Senate Democrats published a 50-plus page report Wednesday sounding the alarm over the rate at which Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump have confirmed federal judges during the President’s first term as Republicans are working on shepherding along even more lifetime-appointed federal judges, Fox News informed.
The account calls GOP-appointed judges “politicians in robes,” rails against the Chief Justice John Roberts’ Supreme Court, slams the conservative and libertarian lawyers’ group the Federalist Society and says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is “betraying the vision of our founders.”
The report was widely promoted by high-profile Senate Democrats on Wednesday, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and several others, as Democrats grapple with the breakneck clip of Trump’s and McConnell’s judicial confirmation efforts.
“Instead of passing legislation to help the American people, Mitch McConnell has chosen to bury those bills in his legislative graveyard,” the report’s executive summary reads. “This report looks behind the curtain of the GOP’s long campaign of judicial capture, into the fundamental threat it poses to the rule of law and American democracy.”
Beyond Republicans apparent “judicial capture,” the report also foreshadows future Democratic efforts to “shed light on the corruption and conflicts of interest now spreading around the Trump judiciary” and pans what it says was more than $250 million in dark money raised and spent by “a complex network of think tanks, law school centers, policy front groups, political campaign arms, and public relations shops, all focused on shaping the composition of the courts and the rulings they make.”
The report was also amplified by Demand Justice, a liberal group tied to former Obama staffers that fights against Trump’s judicial nominees and advocates for progressive priorities in federal courts.
Of course, the dark money accusations cut both ways — Demand Justice is a dark money group just the same as the network of conservative organizations the Democrats’ report decries.
“This shows the height of hypocrisy when at this time the largest outside dark money machine is on the left and these senators appear to be turning a blind eye to that,” Adam Laxalt, the former Republican Attorney General of Nevada, told Fox News. “And Arabella Advisors, founded by Eric Kessler, is at the center of a dark money organization that funds groups across the entire liberal spectrum. It was reported in Politico that just in 2018 this Arabella Advisors dark money web put $140 million into the 2018 cycle, which included funding of the Demand Justice group that spent money and attacked the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh.”
The Politico report Laxalt referenced focuses on donations from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, chaired by former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon – who runs Demand Justice – which the report said is closely tied with Arabella Advisors.