Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.

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In the weeks before Donald J. Trump took office, lawyers joining his administration gathered at a law firm near the Capitol, where Donald F. McGahn II, the soon-to-be White House counsel, filled a white board with a secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges.

Mr. McGahn, instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy, according to two people familiar with the effort: Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings and where Democratic senators up for re-election next year in states won by Mr. Trump — like Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania — could be pressured not to block his nominees. And to speed them through confirmation, avoid clogging the Senate with too many nominees for the district courts, where legal philosophy is less crucial.

Nearly a year later, that plan is coming to fruition. Mr. Trump has already appointed eight appellate judges, the most this early in a presidency since Richard M. Nixon, and on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a ninth appellate nominee — Mr. Trump’s deputy White House counsel, Gregory Katsas — to the floor.

Republicans are systematically filling appellate seats they held open during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office with a particularly conservative group of judges with life tenure. Democrats — who in late 2013 abolished the ability of 41 lawmakers to block such nominees with a filibuster, then quickly lost control of the Senate — have scant power to stop them.

More from The New York Times

Posted by Libergirl, who says who cares about his tweeting…this is what is going on that will effect all of us.

 

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HBCUs, advocates looking for help from Trump on funding

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The nation’s historically black colleges and universities are pushing for President Donald Trump to set aside more federal contracts and grants for their schools, and take a greater hand in their welfare by moving responsibility for a key program for those colleges to the White House.

President Donald Trump shakes hands as he meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Image: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The presidents of the nation’s 100-plus HBCUs, pressing their case for greater attention from the new Republican-controlled government, met with Trump briefly in the Oval Office and later with Vice President Mike Pence. On Tuesday, they planned to meet with GOP lawmakers.

 “Know that beginning today, this administration is committed to ensuring that historically black colleges and universities get the credit and the attention they deserve,” Pence said after the meeting. “Our administration at the president’s direction is working to find new ways to expand your impact so that more students, especially in the underserved communities of this country, have a chance at a quality education.”
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Trump scraps endorsement event after black pastors object

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has cancelled a press conference in which his campaign said he would be endorsed by as many as 100 black evangelical religious leaders. Many of those invited to the event say they had no intention of endorsing the billionaire businessman and former reality television star.

Image: Daily Kos

“It’s a miscommunication,” said Darrell Scott, the senior pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who has helped to arrange meetings between Trump and black pastors in recent months. Trump’s campaign “thought it was going to be a press conference for an endorsement when it wasn’t,” Scott said Sunday in an interview.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email that Trump would still be holding a private meeting with the group on Monday before departing for a rally in Georgia. She did not respond to additional questions about the cancellation.

 Trump has been courting the support of evangelical black clergy members as he works to broaden his appeal in a crowded Republican field. He has held several meetings with pastors from across the country in recent months.

His campaign issued a press release last week that read: “Mr. Trump will be joined by a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders who will endorse the GOP front-runner after a private meeting at Trump Tower.”

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Trump owns Jeb! in New Hampshire

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Image: Reuters via Daily Kos

It’s hard to describe just how badly The Donald destroyed Jeb! in Derry, New Hampshire, Wednesday evening by holding an opposing town hall event at the very same time as Jeb!

Nothing summed it up better than MSNBC’s Trump/Jeb! split screen with Trump’s audio running almost continuously during primetime viewing while Jeb! was entirely silenced.

During that time, Trump tore Jeb! limb from limb. Jeb! is a “low-energy person” who was “supposed to do well in New Hampshire but has gone down like a rock,” said The Donald. But honestly, Trump’s pre-town hall warm up with reporters yielded one of the most effective takedowns of Jeb! imaginable after Trump was asked whether he had gotten under Jeb!’s skin.

More from The Daily Kos

 

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Opinion: Pope’s apology on sex abuse still doesn’t cut it

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Pope Francis speaks during the feast-day Mass on a one-day trip to the Calabrian region of Italy on Saturday, June 21. The Pope spoke out against the Mafia's "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good," and declared that "mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.'

Image: Getty

After meeting Monday with six victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed against them and begged forgiveness “for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse.”

Apologies are all well and good, but this one brings to mind two trite but true sayings: “Too little, too late” and “Actions speak louder than words.” Unfortunately, Francis has more to do so that future popes won’t have to keep saying “I’m sorry” for these crimes and the Catholic Church’s cover-up.

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Huckabee: Dems say women need government to ’control their libido’

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Uncle Goober speaks again….

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that Democrats are pushing women to believe “they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”

The onetime presidential candidate made the comments to the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting in Washington D.C.

“If the Democrats want to insult women by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” he said. “Let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.”

More including video from NBC News

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Michelle Obama steps into health care spotlight

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Image: AP

President Barack Obama has struggled to sell his health care law this fall — and until now, he’s largely been without his top seller: first lady Michelle Obama.

The first lady has done little to promote the Affordable Care Act in recent months, marking a shift from her usual role as the president’s middle class messenger — a move that allowed her to sidestep the political battles over the law, and questions about the administration’s trustworthiness.

Now, with HealthCare.gov’s glitches mostly fixed, and pressure mounting for the administration to boost enrollment numbers — and the president’s approval ratings continuing to slump — she took on a new level of public involvement Wednesday, co-hosting a group of mothers in the Oval Office, and sitting solo for a round of interviews with African-American radio hosts.

More from Politico

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