Amid Trump Chaos, Republicans Keep Their Eyes on the Big Prize: The Courts

While the Trump administration remains embroiled in scandals of its own making and continues to blunder forward seemingly without direction, Republicans have their collective gaze fixed on a prize they have coveted for years: complete domination of the judiciary.

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This goal, thanks to years of obstructionism, may be just on the horizon.

“Control the Supreme Court, stack the judiciary, and you can stop the progressive movement, no matter how popular it is, no matter how much legislative power it has, for decades.” 
—Corey Robin

As Esquire‘s Charles Pierce notes, President Trump has effectively “subcontracted the job of picking judges to the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation, and various other wingnut intellectual chop shops.” Three of the finalists—Kevin Newsom, Damien Schiff, and John Bush—sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for their confirmation hearings, which were scarcely mentioned by the press.

Much of the questioning, as NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported, ultimately centered around blog posts two of the nominees—Bush and Schiff—had written throughout their careers.

“Among the posts Bush said he now regrets is one that equated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery, with the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion,” Totenberg noted.

Schiff has a similarly tinged history, Totenberg added, “challenging everything from environmental regulations, to health and safety laws, to gay rights laws.”

Since the hearings came to a close on Wednesday, commentators have expressed alarm about how little attention the fact that individuals with such records could soon fill the ranks of the judiciary is receiving from the media and the Democratic Party.