Gm! ☕️

ICYMI: One of Biden's nominees to a U.S. appeals court repeatedly declined to say if she thinks Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is “intellectually and morally bankrupt,” a characterization she endorsed in 2018.

Republicans went nuts.…
A few notable moments from Jennifer Sung's confirmation hearing yesterday.


JK (1/?)

Sung, a labor lawyer and former union organizer in Oregon, is up for a seat on the 9th Circuit.

Republicans took turns yesterday trying get Sung to say she did not feel this way about Kavanaugh anymore. Some made quite a show of it, esp Sen. Kennedy.
Sung must have fielded the question 12, 15, 20 times on whether she thinks Kavanaugh is "intellectually and morally bankrupt" -- a phrase used to describe him in an open letter she signed in 2018.

Each time, she said she respects his authority on SCOTUS + SCOTUS precedents.
I, for one, was surprised and laughed. Sung held her ground. She wasn't about to praise Brett Kavanaugh personally in some attempt to get confirmed.

The Senate Republicans who went after her aren't going to vote for her anyway.
But one thing to watch here, for anyone following Sung's process, is Republicans fuming about her past criticism of Kav + using it as an excuse not to vote for her.

This is not new. A number of Trump’s appeals court nominees had done this, GOP senators had no issue with it.
For ex...

Now-Judge David Porter had previously described Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination as “judicial elitism.”

Now-Judge Neomi Rao actually testified against Sotomayor in her confirmation hearing, criticizing her “personal, consequentialist approach to judging.
Another, now-Judge David Stras, had previously said President Barack Obama ”could have done much better″ than picking Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, and called her hearing answers ”uninspiring and even misleading.”
So many Republicans went after Sung for her past criticism of Kavanaugh, I'd guess this is going to be their argument against her going forward.

But they all voted to confirm those other appeals court nominees I just listed. No probs with their past criticisms of Sotomayor.
GOP Sen. John Kennedy acted very outraged at Sung about this. He asked her over and over again what she thinks of Kavanaugh -- interrupting her repeatedly as she tried to answer.

He became so overbearing that Sen. Dick Durbin jumped in to tell him to give Sung a chance to talk.
Kennedy was incredibly rude to Sung. Shouting, interrupting, dismissing her over and over again.

Also wtf with this?
It was tense.

Dem Sen. Patrick Leahy finally jumped in.

“This idea, that especially if we have a woman nominee, you can interrupt her any time you want, state your own things, she’s answered this question over and over again. I would hope we’d get back and show some respect."
Kennedy said he wasn't being rude b/c Sung was a woman.

"I resent the suggestion that I’m doing that because she’s a woman I would be doing it if she made those intemperate remarks as a male. And I don’t believe the senator has any evidence to show that I’m being misogynistic."
Leahy noted Republicans' voting record on the committee when it comes to advancing judicial nominees who are women or people of color.

I checked. Kennedy, for one, has voted in committee against all 4 of Biden’s now-confirmed appeals court judges ― all of whom are Black women.
"I’ve seen, in my years here, which is longer than anybody else’s ... a disproportionate number of votes against women and people of color, especially women of color," @SenatorLeahy said.…
Anyway, there was a lot going on in this Senate hearing. It felt tense and ugly at times. Durbin, the chairman, eventually took over and said it was time to move on.

“We’re going to terminate this conversation and go back to the business of the committee."
It's all in here.…

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More from @jbendery

14 Sep
Gm! ☕️

The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun its confirmation hearing for 2 of Biden's nominees to lifetime seats on federal appeals courts.

Beth Robinson, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Jennifer Sung, for the U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit
Robinson has been an associate judge on the Vermont Supreme Court since 2011.

If confirmed, she would be the first openly LGBTQ woman to serve on *any* U.S. appeals court.…
Sung, a labor lawyer and former union organizer, has been a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board since being appointed in 2017.

If confirmed, she'd be the first Asian American judge from Oregon on the 9th Circuit.
Read 13 tweets
10 Sep
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) issued a statement today denying responsibility for letting loose the six zebras that have been on the run in the D.C. suburbs.
"Local news has reported that the zebras were let loose on Saturday or Sunday of last weekend, a period of time during which I was enjoying quiet time at home with family,” Norton said. “My alibi is solid."
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
NEW: Progressive judicial advocacy group Demand Justice launches $1.5 million effort aimed at pressuring Democrats to support legislation adding seats to the Supreme Court…
Demand Justice's plans include hiring an in-house team of 6 people, working with Bernie Sanders’ campaign strategist Becky Bond + organizing an in-person lobby day on Capitol Hill in October ― timed with the anniversary of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The group has already recruited 400+ volunteers to meet with nearly three dozen Democratic lawmakers’ offices to urge their support for The Justice Act, a bill that would expand the Supreme Court from 9 seats to 13.
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
Biden just nominated another historic, diverse pool of people to be lifetime federal judges.

In the mix: nominees who'd be the first Korean American woman to serve on *any* U.S. appeals court + the second Black woman ever on the Ninth Circuit.…
Notably, Biden also picked Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

If confirmed, she'd be the only Black woman serving as an active judge on *any* of California’s four federal district courts.
As of today, Biden has nominated a total of 43 people to be lifetime federal judges.

He's been confirming judges faster than any president in more than 50 years by this point in their terms.…
Read 5 tweets
2 Sep
Democrats are vowing to fight to protect abortion rights after the Supreme Court's decision to let Texas' extreme anti-abortion law take effect.

Ok but how?… w/ @elisefoley
They're citing several possible actions: codifying Roe v. Wade, expanding SCOTUS, enlisting DOJ + HHS to ensure Texas women can access abortions.

But even as Dems control all of govt, the Senate filibuster could stop them from taking any major action.
What can Democrats actually do to ensure the preservation of abortion rights as Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance?

You can't codify Roe v. Wade without reforming/nixing the Senate filibuster.

You can't expand SCOTUS either.
Read 9 tweets
2 Sep
JUST IN: Nancy Pelosi announces the House will take up legislation to codify Roe v. Wade -- enshrining abortion rights into federal law -- as soon as the House returns from recess.…
Pelosi also railed against the Supreme Court's "cowardly, dark-of-night decision” to let Texas' extreme anti-abortion law take effect.

The Texas law bans abortions after 6 weeks and even awards $ to people who report on someone assisting another person terminating a pregnancy.
"SB8 is the most extreme, dangerous abortion ban in half a century," Pelosi said. "Its purpose is to destroy Roe v. Wade."
Read 4 tweets

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