Trump - McConnell judges push voter suppression and laws that benefit the rich. Follow the money stacking the courts with conservative, activist judges.
The U.S. Supreme Court further undercut the Voting Rights Act by blocking the creation of a second majority-Black congressional district in Alabama for the 2022 election. The court's action came in a Shadow Docket - an unsigned order, without full briefing or argument. NPR
- Map with 232 Trump appointees and their 93 U.S. District Courts
- How do activist judges push voter suppression
- Follow the dark money funding the Federalist Society behind conservative judge
- Mitch McConnell's playbook of holding onto power by stacking the courts
Trump - McConnell judicial appointees
Supreme Court approves racially gerrymandered Alabama voting map
The Supreme Court approved a Republican drawn Alabama congressional map that a lower court had said diluted the power of Black voters. Five conservative judges including the three Trump appointees (Neal Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh) voted for the districts that favor Republicans at the expense of growing minority communities.
"Justice Kagan admonishes the court’s majority for granting the stay without full briefing or argument, writing that the decision “does a disservice to Black Alabamians who under that precedent have had their electoral power diminished—in violation of a law this Court once knew to buttress all of American democracy.” - Democracy Docket
Packing the courts
Trump appointed 234 judges to the federal bench thanks to vacancies created by McConnell blocking President Obama's nominees including Merrick Garland. Trump packed nearly as many federal appeals court judges half the time as President Obama thanks to McConnell and other Senate Republicans. This has reshaped the federal judiciary – particularly the appeals courts – for decades to come. Federal judges have lifetime tenure and typically remain on the bench long after the presidents who nominated them have left office. - Pew Research Center
Trump appointed a smaller share of non-White federal judges than other recent presidents. More than a quarter of currently active federal judges are now Trump appointees. 84% of Trump appointees were White. - Pew Research Center
Supreme Court partisanship on display
"62 percent of the public considers the Supreme Court’s decisions to be political. On Feb. 5, ultra-conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch presented with former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnnany and right wing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Florida chapter of the conservative Federalist Society at a convention closed to the media.
American Oversight, a D.C. government watchdog turned up a June 2021 email from right wing activist Ginni Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife, saying that "my husband has been in contact with [DeSantis] too on various things of late.” Mrs. Thomas has drawn attention for having tweeted “love MAGA people" to the “Stop the Steal” demonstrators on Jan. 6, 2021, and for regularly promoting baseless conspiracy theories during the Trump years." - The Hill
How to cling to power with fewer votes
Our nation is moving even deeper into minority rule: The U.S. government is controlled by the less popular party in a polarized two-party system. When the majority of a nation’s citizens can’t get its candidates elected or its preferred policies passed, the government’s legitimacy is compromised and destabilizing pressure begins to build.
The House has no role in selecting Supreme Court justices. That’s controlled by the Senate, which means that the composition of the high court has a minority, rural-state bias. The problems mount when one party dominates the rural areas and the other dominates the urban ones. Republicans essentially get bonus points: They can be the less popular party and still get to govern. They have come to prefer winning narrowly with committed partisans than winning broadly with unreliable moderates.
Black people are still being killed by police officers who face few or no consequences. Protest and unrest are a predictable outcome when a population thinks the political system is completely unresponsive to its needs. Imagine that dynamic multiplied many times over. When well more than half the country votes for one result — over and over — and continues to get another, the situation is unsustainable. This is how a government loses its legitimacy." - Excerpts from Seth Masket article in Washington Post
Follow the dark money stacking the courts
"The Federalist Society has an annual budget is about $20 million. It is funded by dark money and designed to remake our judiciary on behalf of a distinct group of very wealthy anonymous funders. The Federalist Society is funded by massive, secret contributions from corporate right-wing groups that have big agendas before the courts. It understands the fundamental power of the federal judiciary to rig the system in favor of its donor interests. Nearly 90% of Trump’s appellate judges, and both his Supreme Court justices, are members of the so-called Federalist Society. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas are members.
The Federalist Society’s The Society got $5.5 million in 2017 through a groups called DonorsTrust that launders the identities of donors to other groups, so that Americans don’t know the real backers of the groups. It is an identity removal machine for big donors. The Koch brothers are among the largest contributors to DonorsTrust. The NY Times reported that the Mercer family who helped start Breibart News and bankrolled the Trump campaign gave more than $2 million." - Excerpts from Sheldon Whitehouse speech
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McConnell 'Stack the Courts' playbook
Free! Illustrated guide with twenty proven McConnell court-stacking schemes.