Putting a rare spotlight on the shadowy conservatives pushing for confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Tuesday directly questioned the nominee on the dark money groups supporting his bid.
During the second day of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Whitehouse called on Gorsuch to urge his undisclosed donors to reveal themselves “as a matter of respect for the process…so we can evaluate who is behind this effort.”
The Hill reported that, while “he did not name Judicial Crisis Network by name, Whitehouse asked why the group spent at least $7 million to keep President [Barack] Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, from getting a confirmation hearing and is now spending $10 million to get Gorsuch confirmed.”
“You’d have to ask them,” was Gorsuch’s retort, to which Whitehouse replied: “I can’t because I don’t know who they are. It is just a front group.”
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Watch the exchange below.
The Judicial Crisis Network is among a tight-knit network of conservative organizations and activists that have been actively trying to reshape the American judiciary system, according to New York Times journalist Eric Lipton.
In a recent exposé, Lipton revealed the effort currently being led by conservative activist Leonard Leo, former executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, who was tapped by the White House to “shepherd the Gorsuch nomination.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Appearing on Democracy Now! on Tuesday, Lipton further revealed that the Judicial Crisis Network—a so-called grassroots organization that has spent millions of dollars on pro-Gorsuch television and radio ads—only has two unknown donors listed on their tax records, which he tied back to Ann and Neil Corkery and their organization the Wellspring Committee.
According to OpenSecrets.org, the Corkery’s have either been board members or officers with “the Catholic League, an aggressive defender of the church against what it sees as ‘slanderous assaults,'” and “the National Organization for Marriage, which has fiercely fought official recognition of gay marriage,” in addition to the Judicial Crisis Network.
Another shadowy group, the Koch Brothers’-backed Concerned Veterans for America, has also been a leading proponent of Gorsuch, flooding conservative districts where a Democrat faces re-election with calls, urging voters to contact their Senators and demand confirmation, according to the right-wing National Review.
Going a step further and connecting the conservative donors with Gorsuch’s controversial view in regards to the “Chevron deference,” Lipton explained how his confirmation could pave the way for massive deregulation.
In a 2016 court opinion, Gorsuch wrote that the idea that courts should defer to experts at agencies has “permit[ted] executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”
As Lipton told Democracy Now!:
Watch the segment below:
Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.
Click Here: geelong cats guernsey 2019