Koch-backed advocacy group launched a 'full-scale' campaign to push Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation
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Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy group backed by billionaire Charles Koch, is campaigning to support President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, the group said in a press release Saturday. "[AFP] today commended President Trump for nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court," the group said in the release, adding that it "now commits the full weight of its permanent grassroots infrastructure to drive her confirmation to the high court." AFP said it will launch its campaign with "several waves of targeted direct-mail, layered digital, and other tactics to follow in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia." The group said in addition to its grassroots efforts, it had set up a website for constituents to contact their senators in those key states after advocacy groups and congressional lawmakers called for Congress to hold off on or delay a nomination from Trump. Trump's nomination announcement on Saturday came one week after liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and reports detailing her dying wish as dictated to her granddaughter, that her Supreme Court seat remains vacant "until a new president is installed." Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins broke ranks from their Republican colleagues days after Ginsburg's death when they both said a vote on a replacement for the court should wait until after the election. Other top Democratic lawmakers echoed calls for a delayed confirmation process, even warning extraordinary action to block a nomination from Trump, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly promised Trump's pick would receive a vote on the Senate floor. This campaign is the latest in the group's history of rallying Trump's supreme court nominations that includes efforts backing Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017. Charles, who is CEO of Koch Industries, and his brother David, who died last year, have a long track record as two of the largest donors to conservative political causes. The Koch brothers did not donate to Trump in 2016 but instead launched grassroots efforts to boost GOP candidates in key Senate and House races. Charles previously criticized some of Trump's policies including the travel ban targeting Muslim immigrants. In 2018, he expressed frustration with "the divisiveness of this White House" and signaled that he would potentially be open to backing Democratic candidates. Last year, the Koch network told donors that they would not support Trump in 2020.
Read more: How the billionaire Koch brothers became 2 of the most influential political donors in America Amy Coney Barrett's nomination means a more conservative Supreme Court is primed to weaken or nix Roe v. Wade. Here are 18 abortion cases in the pipeline to the high court.
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Photos show thousands joining the Women's March in DC to protest Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination
Summary List Placement Thousands of demonstrators gathered for the Women's March in Washington, D.C., Saturday in...Summary List Placement Thousands of demonstrators gathered for the Women's March in Washington, D.C., Saturday in protest of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court. Protesters, many of whom carried signs and wore costumes, also hoped to galvanize Americans to vote President Donald Trump out of office in a few weeks. Speaking to various news outlets, organizers projected that over 116,000 people would attend one of the at least 429 demonstrations happening across the country on Saturday. Nearly four years ago, the Women's March drew record numbers in attendance. Millions of people came out in protest of Trump's presidency in January 2017. Driven this time by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, organizers hoped the rallies would spur change ahead of the upcoming presidential election. The Senate Judiciary Committee, after multiple days of hearings, scheduled a vote on Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court for October 22. The hearings were contentious and split between Republicans praising her judicial philosophy and Democrats questioning where Barrett stood on stronghold decisions like Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. Democrats also argued that the Senate is moving too quickly in the Supreme Court nomination process, urging instead for Congress to bench the decision until after the upcoming presidential election. But Republicans have plowed ahead, with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's full blessing. The decision was met with intense backlash from Americans who felt the next justice should be determined by the presidential candidate who wins in the November election. His full-fledged support to move forward prompted a wave of demonstrators mobilizing across the country. Nearly 1.5 million people signed a petition demanding that lawmakers delay the process until after the 2021 presidential inauguration. Protesters also rallied outside Sen. Mitch McConnell's Kentucky home. The Saturday protests nationwide acted as an extension of this mobilization effort. Here's what they looked like: Demonstrators donned 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes, referring to their belief that Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court will limit women's rights. Many protesters came dressed in "Handmaid's Tale" costumes, modeled after the subjugated women in Margaret Atwood's novel and Hulu series of the same name. The handmaid characters in the fictional works were frequently raped and forced to bear children for infertile couples. Demonstrators have been dressing up as the characters in recent years to protest against acts of oppression against women. Democrats, for example, remain skeptical that Barrett, if nominated, would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case granting Americans the right to an abortion. Barrett in 2006 signed off on a two-page print ad that called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. The ad referred to the landmark decision as "barbaric" and called it a "raw exercise of judicial power." Thousands of protesters came out rallying for women's rights, wearing masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus and carrying signs in support of equality. "Men of quality don't fear equality," one sign reads. "Don't tread on me," another sign reads, accompanied by a picture of a hissing rattlesnake in the shape of a uterus. Ginsburg proved to be a huge motivator for the march attendees, who carried signs featuring her picture and signature accessories in her honor. After the announcement of Ginsburg's death last month, women all over the world began mourning. The late Supreme Court justice, who died at 87 of complications from pancreatic cancer, became known as a feminist icon. Ginsburg's legal career was marked by a series of arguments advancing women's rights and gender equality, and she served as the inspiration behind several books, movies, and dolls. Barrett, if nominated to the bench, would replace Ginsburg. Other protesters sought to sent a sharper message to Trump. A demonstrator showed up donning accessories appearing to resemble Trump. The demonstrator's outfit seems to portray a person who's been incarcerated, suggesting the demonstrator either believes that the president should or will be in jail. One protester carried a sign that called for Americans to vote and for lawmakers to hold off on selecting a Supreme Court justice to replace Ginsburg. Ginsburg's dying wish, made just days before she passed, was that she not be replaced until a president takes office. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was among those who echoed her sentiment. "The voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," he said last month. Children also took part in the march, with some dressed up as and paying homage to the late Ginsburg and Rep. John Lewis. Lewis died in July after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. One of the chief leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Lewis is regarded as a US civil rights hero. Former President Barack Obama and other prominent lawmakers expressed his condolences after Lewis' death. "He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise," Obama said. "And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example." While women's marches were happening nationwide, counterprotesters rallied behind Barrett and made clear their support for her. The counterprotests, called the "I'm With Her" rallies, were organized by the Independent Women's Forum, a conservative nonprofit group. "Does the so-called Women's March speak for YOU?" an invite for the rally asks. "If the answer is NO, join us as we champion women, not tear them down." The Women's March unfolded while the nation continues to grapple with racism, with demonstrators protesting police brutality and calling for police reform. The Women's March represents just one social movement that remains ongoing in the United States. Protests against police brutality kicked off in May after the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed by police. Demonstrators continued protesting through the summer after reports of several incidents of police brutality targeted toward Black people.
Judiciary committee expected to confirm supreme court justice nomination on 22 October before advancing to full...Judiciary committee expected to confirm supreme court justice nomination on 22 October before advancing to full Senate ballotThe Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said he has the votes to confirm the nomination of conservative Amy Coney Barrett as a supreme court justice as the upper chamber’s judiciary committee scheduled a vote for 22 October to advance the nomination towards a full Senate ballot shortly after.Barrett’s progression towards taking up the seat vacated by the death of the liberal favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg now appears virtually assured, but the unprecedented nomination of a new justice so close to a presidential election – and one who will shift the balance of the court rightward – has been contentious. Continue reading...
Amy Coney Barrett's fellow faculty members at the University of Notre Dame called on her to delay her nomination until after the election
Summary List Placement Faculty members at the University of Notre Dame called on judge Amy Coney...Summary List Placement Faculty members at the University of Notre Dame called on judge Amy Coney Barrett, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, to "halt" her nomination till after the November election, in an open letter. "We congratulate you on your nomination to the United States Supreme Court. An appointment to the Court is the crowning achievement of a legal career and speaks to the commitments you have made throughout your life. And while we are not pundits, from what we read your confirmation is all but assured," the letter read. "That is why it is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election," the letter continued. Barrett was nominated by Trump to fill the seat of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died last month. After Ginsburg's death, Congressional Democrats denounced the idea of nominating and confirming a new justice until after the November elections, arguing that the seat should remain empty until a new president is elected. Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings for a nominee chosen by then-President Barack Obama arguing it was too late for him to push a nominee through a polarized Senate. Following Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." Senate Minority Chuck Schumer issued the same statement following Ginsburg's death. Confirmation hearings for Barrett began this week. In their letter, Barrett's co-workers gave three reasons for why she should halt the nomination, including arguing that the election is already underway and that voters should decide who gets nominated on to the court. "The rushed nature of your nomination process, which you certainly recognize as an exercise in raw power politics, may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice," the letter stated. "You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination. Nor are you complicit in the Republican hypocrisy of fast-tracking your nomination weeks before a presidential election when many of the same senators refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing a full year before the last election. However, you can refuse to be party to such maneuvers." The group also told Barrett to honor Ginsburg's legacy by not going against her wishes to have her seat remain open until the next president is elected. Finally, they argued that her confirmation would further polarize an already divide nation. "Our politics are consumed by polarization, mistrust, and fevered conspiracy theories. Our country is shaken by the pandemic and economic suffering. There is violence in the streets of American cities. The politics of your nomination, as you surely understand, will further inflame our civic wounds, undermine confidence in the court, and deepen the divide among ordinary citizens," the letter said. Barrett has come under fire for her views on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Trump has repeatedly promised to nominate a judge who would strike down the act, which has afforded millions of Americans health insurance and added benefits. In 2017, Barrett was critical of Chief Justice John Roberts' reasoning to uphold the Affordable Care Act. "Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute," Barrett wrote then. "He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power; had he treated the payment as the statute did — as a penalty — he would have had to invalidate the statute as lying beyond Congress's commerce power." The group acknowledged that if Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden were to be elected, Barrett would most likely not be confirmed. "That would be painful, surely. Yet there is much to be gained in risking your seat. You would earn the respect of fair-minded people everywhere. You would provide a model of civic selflessness. And you might well inspire Americans of different beliefs toward a renewed commitment to the common good," the group said in the letter. Read more: Amy Coney Barrett sidestepped Kamala Harris' question on whether she was aware Trump wanted to nominate a Supreme Court justice who would strike down Obamacare After the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Schumer repeats McConnell's statement after Justice Scalia's death word for word Democrats slam Amy Coney Barrett for not telling senators she signed on to a 2006 letter calling the legacy of Roe v. Wade 'barbaric' Trump's expected Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has been a vocal opponent of Obamacare. If confirmed, she could sway the court to strike down the act. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly