The Dept. of Justice late Sunday evening announced it is replacing its team of attorneys who have spent countless hours in the Trump administration’s long battle to get what some say is a racist citizenship question added to the 2020 Census.
Experts are weighing in, with one calling the move “ominous.”
“As will be reflected in filings tomorrow in the census-related cases, the Department of Justice is shifting these matters to a new team of Civil Division lawyers going forward,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
The New York Times quoted Justin Levitt, a former senior official in the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, who said: “There is no reason they would be taken off that case unless they saw what was coming down the road and said, ‘I won’t sign my name to that.’”
Some believe what is coming down the road is the DOJ lying to the federal courts – or that it already has.
Lawyer Luppe B. Luppen, who is a noted commentator on Twitter and writer at Yahoo News, offered up this theory:
Is it possible DOJ needed to switch lawyers in the census case because they’ve had the existing team lying to the judges and justices for months about a drop-dead date for printing the census forms, among other things, and that is about to become undeniable? Just a theory.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 8, 2019
Meanwhile, renowned election law expert and law and political science professor Rick Hasen weighed in quickly:
This development is ominous.
It almost certainly means the career attorneys working for the Department of Justice refused to go along with what Trump wants to do now with the citizenship question on the census. https://t.co/sWmE0Rd4Iy
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) July 8, 2019
Hasen was not the only one who surmised the DOJ attorneys who had argued the case decided they could no longer do so under the circumstances.
Some legal experts say the first team was thoroughly embarrassed when President Donald Trump tweeted that reports saying the administration would abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling and not add the citizenship question to the Census were “fake,” especially since those reports were official statements from the Trump administration. The first team may have “declined to continue working on the case once it became clear they were being asked to engage in lawyering that violated their duty of candor to the court,” former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said.
“Career folks likely declined to make convoluted arguments to pacify Trump given [their] ethics obligations,” she added.
“Never heard of anything like this,” law professor and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said on Twitter.
ThinkProgress columnist Ian Millhiser, who wrote a book on the Supreme Court, issued this wise warning:
The thing to watch for when the new team is identified is whether any career DOJ attorneys are members of the team, or if it is all political appointees. https://t.co/Ynb2tcxqzV
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) July 8, 2019
Why is this question so critical for Trump? Because it will benefit white Republican voters and possibly reduce the number of Democratic districts in the U.S. House of Representatives, by scaring minorities – especially non-citizens – from responding to the Census.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Legal Experts Blast ‘Jerk Gorsuch’ for Refusing to Wear a Mask – Forcing Sotomayor to Stay in Chambers
During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the Biden administration’s vaccine or test mandate in certain workplaces earlier this month some court observers noted every justice was masked – except one: Neil Gorsuch. They also noticed that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was participating from her chambers via telephone, while her co-workers were seated as usual on the bench.
“Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19,” NPR reported Tuesday. “Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up.”
“They all did,” NPR’s Nina Totemberg noted. “Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench.”
Public outcry was swift, and it includes legal experts:
“As a member of the Supreme Ct bar, I condemn in the strongest terms possible Justice Gorsuch refusing to wear a mask to protect his high risk colleague, Justice Sotomayor, from being killed by Covid,” wrote Richard Signorelli, a civil and criminal litigation attorney and former Asst. U.S. Attorney. “Shame on him.”
Constitutional law scholar and Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, who has argued before the Supreme Court 36 times, called Justice Gorsuch a “jerk.”
“Gorsuch’s refusal to mask up on the bench even when asked by the Chief Justice to do so in order that the diabetic and hence immunocompromised Justice Sotomayor could attend in person shows just what kind of jerk Gorsuch is,” Tribe tweeted. He added he wished Gorsuch were not an alumnus of Harvard Law.
“Personally, I feel like we’re entitled to expect our Supreme Court justices to be better role models,” wrote former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a well-known MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst and law professor. “Or, at least, to have an ounce of decency. Putting on a mask would have cost Gorsuch nothing, but then he didn’t care about risk to front line workers, either,” she noted subtly, after the conservative Court voted 6-3 to block OSHA’s vaccine or test mandate.
USA Today columnist Connie Schultz quoted Dahlia Lithwick, an attorney and author of “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence,” from Lithwick’s Slate column:
“The real problem with the court’s masks-optional policy? It reflects the court’s much larger rules-optional policy on everything pertaining to judicial conduct.” – @Dahlialithwick https://t.co/B8mZKymjaP
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) January 18, 2022
“Gorsuch should be the one who is forced to isolate, not Sotomayor,” notes NBC News and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie S. Phang.
Legal journalist Cristian Farias, a former New York Times editorial writer last week commented on Gorsuch and his refusal to wear a mask:
A couple of years ago, Neil Gorsuch wrote a whole book lamenting the loss of civility in public life. In it, he quotes a rule George Washington is said to have learned as a child:
“Bedew no man’s face with your spittle, by approaching too near him when you speak.”
Kid you not. https://t.co/Aicgtcolh5
— Cristian Farias (@cristianafarias) January 11, 2022
Sinema ‘Weighing’ Senate Speech Against Changing Filibuster for Voting Rights as Biden Visits Hill to Meet With Dems
President Joe Biden Thursday afternoon will make a rare trip to Capitol Hill, where he will attend a regular Democratic luncheon with the singular purpose of shaking hands and twisting arms, hoping to convince the lawmakers to pass his voting rights legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Conspicuous in her absence likely will be U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema who may be on the Senate floor when the President of the United States comes to meet with members of her own party.
The Arizona Democrat is “weighing” delivering a speech “against changing the rules for voting rights, per two Senate sources,” Politico’s Tara Palmieri reports.
One of those sources, Palmieri adds, says “Sinema is having Joe Biden for lunch.”
President Biden served as a U.S. Senator for 36 years before being elected Vice President, and subsequently President. Sinema served six years in the House and is a freshman Senator, first elected in 2018.
Sen. Sinema’s top donors, according to Open Secrets include a Texas-based tax software firm, a private equity firm, and Goldman Sachs, the multi-national investment giant.
‘Hideous Coward’: Critics Blast ‘Disgusting Fraud’ Lindsey Graham for Accusing Biden of Politicizing the Insurrection
After President Joe Biden delivered what some are calling his best speech ever, commemorating the one-year anniversary of Trump supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol – an insurrection and attempted coup – Senator Lindsey Graham served up a horrific attack on the American President, and is being highly criticized for it.
“What brazen politicization of January 6 by President Biden,” Sen. Graham tweeted. “I wonder if the Taliban who now rule Afghanistan with al-Qaeda elements present, contrary to President Biden’s beliefs, are allowing this speech to be carried?”
Tom Nichols, a U.S. Naval War College professor and expert with a lengthy résumé on Russia, national security, and nuclear weapons, slammed the Republican from South Carolina as a “hideous coward.”
Amy Siskind, whose work documenting the fascism of the Trump presidency gained national attention, likewise labeled Graham as an “unpatriotic coward.”
“Trying to prevent the certification of the election was done by ONE side and it wasn’t the left,” The Atlantic’s Molly Jong-Fast replied to Graham. “Also Watching Republicans turn against democracy instead of disavowing trumpism is pretty depressing.”
Political commentator Keith Olbermann minced no words: “So your party’s attempt to overthrow democracy was a non-partisan event? Once you were a Senator, grudgingly respected by your opponents. Now you are a Trump Whore. Flee the country.”
Slate’s Will Saletan:
It’s tragic that the Afghan government collapsed and that we had to abandon so many Afghans, after Biden withdrew in compliance with the deal Trump signed.
It’s even more dismaying that an American senator cares more about Afghanistan than about an attack on the United States.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) January 6, 2022
“Yes, the Taliban loves broadcasting speeches by American presidents, that’s a terrific point,” wrote historian Kevin Kruse, mocking Graham, who’s supposedly an expert on foreign affairs.
Some other responses:
So you are outraged over politicization and then go and do the same thing all in one tweet. Disgusting fraud.
— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) January 6, 2022
I’m pretty sure Jan. 6th was politicized the moment your political base attempted to siege the Capitol with an intent to kill the Vice President.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 6, 2022
“Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough.” Lindsey Graham Speech January 6, 2021
— Outspoken (@Out5p0ken) January 6, 2022
- 'NO SHAME'2 days ago
‘You Singlehandedly Blocked the Emmett Till Antilynching Act’: Rand Paul Scorched Over His MLK ‘Commemoration’
- WTH?2 days ago
Lara Trump Thinks Microsoft Office Assistant ‘Clippy’ Is a Real Person Spying on Everything She Writes
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election
- 'WHAT'S THE NEXT LINE?'2 days ago
‘Performative Drivel’: Marco Rubio Mocked and Schooled After Taking MLK Quote Out of Context
- COMMENTARY1 day ago
Legal Experts Blast ‘Jerk Gorsuch’ for Refusing to Wear a Mask – Forcing Sotomayor to Stay in Chambers
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Former Top FBI Official: ‘Concerning’ Ginni Thomas Signed Letter Saying Jan. 6 Participants ‘Have Done Nothing Wrong’
- PARTNERING WITH HATE AND ANTI-IMMIGRANT GROUPS2 days ago
‘Unprecedented’: Trump Tried to ‘Exert Extreme Partisan Influence Over the Census Bureau’ Docs Reveal
- 'STANDING ALONE'21 hours ago
Top Democratic Donor Groups Pulling Endorsements – and Funding – From Sinema and Manchin Over Filibuster