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(9,571 posts)
Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:46 PM Apr 2017

Dems: Do the Right Thing."Sooner or later, you have to take a stand, even a costly one" (Moyers) [View all]

Bill Moyers, Contributor Managing Editor, Moyers & Company
Democrats: Do The Right Thing
04/04/2017 04:55 pm ET | Updated 27 minutes ago


And what exactly is the Judicial Crisis Network, the group behind the campaign to sell Gorsuch? According to an investigative report by Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, it’s a “secretive, right-wing judicial machine” with lots of money to spend; “dark money,” that is, from hard-to-trace sources.

Launched with the help of a former law clerk to Justice Thomas and a one-time Bush campaign operative, JCN proved crucial in drumming up support for Bush Supreme Court nominees Alito and John Roberts Jr. Last year it spent a reported $2 million on ads to block Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, who didn’t even get a confirmation hearing. Now it’s spending even more to support Gorsuch’s confirmation. When senators pressed Gorsuch to reveal the undisclosed donors “as a matter of respect for the process... so we can evaluate who is behind this effort,” Gorsuch pirouetted away from an answer.

There’s more. Novak and Stone wrote that “to expand its influence in state elections, JCN has emerged as a pipeline for secret money to other, better-known dark money groups,” including the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee. In 2012, “it dished out more than $2 million in court races in Michigan alone — half of that in a single down-ticket state circuit contest.” In 2008 “it funneled $200,000 to a Wisconsin group that produced the negative attack ads that helped a conservative eke out a victory over a sitting [state] Supreme Court justice, tipping control of the bench to the right.” With another ally, it even spent $1 million trying to kick off the bench a Michigan county circuit court judge.

The Judicial Crisis Network is a linchpin in a nationwide effort by conservative and business groups spending millions of dollars to get Republicans elected as state attorneys general who would then bring cases that challenge the federal government’s power to protect citizens, consumers and the environment. Such a friendlier legal climate would especially be hospitable to curbing tort liability for corporations, making it even harder for citizens to hold big business accountable.
This is the “dark money juggernaut” now in overdrive to put Philip Anschutz’s man on the Supreme Court, just a portion of the deep-pocketed crowd behind Neil Gorsuch. These donors and activists have had his back. He is part and parcel of their world view. They now eagerly anticipate the big payoff.

So, Democrats have legitimate reasons to try to stop his confirmation this week. Their gambit — a filibuster — is risky. None of its consequences are likely to be happy. But they should not be cowed by an inability to read the future. Sooner or later in politics, you have to take a stand, even a costly stand, to discover if you really are who you think you are. You can’t go on being bought off, pushed around, made a fool of and outmaneuvered by unprincipled adversaries like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who one year ago, backed by the likes of the Judicial Crisis Network and a host of secret donors, crudely and completely blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.



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