Do the math. Still, it’s been interesting to watch how the Democrats have elected to spend their time. The confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is an historic victory for the conservative movement and the crowning achievement of decades of political organizing by social and judicial conservatives. Boxer, the former four-term Senator from California, criticized Barrett as coming from a long line of Trump-appointed judges who are vetted by The Federalist Society. Readers like you make our work possible. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. And that, at bottom, was what Whitehouse was trying to explain with his big red Sharpie. Anyway, to your question: Do amicus briefs matter? ... Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a … Whitehouse didn’t even bother to play their game. Amy Coney Barrett is an American attorney, jurist, and academic who serves as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Barrett was a member from 2005-06 and 2014-17. Mark: That’s a huge part of it. He will have transformed the federal judiciary on all levels for a generation. Whitehouse’s objective is to shut down the Republican mystification of a process that’s as grubby as it is plain. Lili: Ah. As you said, though, it’s all too easy for Republicans to simply dismiss Whitehouse as a conspiracy theorist adorning his crazy board. Anyway, back to your question: There’s not really a cover story to explain why all these groups collude. To start with the basics: What’s an amicus brief, and why is it such a big deal that Republicans are using this network to send “flotillas” of them through the courts? Or do they understand that this is a manufactured conservative consensus? You’ve run out of free articles. Hahn began by swatting away criticism of Joe Biden for not putting up a list of Supreme Court nominees. At least two things: They’re all in tight reelection campaigns, and they all received a maxed-out donation from Federalist Society co-founder and board chairman Steven Calabresi during Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation process. The biggest player here is the Judicial Crisis Network. So far, so good. Whitehouse starts off by establishing that several of his Republican colleagues are on record as saying that confirming a Supreme Court justice in an election year isn’t done. He just showed us who’s funding it. Weakening regulatory agencies! Please try again. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P resuming that Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump will very likely head into reelection having … So don’t act surprised when we ask questions about whether that’s what you’re up to here.” I’m with him, and this was again a common theme of the hearing: Stop saying you’re not here to overturn Roe, because the rest of the Republican Party has said as much. And the Bradley Foundation does much the same thing, right? Of everything we heard today, it seemed to me that Sen. Whitehouse’s presentation was both the most important and (to me, a legal novice) the least clear. Can you fill me in? I’m on board. Mark: An amicus brief is a “friend of the court” brief, filed by a party not directly involved with the case that nonetheless has an interest in it. Sheldon Whitehouse confronts Amy Coney Barrett on the dark money network supporting her October 13, 2020 ... noting that the Susan B. Anthony Foundation is running ads like the one below touting the Federalist Society-approved judge’s nomination as a step to getting “our pro-life country the court that it deserves. Get our conservative analysis delivered right to you. Given that Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber, there appears to be no hurdles standing between Judge Barrett and Senate confirmation. Amy Coney Barrett (The Federalist Society via YouTube) John Zmirak argues that she cannot be trusted to rule in line with the Constitution due to her faith. At least two things: They’re all in tight reelection campaigns, and they all received a maxed-out donation from Federalist Society co-founder and board chairman Steven Calabresi during Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation process. I think we should pause here to note how messed up it is that it’s possible for a group to simply register as a nonprofit and conceal the identity of its donors. Also by the end of his first term, Donald Trump will have completely withdrawn U.S. troops from zero of the countries to which the Obama administration had deployed them. And then, once SCOTUS takes the case, the amici help plant the arguments that will not only deliver a conservative policy outcome, but also lay the groundwork for future right-wing decisions. All rights reserved. He points out that Trump has said reversing Roe will “happen automatically” because he’s putting pro-life justices on the court. They’re all part of one thing, and he’s connecting them to the Federalist Society and to the Judicial Crisis Network. But Whitehouse used them to illustrate how these dark-money groups flood the Supreme Court with amicus briefs, creating the impression that there’s more support for a conservative position than there actually is. Amy Coney Barrett’s name kept coming up, according to Mr. Paoletta, who sat in on her interview at the White House with Mr. McGahn on March 1, six weeks into the administration. The donors don’t want the American people to know they’re pouring tens of millions of dollars into these battles. Tech-immersed partisans are increasingly reluctant to confront the features of political reality that are resistant to their own desires. And Democrats don’t have an equally powerful analogue. Lili: The rest of Whitehouse’s speech covers why mysterious donors might be hiding behind these organizations and what they’re getting out of the court. Barrett was a member from 2005-06 and 2014-17. Amicus briefs often focus on issues that the actual parties don’t address or don’t fully air out. The biggest distinction, of course, is that Brett Kavanaugh, the first of Trump’s nominees to make his senatorial case for a seat on the bench, was credibly accused of sexual assault. Thanks for signing up! Do judges, seeing that there are 11 amicus briefs, weigh them more heavily? And there are a lot of confusing moving parts! But then he starts talking about senators filing briefs and NFIB v. Sebelius, the 2012 Obamacare decision, and I’m lost. Lili: I get it now. T he Trump White House wasted no time in nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, to the Supreme Court after RBG’s passing gave this administration an unprecedented third bite at the SCOTUS apple. Republicans do have a dark-money network that they tap to fund these judicial confirmation battles. Lili: That’s insanely messed up. Jurisprudence We’re Living in the Shadows of a Bush v.Gore 2.0 The same people spending money to put Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court are also trying to suppress the vote. Mark: That is an accurate description of Donors Trust. Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been seated on the Supreme Court for only a year, in 1994, when a group of … Jordan is a Republican and a current member of the Federalist Society for Law and Policy. Billionaires pour money into the group, and then it distributes the cash to organizations that deny climate change, oppose unions, support gun rights, hate taxes—all the Fox News stuff. Amy Coney Barrett (The Federalist Society via YouTube) John Zmirak argues that she cannot be trusted to rule in line with the Constitution due to her faith. Lili: OK. And 86 percent of President Trump’s nominees to federal appellate courts, including Barrett, have been members of the influential right-wing legal network the Federalist Society. They have the numbers, and they’re going to confirm her, regardless of her qualifications or positions or flaws. Biden Is the First President to Openly Oppose the Death Penalty. https://publicsquaremag.org/editorials/who-is-amy-coney-barrett-really During confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island opted not to ask the judge any questions. Now, dark money in this case, he wanted to show how (sinister) “There’s a secret network out there that’s getting justices named to the court!” So he puts up the Federalist Society … For example, Whitehouse references the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau case, in which he says there were 11 amicus briefs filed. Before and while serving on the federal bench, she has been a professor of law at Notre Dame Law School , where she has taught civil procedure, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. Mark Joseph Stern: I’ve never seen the words sincerely and Ted Cruz used in the same sentence before. She ended her membership when she joined the appeals court, but she continues to be a panelist and speaker at Federalist Society … Amy Coney Barrett. We still don’t know who this person was. Now What? resuming that Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump will very likely head into reelection having nominated and seated three justices to the Supreme Court. Yes and no. And it’s a story Amy Coney Barrett has gone along with. Mark: But Kennedy was able to add some throat-clearing language—”While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon”—cite to an amicus brief, and move on. Those who wish to see more victories should study the planning that went into achieving this one. (Samuel Corum/The New York Times) Is Judge Barrett likely to be confirmed? Great. 12:15 p.m. EDT. I fell into a kind of depressive stupor as it became increasingly clear that nothing that happens in these proceedings matters. Lili: So that’s what they’re for? A daily email update of the stories you need to read right now. But it’s opaque and contorted—by design, because that’s how dark money works. Most notably, he infamously claimed that a large number of women regret their abortions, and that the government has a strong interest in protecting them from their own choices. Can you explain what the pretextual distinction between the two is? Mark: Yeah, exactly how judging should work, right? WAY too religious. Judge Amy Coney Barrett addresses a Federalist Society convention at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Nov. 15, 2019. The Federalist Society. Got it. Amy Coney Barrett Set To Hear Case Against Shell, Her Dad's Employer For 29 Years. The trouble with explaining a complicated network of influence is that it starts to sound, well, conspiratorial. The Federalist Society, an influential conservative legal group, paid for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to take six trips in her first year as a federal appeals court judge… His sweeping immigration plan doesn’t even bother pretending to implement enforcement provisions. He was gonna destroy Amy Coney Barrett on the subject of dark money. Judge Amy Coney Barrett appeared at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention in Washington last November. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. gave a recent speech to the Federalist Society explicitly laying out his positions on cases that will be considered by the Supreme Court. Slate’s Lili Loofbourow and Mark Joseph Stern sat down to discuss Whitehouse’s presentation, which you can also watch in full below: Lili Loofbourow: So, Mark, these confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett have been frustrating to watch. In 2016, the Judicial Crisis Network spent a staggering $7 million to oppose President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court — a move that Senate Republicans successfully blocked. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. On the second day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, one senator spent his time trying to zoom out to the bigger picture rather than questioning the judge. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. He also served on the Campaign Finance Committee for Cruz’s Senate campaign in 2012. A dark money group is pumping millions of dollars into Republicans' efforts to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court before November. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, ... the Federalist Society. Do judges reference them when they write opinions? The inexplicable Bostock decision of Justice Neil Gorsuch notwithstanding, Trump will have fulfilled his 2016 campaign promise to appoint originalist justices. What’s important is that the donors stay anonymous. I had a hard time tracking everything Whitehouse was saying, so I’m hoping you can help. The Federalist Uses Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination to Push MRA Ideas October 5, 2020 Libby Anne Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Barrett was a longtime Federalist Society member before becoming a federal judge, according to the questionnaire she submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee. So are amicus briefs extremely influential? Specifically, they’re getting their money from the small group of anonymous billionaires that funds the conservative legal movement. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else. Mark: So Justice Anthony Kennedy notoriously cribbed from anti-abortion amicus briefs in his opinion in 2007’s Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld a federal ban on the safest second-trimester abortion procedure. Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s inevitable confirmation will make a total of six Supreme Court justices who were hand-picked by the Federalist Society. That’s because these are actual, well, conspiracies! Sheldon Whitehouse confronts Amy Coney Barrett on the dark money network supporting her October 13, 2020 ... noting that the Susan B. Anthony Foundation is running ads like the one below touting the Federalist Society-approved judge’s nomination as a step to getting “our pro-life country the court that it deserves. Should someone be allowed to spend $17 million influencing the most powerful court without even owning up to it? During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, October 13, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett trotted out a tired and dismissive refrain from climate deniers, saying, “I’m certainly not a scientist” when Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked specifically about her views on climate change. Treat the election as a referendum on cultural issues and lean in, Mr. President. Lili: And whoever that is—presuming they’re the same person—just spent millions more for Barrett, right? Send me updates about Slate special offers. Is this normal? And guess what? By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. And you'll never see this message again. But the reality is that they’re all getting their money from the same place. I think they help the most when they urge the Supreme Court to take up a certain case. OK, so at this point Whitehouse is demonstrating that there are enormous amounts of money going toward this—he mentions $45 million going to 15 groups that file amicus briefs pretending they’re different, and by the end he’s effectively described a $250 million operation to remake the courts. Barring an improbable successful challenge by Democrats, Barrett is on her way to becoming a Supreme Court justice and tipping the scales of the highest court in the land in favor of … He will have failed even to pull them out …. No charge. President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to replace Justice Ruth Bader ... 2020, The Federalist Society's Wisconsin Lawyers Chapters hosted a panel with three people who know Judge Barrett well: two former law clerks and a former student. That’s by design. His point is these groups aren’t different. Carrie Severino signed an amicus brief arguing for the total destruction of the ACA. “The Federalist Society is not interested in having a national government that really makes life better for people ... Republicans expecting Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court It takes up fewer than 80 cases. This week’s Senate confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, feel very different from the Kavanaugh spectacle of 2018.. And I think a lot of Whitehouse’s presentation was designed to make viewers wonder: Is that healthy? Mark: Yes. Barrett listed various committees she had been on at Notre Dame as well as the conservative Federalist Society and a country club in South Bend. This astonishing feat, along with hundreds more conservative appointments to the lower federal courts, should leave Americans worrying about what rights are in danger of being taken from them.
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