President Donald Trump has now confirmed over 150 far-right judges to federal courts, spurred by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and right-wing legal groups who seek to extend their influence long after Republicans are voted out of office.
But even Trump has struck out on some of his judicial picks. And it looks like one of his latest nominees is about to fail. According to Politico, Trump’s nomination of Halil Suleyman “Sul” Ozerden to the long-conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is in jeopardy, as the Judiciary Committee has put off voting for him four times.
Ozerden, a district court judge in Mississippi and an associate of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, was nominated over opposition from the White House Counsel’s office. He has Mulvaney’s support, as well as that of home-state Sen. Roger Wicker — but multiple far-right senators, including Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), oppose the nomination, and others, like Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are undecided. Conservative activist groups like the Judicial Crisis Network also are unhappy with the nomination.
A key sticking point for many senators is that Ozerden questioned a “religious liberty” lawsuit against the ACA’s contraceptive mandate as premature. There are also reportedly issues with his FBI background check, and his ex-wife has alleged he violated judicial ethics rules. Moreover, JCN’s Carrie Severino has complained that Ozerden’s opinions have a high rate of reversal on the Fifth Circuit.
With Republicans divided on Ozerden’s nomination, Trump’s only hope is to win some crossover support from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. But that is also unlikely to happen, because the NAACP is lobbying them hard against the nomination with a letter warning Ozerden has a “record of hostility to civil rights protections.”
Barring any new developments, it seems as though Trump will have to find someone else.
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Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters
A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.
“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.
“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”
“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.
He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”
There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.
White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”
Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”
“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”
“We’re going to look at the people who do these acts. We’re going to convict them and we’re going to punish them”
“Sir, you can’t convict him. He was killed along with 19 children in the school behind me” pic.twitter.com/Y5f6HZ0ZWU
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 25, 2022
Watch: Video of Beto O’Rourke Confronting Texas GOP Governor and Lt. Gov. Goes Viral
Democratic former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke approached the stage where top Texas Republicans were holding a press conference following Tuesday’s mass school shooting.
“This is on you,” O’Rourke told Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election against O’Rourke. Abbott was blaming the shooting that left 19 elementary school children and two teachers dead on a lack of mental health facilities in Texas, despite having rejected federal aid that would have expanded access in the Lone Star State.
“Sit down and don’t pull this stunt,” Senator Ted Cruz chastised.
But Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, arguably the most powerful person in the room, went ballistic.
“You’re out of line and an embarrassment,” Patrick told O’Rourke.
“You’re doing nothing,” O’Rourke said.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, on stage, loudly called O’Rourke “a sick son of a bitch.”
“He needs to get his ass out of here. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line,” the mayor said, as WFAA reported. “Please leave this auditorium. I cannot believe you are a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said. “This is totally predictable. You’re all doing nothing.”
“This is on you until you choose to do something about it,” O’Rourke added.
O’Rourke was escorted out of the auditorium by a security guard.
It was not Patrick’s first attack on O’Rourke. In 2019 he used an anti-LGBTQ slur on Fox News to go after the highly-popular Democrat, calling him “light in the loafers.” O’Rourke, as NBC News noted at the time, is heterosexual.
“He is so light in the loafers he floats off the ground at times,” Patrick told Fox’s Laura Ingraham, leading to an advertiser boycott.
After, O’Rourke told reporters the “only thing” Gov. Abbott did “was make it easier to carry a gun in public.”
“And he bragged about the fact that there would be no background check, no training, no vetting whatsoever. He talked about this was evil. The only thing evil is what he continues to do to the people of this state. He says this was unpredictable — it was totally predictable and I predict this will continue to happen when you continue to have a governor who will not stand up for the people of Texas.”
The video below has been viewed 1.2 million times in just over an hour. Other versions have also gone viral.
Watch the video from earlier Wednesday via CNN:
Beto O’Rourke interrupts ongoing press conference by Texas Gov. Abbott and other officials. pic.twitter.com/qa8YY0ghQy
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 25, 2022
As Jan. 6 Rioters Were Chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ Trump Told Colleagues Maybe They Should: Report
During the January 6 insurrection as rioters were hunting down the Vice President and chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” with a gallows outside the Capitol building, the President of the United States said maybe they should, his chief of staff Mark Meadows told colleagues in the White House.
“Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6,” The New York Times reports, “told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hung.”
The New York Times also said that Trump was upset his vice president had been taken away by Secret Service.
Meadows “left the dining room off the Oval Office, walked into his own office and told colleagues that President Donald J. Trump was complaining that the vice president was being whisked to safety,” The Times notes.
A Trump spokesperson, Taylor Budowich, criticized the House Select Committee but did not deny the claims.
“This partisan committee’s vague ‘leaks,’ anonymous testimony and willingness to alter evidence proves it’s just an extension of the Democrat smear campaign,” he said. “Americans are tired of the Democrat lies and the charades, but, sadly, it’s the only thing they have to offer.”
In November of last year Trump defended the rioters calling for Pence to be hanged.
“Well, the people were very angry he told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, as CNN reported:
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