Tag: Senate

The Latest: Senate panel ends confirmation hearing for day | National politics

Feinstein and Democrats are expected to focus on healthcare during the hearings. Feinstein still faces criticism for her comments during Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing to be a federal judge. Feinstein had joined Republicans on the panel in asking Barrett about her Roman Catholic faith, but then went further by telling Barrett, then a Notre Dame law professor, that “when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.″

Republicans are pushing to confirm Barrett before Election Day.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham says Judge Amy Coney Barrett is in a “category of excellence” as a law professor and legal scholar.

Graham, R-S.C., praised Barrett as he opened Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Republican-led panel. Barring a dramatic development, Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm the 48-year-old conservative appellate judge to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

Graham acknowledged “the COVID problem in America is real,″ but said, “We do have a country that needs to move forward safely.” Barrett was wearing a face mask, as were all the roughly 100 people in the cavernous hearing room.

Graham cited Barrett’s testimony that she follows the judicial philosophy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked two decades ago. He called that a good summary of “who Amy Barrett is in terms of the law.″

Source Article

Continue reading

Over 50 Law Professors Pen Letter to Senate Judiciary in Support of Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

A group of more than 50 law professors sent a letter Friday to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing their support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and calling her qualifications “stellar.”

In a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham and ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein, obtained by National Review, the 53 law signatories identified themselves as a “diverse” group representing many fields and perspectives and holding “widely differing views about the President and the timing of this nomination.”

“We share the belief, however, that Judge Barrett is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as an Associate Justice,” the group wrote.

President Trump nominated Barrett last month to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, kicking off what is expected to be a tempestuous Senate confirmation battle less than six weeks before the November presidential election.

Barrett has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since she was appointed by Trump in 2017. The 48-year-old Notre Dame law professor clerked for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and is a conservative Catholic mother of seven.

“Although we have differing perspectives on the methods and conclusions in her scholarship, we all agree that her contributions are rigorous, fair-minded, respectful, and constructive,” the professors said in their letter. “Her work demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges that federal courts confront.”

The group includes several professors from Ivy League schools including Harvard University, Columbia Law School, and Yale Law School, as well as professors from the University of San Diego, Notre Dame Law School, George Washington University Law School, Stanford Law School, and others.

“Judge Barrett has outstanding credentials for this position,” the law professors said in their letter to Graham and Feinstein, adding that, “as a legal scholar, Judge Barrett has distinguished herself as an expert in procedure, interpretation, federal courts, and constitutional law.”

“She enjoys wide respect for her careful work, fair-minded disposition, and personal integrity. We strongly urge her confirmation by the Senate,” the professors wrote.

The Judiciary Committee on Monday began its first day of hearings on Barrett’s nomination, which are expected to go through Thursday. Republicans are hoping to confirm her to the Court before the election on November 3.

More from National Review

Source Article

Continue reading

Amy Coney Barrett: Senate opens hearing into Trump Supreme Court pick

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWatch live coverage as Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing begins

Amy Coney Barrett, US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is going before the Senate Judiciary Committee for what could be a fiery confirmation hearing over the next four days.

The 48-year-old conservative jurist has vowed to judge legal cases impartially.

Judge Barrett’s nomination so close to the 3 November presidential election has sparked a political row between the Republicans and rival Democrats.

Judge Barrett’s approval would cement a conservative majority on the top court.

Conservative-leaning justices would then hold a 6-3 majority, shifting its ideological balance for potentially decades to come.

President Trump picked Judge Barrett to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month aged 87.

The Republicans – who currently hold a slim majority in the US Senate, the body that appoints Supreme Court judges – are now trying to complete the process before Mr Trump takes on Democratic rival Joe Biden in the election.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

  • favoured by social conservatives due to record on issues like abortion and gay marriage
  • a devout Catholic but says her faith does not influence her legal opinion
  • is an originalist, which means interpreting US Constitution as authors intended, not moving with the times
  • lives in Indiana, has seven children including two adopted from Haiti

Read more: Who is Trump’s Supreme Court pick?

The court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.

Democrats fear Judge Barrett’s successful nomination would favour Republicans in politically sensitive cases that reach the Supreme Court.

In his opening statement as the hearing began, committee Chairman Lindsey Graham described Ms Barrett as being “in a category of excellence, something the country should be proud of”.

What will Judge Barrett say in her opening remarks?

In what is effectively an interview for the job, the confirmation hearing will give Judge Barrett a chance to explain her legal philosophy and qualifications for the lifetime post.

In prepared remarks released ahead of Monday’s meeting, Judge Barrett thanks President Trump for “entrusting me with this profound responsibility”, which she calls the “honour of a lifetime”.

In the speech, Judge Barrett will speak of the importance of her family and how her parents prepared her for a “life of service, principle, faith, and love”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAmy Coney Barrett: “I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage”

Judge Barrett will pay tribute to judges she has worked with, including former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Justice Scalia’s reasoning “shaped me”, Judge Barrett will say. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were.”

Judge Barrett will say she has “resolved to maintain that same perspective” in her legal career.

It is up to elected politicians to make “policy decisions and value

Continue reading

Democrat’s praise of strict gun law roils Kansas Senate race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans on Sunday circulated a video of the Democrats’ candidate for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas praising strict Australian gun laws that she said “took them all away” to undercut her campaign as a political moderate in what’s been an unexpectedly tough red-state race for the GOP.



U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., the Republican nominee for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas, speaks during a stop in a GOP bus tour of the state, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. Asked about President Donald Trump's tweet after being treated for coronavirus that people should not fear COVID-19, Marshall told reporters, "Of course, I think everyone should respect the virus." (AP Photo/John Hanna)


© Provided by Associated Press
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., the Republican nominee for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas, speaks during a stop in a GOP bus tour of the state, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. Asked about President Donald Trump’s tweet after being treated for coronavirus that people should not fear COVID-19, Marshall told reporters, “Of course, I think everyone should respect the virus.” (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Democrat Barbara Bollier’s spokeswoman accused Republican Roger Marshall’s campaign of being “duplicitous” in highlighting the video from an Oct. 3 “lawn chair chat” at a Kansas City-area park. Bollier’s campaign released longer audio from the same event that included moments in which Bollier said she supports the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting gun rights and recalled hunting with her father.

The race appears to be close between Marshall, a two-term congressman for western and central Kansas, and Bollier, a Kansas City-area state senator who was a lifelong moderate Republican before switching parties late in 2018. As the GOP fights to keep its 53-47 majority in the Senate, Marshall and his supporters have attacked Bollier on issues that favor Republicans in much of the state, including gun rights.

Both a 2 1/2-minute video clip provided to The Associated Press by the Marshall campaign and longer audio from Bollier’s show that she noted that an adult daughter lives in Australia and praised a law there that in the 1990s forced owners of 700,000 guns to sell them to the government as “this amazing thing.”

“They have no guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them all away,” Bollier told her audience. “And you know what? It’s pretty darn safe.”

Bollier also noted that Australia imposes licensing and training requirements for gun owners. Kansas law allows adults to carry weapons openly, and it allows them to carry concealed firearms without a permit — a policy Bollier opposed as a legislator when it was enacted in 2015.

“Who thinks you can just go out and have a gun? Seriously,” Bollier said. “You can’t drive a car without training. You can’t basically do anything without some kind of training. This is a lethal weapon.”

As the video clip began circulating, Bollier tweeted Sunday afternoon: “I do not support gun confiscation. I never have. I never will.”

Republicans have not lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Bollier has flooded the airwaves with ads that have included testimonials from former GOP state lawmakers.

The race had seen a Kansas record of $32 million in advertising as of last week, with Marshall and his allies being outspent, according to the media advertising firm Advertising Analytics.

Bollier’s campaign

Continue reading

Democrat’s Praise of Strict Gun Law Roils Kansas Senate Race | Political News

By JOHN HANNA, AP Political Writer

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans on Sunday circulated a video of the Democrats’ candidate for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas praising strict Australian gun laws that she said “took them all away” to undercut her campaign as a political moderate in what’s been an unexpectedly tough red-state race for the GOP.

Democrat Barbara Bollier’s spokeswoman accused Republican Roger Marshall’s campaign of being “duplicitous” in highlighting the video. Bollier’s campaign released longer audio from the same event that included moments in which Bollier said she supports the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting gun rights and recalled hunting with her father.

The race appears to be close between Marshall, a two-term congressman for western and central Kansas, and Bollier, a Kansas City-area state senator who was a lifelong moderate Republican before switching parties late in 2018. As the GOP fights to keep its 53-47 majority in the Senate, Marshall and his supporters have attacked Bollier on issues that favor Republicans in much of the state, including gun rights.

Both a 2 1/2-minute video clip provided to The Associated Press by the Marshall campaign and the longer audio from Bollier’s show that she noted that an adult daughter lives in Australia and praised a law there that in the 1990s forced owners of 700,000 guns to sell them to the government as “this amazing thing.”

“They have no guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them all away,” Bollier told her audience. “And you know what? It’s pretty darn safe.”

Bollier also noted that Australia imposes licensing and training requirements for gun owners. Kansas law allows adults to carry weapons openly, and it allows them to carry concealed firearms without a permit — a policy Bollier opposed a legislator when it was enacted in 2015.

“Who thinks you can just go out and have gun? Seriously,” Bollier said. “You can’t drive a car without training. You can’t basically do anything with some kind of training. This is a lethal weapon.”

As the video clip began circulating, Bollier tweeted Sunday afternoon: “I do not support gun confiscation. I never have. I never will.”

Republicans have not lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Bollier has flooded the airwaves with ads that have included testimonials from former GOP state lawmakers.

The race had seen a Kansas record of $32 million in advertising as of last week, with Marshall and his allies being outspent, according to the media advertising firm Advertising Analytics.

Bollier’s campaign had spent more than $9 million, with outside groups paying for about $8 million more. Nearly 90% of the roughly $14.5 million in ads for Marshall were covered by outside groups, with the Marshall campaign spending about $1.5 million, according to Advertising Analytics.

Bollier’s remarks on guns first were reported Sunday by The Washington Free Beacon conservative site. Marshall’s campaign manager, Eric Pahls, texted a 36-second excerpt to The Associated Press. He later provided a link to a longer

Continue reading

Supreme Court nominee Barrett pledges fealty to law as Senate hearing looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators in her high-stakes confirmation hearing this week that she will approach cases based on the law, not her personal views, as Democrats urged her to step aside on an upcoming challenge to the Obamacare law and any potential election-related disputes.

A four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for the conservative appellate court judge is set to begin on Monday, a key step before a final full Senate vote by the end of October on her nomination for a lifetime job on the court.

In a copy of her prepared remarks released on Sunday, Barrett said that as a judge she seeks to “reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be.”

Barrett, 48, said in the statement that it will be an “honor of a lifetime” to serve alongside the current eight justices and explained how she approaches cases.

“When I write an opinion resolving a case, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against,” she wrote.

Barrett’s confirmation to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that could lead to rulings rolling back abortion rights, expanding religious and gun rights, and upholding Republican-backed voting restrictions, among other issues.

Democratic opposition to Barrett on policy issues has focused on her possible role in deciding a case before the Supreme Court in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare law, often called Obamacare.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday that Barrett should, if confirmed, step aside from the case, which is scheduled to be argued at the court on Nov. 10.

“She doesn’t come unbiased and that’s why she should recuse herself,” he said.

A key Obamacare provision that would be thrown out if the court strikes down the law bars insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats have criticized Trump for seeking to end Obamacare protections amid a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

Schumer also said Barrett should recuse herself from any cases involving the presidential election because of statements made by Trump in which the president has said the court is likely to have election cases. Trump, who is running for reelection against Democrat Joe Biden, has indicated he would expect the court to rule in his favor if Barrett is confirmed.

Under existing rules, individual justices have the final say on whether they should recuse.

The Senate’s Republican leaders rejected Democratic pleas to delay the hearing after two Republican Judiciary Committee members and Trump himself tested positive for the coronavirus in the days following his Sept. 26 White House ceremony announcing Barrett, 48, as his nominee.

Barrett is scheduled to deliver her opening statement to the committee on Monday, with

Continue reading

Senate Dems ask government watchdog to investigate ‘political pressure’ on FDA, CDC

ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 212,000 Americans.

The Democrats urged the Government Accountability Office to “conduct an investigation to determine whether the CDC and FDA’s scientific integrity and communications policies have been violated and whether those policies are being implemented as intended to assure scientific integrity throughout the agency.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump listens to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn speak on the latest developments of the coronavirus outbreak, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 19, 2020, in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump listens to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn speak on the latest developments of the coronavirus outbreak, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 19, 2020, in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump listens to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn speak on the latest developments of the coronavirus outbreak, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 19, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Since the early days of the pandemic, the Trump administration has faced criticism about its coronavirus response, including downplaying the severity of the virus and undermining the opinions of the country’s top scientific experts.

The administration also has faced allegations that it put pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to change their guidance on important subjects.

Earlier this week, for example, The New York Times reported that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ office stalled an effort to greenlight more stringent guidelines for the eventual approval of a vaccine.

A spokesperson for the White House budget office denied that report to ABC News, and the tougher guidelines were later approved. That decision angered Trump, who tweeted Tuesday that the “New FDA Rules” amount to nothing more than “another political hit job.”

PHOTO: In this July 11, 2017, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Gary Peters greet Richard Spencer before his confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

In this July 11, 2017, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Gary Peters greet Richard Spencer before his confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

In this July 11, 2017, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Gary Peters greet Richard Spencer before his confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The senators also cited reports that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services published information to the CDC’s website — without consulting experts at the CDC — recommending that asymptomatic people did not need to be tested for COVID 19 — guidance that was later reversed.

Also highlighted in the letter is a report that the White House pressured the CDC to downplay the risk of COVID transmission in schools, despite

Continue reading

Haiti – Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue


Haiti – Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue
08/10/2020 10:51:27

Haiti - Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue

In a note, the Senators of the Republic advocate dialogue and consultation to facilitate constitutional reform and the organization of elections.

Note from the Haitian Senate :

“The Senate is very attentive and very sensitive to the opinions expressed by the various sectors of national life on the presidential decree of September 18, 2020 appointing the members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-31835-haiti-flash-appointment-of-cep-members-and-mandate.html

Subjects so delicate as constitutional revision or general elections deserve to be treated with wisdom and serenity and above all with a strong dose of patriotism and a very high sense of national interest.

The halt or the delay arranged by the abstention of the Court of Cassation from receiving the oath of the advisers offers to all the actors animated by a sincere and resolute patriotism the opportunity of a deep reflection and an honest approach to the search for a constructive agreement on this great file of collective importance.

The Senate of the Republic invites all actors, protagonists and antagonists, to objectively assess the data of this perilous situation and to urgently take the path of dialogue and consultation for a lasting solution to the recurring crises which maintain the country in chaos, political instability and the pangs of poverty.

Aside any plans for reform or constitutional revision, local authorities need to regain popular legitimacy to fully enjoy their autonomy in the exercise of their mandate, and Parliament to regain its full strength to fulfill its fundamental mission of legislation and control and to restore the balance of power.

The Senate remains convinced that dialogue and consultation constitute the nourishing sap of democracy and the rule of law and remain the only way likely to bring the country back to respect for the rules of the democratic game and promote political stability, social peace and economic growth.”

HL/ HaitiLibre

Source Article

Continue reading

GOP Senate group’s fundraising letter may have violated state law



text: The L.A. County assessor says a recent GOP fundraising letter seems to have tried to trick recipients into thinking it was from his office. (Photo illustration by Jerome Adamstein / Los Angeles Times)


© (Photo illustration by Jerome Adamstein / Los Angeles Times)
The L.A. County assessor says a recent GOP fundraising letter seems to have tried to trick recipients into thinking it was from his office. (Photo illustration by Jerome Adamstein / Los Angeles Times)

The upper left-hand corner of the envelope says “Los Angeles County Area Assessment,” which is strikingly similar to the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor.

There’s an official-looking seal featuring an eagle and stars. “DO NOT TAMPER OR DESTROY,” the envelope warns ungrammatically but officiously.

But it’s not official correspondence. It’s a fundraising mailer from a Republican Senate group that L.A. County officials say may have violated state law.

“We’re very sensitive to this,” Assessor Jeff Prang told me. “The envelope clearly resembles letters from my office, right down to the typeface.”

The letter within, signed by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, more clearly defines the mailer as a “Republican Party Area Assessment.”

It purports to be a survey aimed at “compiling a detailed, highly accurate profile of GOP voters across the nation.”

Sample question: “Do you believe Senate Republicans should continue standing firmly with President Trump against the impeachment-obsessed socialists in the House of Representatives, who have been trying to tear the president down since his first day in office?”

In reality, the four-page letter is a vehicle for no fewer than five separate requests for a contribution of as much as $1,000.

The committee, it says, “is using every dollar we raise to hold Democrats accountable for their impeachment crusade.”

“That’s why our Republican Senate Majority has been so crucial,” Young writes. “The House is controlled by power-mad socialists who will do anything to try and undermine our president.”

The website of the National Republican Senatorial Committee describes it as “the only national organization solely devoted to strengthening the Republican Senate majority and electing Republicans to the United States Senate.”

It’s a political campaign group, not a government entity. Democratic senators have a similar fundraising organization.

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the GOP committee, noted that beneath “Los Angeles County Area Assessment,” the envelope says “NRSC” and includes the committee’s Washington address.

I countered that few non-politicos would be able to say what NRSC stands for (I couldn’t have before this column), and that the all-caps L.A. County part is much more prominent than the committee address, which isn’t all caps and is in a smaller type face.

Hunt declined to respond to that, or to my question as to whether the mailer’s envelope had been similarly “localized” in cities and counties nationwide.

The commies-under-the-bed content of the mailer notwithstanding, it was a red flag for local authorities when calls started coming in from people asking why Prang, a Democrat, was involved with a GOP fundraising effort.

“I’m an elected official,” Prang said. “I don’t want people asking what I’m doing sending out mail on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.”

He reached out to County

Continue reading

New York Government Officials Urge Senate to Pass the ‘Save Our Stages’ Act (Guest Column)

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the revised $2.2 trillion “Heroes Act” coronavirus stimulus package, which includes provisions of the $10 billion bipartisan “Save Our Stages” Act designed to provide financial assistance to independent music and live-entertainment venues across the U.S. However, the Republican-controlled Senate appears unlikely to vote on the latest version unless an agreement is reached between Democrats and the White House.

Below, Justin Brannan, New York City Council Member, District 43, and Ariel Palitz, Senior Executive Director, NYC Office of Nightlife, a division at The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, urge the Senate to pass “Save Our Stages.” Head here to find out more you can do to support your local music venue and others across the country. 

Our greatest comfort as human beings is so often found in public, in the company of others—grabbing a drink with friends, catching some live music, or letting go on the dance floor. For New York City residents, bars, dance clubs, and music venues are homes away from home, celebrations of creativity, and safe harbors of diversity. These venues are essential to the social and economic health and vibrance of our city.

As public servants who began our careers working in the kinds of venues that are now in danger of disappearing completely, we urge Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act. We fear that without federal support we are going to lose the independent venues that are the heart and soul of our city and the backbone of our nightlife economy.

The sobering reality, and global dilemma, is that live music, dance, and performance venues are sustained by gathering. So, while most industries have been afforded lifelines to gradually re-open, these venues have been closed since March, with no opening date in sight.

According to the National Independent Venue Association, which represents almost 2,000 music and performance venues across the country, 90% of independent venues may be forced to close permanently without support from Washington.

As a City Councilman and the Senior Executive Director of New York City’s Office of Nightlife, we know what this means. Live venues are the places where the energy and culture and creativity that define New York City radiates, and they are the livelihood for 200,000 of our fellow New Yorkers.

As the former East Village club owner and a founding member of two New York City hardcore punk bands, we know the human cost. We’ve watched as fear and uncertainty have gripped the DJs and musicians, lighting and sound engineers, security, bar staff, and venue operators, who make this part of our economy function. We know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into running a venue, and we know the people who run venues are fighting for survival as we speak.

This bi-partisan Save Our Stages bill, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, would provide a total of $10 billion in grants, of up to $12 million each, to independent venue

Continue reading