anna, Quinn, Kelsey, Ceane, Chloe, Alex, Ava, Sophia, and Margaret. I love helping the girls grow into confident players. I know that confidence on the basketball court translates into confidence in other aspects of life. Title Nine helped make girls’ and women’s sports equal, and I see that law’s legacy every night when I walk into my house as my daughters are getting back from lacrosse, or basketball, or hockey practice. I know from my own life that those who teach and coach America’s youth are among the most influential people in our country. With a kind word here and a hint of encouragement there … a word of discipline delivered in a spirit of love … teachers and coaches change lives. I thank all of my teachers and coaches who got me to this moment, and I thank all of the teachers and coaches throughout America.

As a judge, I have sought to train the next generation of lawyers and leaders. For 12 years, I have taught constitutional law to hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty. I am grateful to all my students. I have learned so much from them. And I am especially grateful to the dean who first hired me, now-Justice Elena Kagan.

One of the best parts of my job as a judge is each year hiring four recent law school graduates to serve as my law clerks for the year. I hire the best. My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. A majority of my 48 law clerks have been women. More than a quarter of my law clerks have been minorities. And I have had far more African-American law clerks than the percentage of African-American students in U.S. law schools. I am proud of all my law clerks.

I am grateful for my friends. This past May, I delivered the commencement address at Catholic University Law School. I gave the graduates this advice: Cherish your friends. Look out for your friends. Lift up your friends. Love your friends. … Over the last 8 weeks, I have been strengthened by the love of my friends. I thank all my friends.

I am grateful to have my family behind me. My mom rightly gets a lot of attention. So a few words about my dad. He has an unparalleled work ethic, and the gift for making friends with everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. We are both passionate sports fans. When I was 7, he took me to the 1972 NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium just two miles from here—upper-deck Section 503, Row 3, Seats 8 and 9. When I was 17, we sat in the same seats for the 1982 NFC Championship Game. In 1995, when I was 30, we were at Camden Yards together when Cal Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game and broke Lou Gehrig’s seemingly unbreakable record. And so many other games with my dad. A lifetime of friendship and memories, forged in stadium seats over hot dogs and beer.

My daughters Margaret and Liza will be in and out of this hearing room over the next few days. In the time since you last saw them at the White House, I am pleased to report that Margaret has gotten her braces off and has turned 13. As for Liza, well, I tell her every night that no one gives a better hug than Liza Kavanaugh.

Finally, I thank my wife Ashley. She is a strong West Texan, a graduate of Abilene Cooper Public High School and the University of Texas at Austin. She is now the popular town manager of our local community. This has not exactly been the summer she had planned for our family. I am grateful for her love and inspiration. Ashley is a kind soul. She always sees the goodness in others. She has made me a better person and a better judge. I thank God every day for my family.

Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the Committee, I look forward to the rest of the hearing and to your questions. I am an optimist. I live on the sunrise side of the mountain, not the sunset side of the mountain. I see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone. I am optimistic about the future of America and the future of our independent Judiciary. I revere the Constitution. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case. I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich. I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American Rule of Law.

Thank you.

PRESS RELEASE – Kavanaugh Hearing Wraps Up Day One

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Washington, D.C. – Today was the first day of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. The morning had a contentious start with interruptions from Democrats and protestors in the audience. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) started by asking for the meeting to be cancelled entirely while Sen. Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) waited his turn to ask for an adjournment. Despite delay tactics, the hearing procreeded, although delayed. The day ended with an opportunity for Kavanaugh to address the committee and introduce his family.

After attending the hearing this afternoon, Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee made the following observation:

“What we witnessed today from the Kavanaugh opposition was more of the same. As they grow more and more frustrated and tired of losing, they continue to pout and scream louder and louder. Despite their cries, the arguments have not changed. The nominee has not changed.

“The Democrats in the committee who acted out because they didn’t get enough documents have already vowed to oppose him. Their minds are made up regardless of the proceedings. Let them vote, “no.” Even the liberal American Bar Association had enough information to give Judge Kavanaugh a unanimous “well qualified” rating which is its highest.

“The complaints of those opposing Kavanaugh are loud and incendiary, but they are simply not persuasive. They bear no resemblance to the nominee’s record.

“Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll get less antics and more substantive discussion about the actual record of the nominee. That is what the American people want and expect from their representatives in the committee.”

 

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.