GOP Presidential Candidate Issues Scathing Attack â€“Â Wants To Nominate Next Supreme Court Justice Himself
Before Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia‘s body was barely cold, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was already demanding President Barack Obama leave the Supreme Court justice’s seat open for the next president to fill. The Texas Tea Party extremist and second-place presidential candidate wants that honor for himself, and issued multiple statements Saturday, and continued with attacks on Sunday.
After the GOP debate, Cruz talked with Fox News, telling Brett Baier that if President Obama or a Democrat replaces Justice Scalia,Â “our most basic rights are in jeopardy: life, marriage, religious liberty, the Second Amendment.”
â€” Fox News (@FoxNews) February 14, 2016
Cruz continued his hyperbolicÂ attacks on Sunday, claiming on “Meet the Press” that “if liberals are so confident that the American people want unlimited abortion on demand, want religious liberty torn down, want the Second Amendment taken away, want veterans’ memorials torn down, want the crosses and stars of David sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans, then go and make the case to the people.”
The stakes of the next election are high. Who will protect our liberties? That’s the question before the voters.https://t.co/7Aajl1w9nZ
â€” Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 14, 2016
The former Texas Solicitor General, who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, then took to ABC’s “This Week,” where he exploded into a lengthy rant on the issue.
“This should be a decision for the people,” Sen. Cruz told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, apparently forgetting that President Obama was elected not once but twice, including a re-election by one of the largest margins in recent history.Â
“Let the election decide,” Cruz continued, vowingÂ he would “absolutely” filibuster any Obama nominee.Â “If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election,” Cruz insisted, despite there being no such provision in the U.S. Constitution.
â€” Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 14, 2016
“But I donâ€™t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I donâ€™t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification and I donâ€™t think the American people want a court that will write theÂ Second AmendmentÂ out of the Constitution.”
It’s unclear how the Supreme Court could do any of those things, especially “writing theÂ Second AmendmentÂ out of the Constitution,” but Cruz, consistentlyÂ trailing Donald Trump by double digits, has resorted to unscrupulous lies and attacks, this just being one in a long line of many.
“If Donald Trump becomes president, the Second Amendment will be written out of the Constitution because it is abundantly clear that Donald Trump is not a conservative. He will not invest the capital to confirm a conservative, so the result will be the same whether itâ€™s Hillary [Clinton], Bernie [Sanders] or Donald Trump,” Cruz continued.
“The Second Amendment will go away,” he warned, knowing that the next GOP primary is in South Carolina, a state particularly concerned with expanding access to guns.
Image: Screenshot via ABC News
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ABC Host Pops Marco Rubio’s Balloon Rant: It ‘Happened Three Times’ Under Trump
ABC host Jonathan Karl reminded Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that former President Donald Trump had failed to notify Americans on at least three occasions when Chinese balloons entered the country’s airspace.
During an interview on ABC, Karl asked Rubio if President Joe Biden should have gone against the advice of the U.S. military and instead shot the balloon down over populated land.
Rubio agreed that the debris could have “hurt, harmed or killed people.”
“If that was the case, then I think it really would have been helpful for the president of the United States to get on national television and explain to the American people, this is what we’re dealing with, this is what I’m going to do about it, and this is why I haven’t done it yet. None of that happened. And I don’t know why. I don’t know why they waited so long to tell people about this.”
But Karl pointed out that Trump had failed to disclose similar incidents at least three times.
“This happened three times under the previous president,” the host said. “Obviously, there were no public notifications there.”
Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed
Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.
“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.
Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.
Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.
A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.
Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
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