Jennifer Bendery Profile picture
Senior politics reporter for HuffPost. VP of Washington Press Club Foundation. 🏳️‍🌈 Tips: jen.bendery@huffpost.com
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24 Jun 20
NEWS: Trump notches his 200th lifetime federal judge and fills the very last appeals court vacancy nationwide.

He's filled the nation’s appeals courts (mini Supreme Courts, if you will) with dozens of white men — and zero Black judges. huffpost.com/entry/trump-co…
On the one hand, 200 judges is a lot of judges for a president to have confirmed by now.

By this point in their presidencies, Obama was at 152, GWB was at 190 and Clinton was at 186.

Carter takes the cake though, with 239 by this point.
On the other hand, if you look at the % of court seats Trump has filled out of all judgeships, he's falls somewhere in the middle.

That's because the number of total judgeships has changed over the years.
Read 10 tweets
17 Jun 20
Good morning! ☕ A federal judge has ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to give tribes hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 relief funds they should have gotten months ago. huffpost.com/entry/tribes-c…
After blowing through deadlines for months in getting $8 billion in badly needed coronavirus aid to the nation's tribes, the Treasury Dept was still planning to sit on $679 million of it for now.

A judge gave them til today to get it out the door.
“Continued delay in the face of an exceptional public health crisis is no longer acceptable,” U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta concluded in his opinion.

Copy of his opinion in here. huffpost.com/entry/tribes-c…
Read 7 tweets
22 May 20
Imagine having no water, no electricity, no Internet, inadequate federal aid and relying on Doctors Without Borders to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

This is life for Americans in Navajo Nation as the U.S. government, once again, fails tribes. huffpost.com/entry/coronavi…
Arizona state senator Jamescita Peshlakai is Navajo. She represents 122K people in the state. She has no running water or power at home.

"I’ve said before, it’s easier to be a military person in a war zone across the world than to be a Native American in the United States.”
Navajo Nation has been hit *hard* by the pandemic. More COVID-19 cases per capita than any state. Its tax base has been wiped out amid casino closures.

But it's not unique. Tribes everywhere face health disparities, poor infrastructure + decades of negligence by the US govt.
Read 10 tweets
9 May 20
Good morning! ☕ Trump hosted nearly 20 House Republicans at the White House yesterday for more than an hour to talk about the coronavirus -- and not one of them wore a mask or stayed apart. huffpost.com/entry/trump-re…
Look at these photos from their meeting. Really?
This is the same day that Mike Pence's press secretary -- who is married to White House senior advisor Stephen Miller -- tested positive for COVID-19.

And a day after Trump's personal valet, who comes in close contact with Trump and his family, tested positive.
Read 8 tweets
3 May 20
I talked to @OregonGovBrown about her state's vote-by-mail system. Oregon has been conducting all of its statewide elections by mail for decades. It's simple. It's secure. It's cost-effective.

Now it's going to save lives. huffpost.com/entry/oregon-g…
Oregonians won't have to worry about getting COVID-19 to vote. Such a contrast to WI, where mask-wearing voters waited in long lines and got sick.

“I was horrified," said Brown. "That folks should have to risk their health or their lives to vote is absolutely outrageous."
Kate Brown has been working with governors in other states to help them move closer to a vote-by-mail system for November. Dem and GOP governors are interested.

South Dakota and Nebraska state officials “are actually very serious” about it. huffpost.com/entry/oregon-g…
Read 5 tweets
17 Apr 20
Good morning! ☕ Native American tribes aren't getting badly needed COVID-19 stimulus aid because the federal agencies in charge of distributing relief to tribal governments don’t know how to work with them and aren’t listening to what they actually need. huffpost.com/entry/native-a…
What's the problem?

The Treasury Dept, for one, is overseeing an $8 billion fund to help tribal govts stabilize. But weeks later, none of that $ has moved as the agency, which doesn’t otherwise interact with tribes, is still figuring out how to give it out.
Then there's the Small Biz Admin, which has been overseeing $350B in emergency payroll relief to small businesses. The agency, also unfamiliar with tribes, decided that some casinos -- the financial lifeblood of many tribal govts ― wouldn’t be eligible for relief.
Read 10 tweets
25 Mar 20
At at time when Trump is fueling racist "Chinese virus" rhetoric + Asian Americans are being spit on and attacked, some House lawmakers want to pass a resolution blaming China for causing a pandemic + calling on China govt to say COVID-19 started there. huffpost.com/entry/house-re…
This resolution does precisely what public health leaders say not to do: associate an infectious disease with a geographic region. The WHO and CDC have warned specifically against doing this because it can lead to a stigma, discrimination + violence directed at groups of people.
“This resolution puts American lives in danger," said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “I would like to say to my Democratic colleagues, ‘Please do not sign on to this resolution.’” huffpost.com/entry/house-re…
Read 8 tweets
11 Dec 19
Lawrence VanDyke got a "not qualified" ABA rating because his own colleagues described him as “arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules.”

Republicans just made him a lifetime judge anyway. huffpost.com/entry/lawrence…
More than 200 national civil and human rights groups opposed VanDyke. One reason is because of his record of attacking LGBTQ rights.

He claimed in a 2004 Harvard Law Record article that same-sex families hurt children + LGBTQ people are deviant. huffpost.com/entry/lawrence…
Another reason is because of his record of arguing against women’s reproductive rights.

As MT's solicitor general, VanDyke submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban -- and asked the justices to reconsider Roe v. Wade).
Read 8 tweets
4 Dec 19
JUST IN: Senate Republicans confirm Sarah Pitlyk to be a lifetime federal judge, despite her extreme views on fertility treatments having “grave effects on society” + her *unanimous* “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
Pitlyk has claimed that IVF & surrogacy lead to "diminished respect for motherhood and the unique mother-child bond; exploitation of women; commodification of gestation and of children themselves; and weakening of appropriate social mores against eugenic abortion.”
Pitlyk, 42, will be a U.S. district judge for a long time.

Good luck to you if you have a fertility treatment-related case come before her court! huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
Read 8 tweets
3 Dec 19
Happening now: The Senate is voting on a procedural step to advance Sarah Pitlyk's nomination to a lifetime seat on a federal court.

She claimed that IVF and surrogacy have “grave effects on society” and lead to “diminished respect for motherhood.” huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
Pitlyk has said IVF/surrogacy lead to "diminished respect for motherhood and the unique mother-child bond; exploitation of women; commodification of gestation and of children themselves; and weakening of appropriate social mores against eugenic abortion.” huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
This is some seriously Handmaid's Tale shit y'all.
Read 9 tweets
3 Dec 19
A thing happening that's probably gonna get lost in this week's news slog: Senate Republicans are about to confirm a lifetime federal judge who opposes fertility treatments.

IVF and surrogacy have “grave effects on society," Sarah Pitlyk has argued. huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
Got a copy of a letter @SenDuckworth sent to all 99 of her Senate colleagues urging them to oppose Pitlyk's confirmation, citing her own struggles with infertility and ripping Pitly's "deeply insulting" views on fertility treatment. huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
@SenDuckworth Sarah Pitlyk claimed that fertility treatments and surrogacy have “grave effects on society" like "diminished respect for motherhood" and "commodification of gestation and of children themselves."

She's only 42. Up for a lifetime federal court seat. huffpost.com/entry/sarah-pi…
Read 11 tweets
22 Nov 19
Today activists with @WeDemandJustice handed out flyers to Facebook employees in DC shaming the tech firm for sponsoring a gala honoring Brett Kavanaugh huffpost.com/entry/facebook…
@WeDemandJustice Demand Justice has been going after Facebook hard -- placing targeted ads + passing out flyers to FB employees -- over its “Gold Circle” sponsorship of a Federalist Society gala that honored Brett Kavanaugh.

It's the highest level sponsorship. huffpost.com/entry/facebook…
@WeDemandJustice “In funding Brett Kavanaugh’s redemption tour, Facebook’s leaders have chosen profits over survivors.... Until there is justice for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, we will be holding people accountable when they use their power to rehabilitate Kavanaugh.” huffpost.com/entry/facebook…
Read 4 tweets
22 Nov 19
Good morning! ☕️ After months of delays, Senate Republicans finally unveiled their Violence Against Women Act bill.

It rolls back protections for Native women who face unspeakable violence. It also strips out LGBTQ protections + a gun safety provision. huffpost.com/entry/violence…
Here's one way the GOP VAWA bill, led by Sen. Joni Ernst, hurts Native women already facing violence.

It basically gives domestic abusers the ability to say their own civil rights are being violated + blame the victim and tribal govt officials. huffpost.com/entry/violence…
Ernst’s bill also, insultingly, infringes on tribal sovereignty.

It requires new tribal court audits by the AG. It also gives non-Native domestic abusers on tribal land the ability to appeal to a fed court before the tribal govt is done prosecuting them. huffpost.com/entry/violence…
Read 12 tweets
20 Nov 19
Speaking of Native American women facing appallingly high levels of violence, the Senate is finally holding a hearing today to discuss 2 bills -- Savanna's Act + Not Invisible Act -- relating to missing and murdered indigenous women. #MMIW

Should be starting soon.
It's a largely invisible crisis. 100s of Native American women are simply disappearing or being murdered.

There is next to no data available on what, exactly, is going on, either. huffpost.com/entry/lisa-mur…
Savanna's Act boosts coordination & data collection among tribal, local, state + federal law enforcement in cases involving missing & murdered Native women.

Sen. Murkowski told me her bill is a starting pt for addressing this. “We don’t even know what we don’t know with this."
Read 10 tweets
14 Nov 19
There is a HUGE screen outside of Union Station right now featuring Christine Blasey Ford's testimony in the Senate -- as Brett Kavanaugh is inside speaking at the Federalist Society annual fundraiser dinner. Compliments of @WeDemandJustice
There are also handmaids standing outside the Federalist Society-Brett Kavanaugh dinner. As Federalist Society members pass by them in tuxedos.
Oh man. Anti-Kavanaugh protesters are shouting "I believe Dr. Ford! I believe Anita Hill!" right in the faces of Federalist Society members as they're stuck waiting in line for their gala to start. For who knows how long. #awkward
Read 8 tweets
14 Nov 19
Good morning! ☕️ Today the Senate will vote to make this guy, Steven Menashi, 40, a lifetime federal judge. huffpost.com/entry/steven-m…
Not only is the Senate about to confirm Steven Menashi, who has a record of undermining and opposing civil rights, but it will confirm him to a US circuit court seat formerly held by Thurgood Marshall, a champion of civil rights.
Menashi has also never tried a case. Or argued an appeal. Or made any oral arguments in court. Or conducted a deposition. He also could not name for senators a single time when he observed a criminal trial.
Read 10 tweets
13 Nov 19
Meanwhile, the Senate is about to vote to advance Steven Menashi's nomination to a lifetime seat on a US circuit couert.

He's 40. Denounced women’s rights & diversity. Never tried a case. Refused to answer GOP & Dem senators’ questions. May be tied up in Trump's Ukraine scandal.
I'll be watching the vote for any anomalies.

To date, Susan Collins is the only Republican publicly opposing Steven Menashi.
BTW Menashi has been Trump's White House legal aide for over a year.

Every Dem on the Senate Judiciary Cmte sent Menashi detailed ?s about what he knew about Trump's July call w/ Ukraine prez, the whistleblower complaint & whether he advised Trump on either. He never responded.
Read 10 tweets
11 Nov 19
All eyes will be on House impeachment hearings this wk, but a thing also happening is Mitch McConnell holding a vote to confirm Steven Menashi to be a lifetime federal judge.

He's one of Trump's most questionable court picks yet -- and that's a high bar. huffpost.com/entry/steven-m…
Some things to know about Steven Menashi, who is on the verge of becoming a lifetime U.S. circuit court judge.

He's only 40. Never tried a case. He denounced women’s rights & diversity. He refused to answer GOP & Dem senators’ ?s. He may be tied up in Trump's Ukraine scandal.
Some other things to know about Steven Menashi.

He's a WH legal aide to Trump.

He's been working with Stephen Miller on immigration issues.

He was legal counsel to Ed Sec Betsy DeVos when she rolled back Title IX protections for survivors of sexual assault on campuses.
Read 7 tweets
7 Nov 19
JUST IN: Every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee just voted to advance Steven Menashi's nomination to a lifetime seat on a US circuit court. huffpost.com/entry/steven-m…
He denounced women’s rights and diversity. He refused to answer GOP and Dem senators’ questions. He may be tied up in Trump's Ukraine scandal. He's never tried a case.

Republicans are ready to make Steven Menashi, 40, a lifetime federal judge anyway. huffpost.com/entry/steven-m…
Some other things to know about Steven Menashi.

He's a WH legal aide to Trump. He's been working with Stephen Miller on immigration issues. He was legal counsel to Ed Sec Betsy DeVos when she rolled back Title IX protections for survivors of sexual assault on campuses.
Read 8 tweets
6 Nov 19
Remember the viral photo of the woman on her bicycle who flipped off Trump's motorcade?

That's @julibriskman and she just won a Virginia election. huffpost.com/entry/juli-bri…
@julibriskman Briskman lost her job over that photo in 2017.

“Two years ago I was fired for standing up to the backwards agenda of Donald Trump," she told me tonight. "But now my neighbors in Algonkian District have backed me up and rejected the Trump agenda." huffpost.com/entry/juli-bri…
It's Briskman's first stint in public office and she just unseated an eight-year incumbent Republican. Not bad.
Read 3 tweets
31 Oct 19
Well well. The Senate Judiciary Committee just postponed its vote on Steven Menashi -- again.

That's not a good sign for his nomination.
Who is Steven Menashi?

He's one of Trump's most controversial nominees yet for a lifetime federal judgeship. He's only 40 2) he refused to answer senators' ?s about his legal work for Trump and 3) he said all this stuff.
Some other things to know about Menashi, up for a lifetime seat on a US appeals court.

He's never tried a case. He's never argued an appeal. He's written piles of editorials attacking women's rights and diversity. He's been legal counsel to Stephen Miller + Betsy DeVos.
Read 6 tweets