Press Secretary Sean Spicer rattled off a laundry list of outside groups who met with Trump this morning to bless the Neil Gorsuch nomination. The list alone is evidence of just how extreme this nomination is. There's almost no better evidence to offer of the deeply-entrenched views Gorsuch must hold to gain their approval.
Here is the list, with some background on each:
David O'Steen, Executive Director, National Right to Life
The National Right to Life organization is a radical forced-birth organization which engages in grassroots and legal activism to force women to give birth without a choice on abortion.
They have actively advocated for full repeal and/or nullification of the ACA, proving they only respect fetuses, and not living human beings.
Paula White, New Destiny Christian Center
Paula White is Donald Trump's "God-Whisperer," according to Politico. White is a televangelist who has been divorced, had failed businesses, and been investigated by the IRS. White has been reviled by most mainstream church leaders, including the leaders of the Southern Baptist convention, hardly what anyone could consider left-wing.
Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association is a key player in any Supreme Court nomination, since they exist to make sure gun rights supercede the rights of humans to stay alive. Any Supreme Court nominee would need the LaPierre blessing and guarantee that Heller will never be challenged in any way shape or form.
Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America
Concerned Women for America is a Kochtopus-funded, hard-right "Christian", anti-choice organization which pretends they're feminist while promoting extreme right-wing oppressive views of women.
Charmaine Yoest, American Values
Yoest was formerly with the Family Research Council, but has moved on to Gary Bauer's American Values organization, which essentially echoes all of the same messages as Family Research Council. She is against all forms of birth control, believes birth control pills and Plan B are tools to perform abortions, and is extreme on the question of choice. Before the Democratic and Republican conventions, she declared along with Bauer that the Supreme Court nomination Republicans stole was the single most important issue of the election, which is why she was willing to back Trump.
Juanita Duggan, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
The National Federation of Businesses is the Koch Industries answer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It purports to represent "small business," but only in the context of major corporations held by private individuals in the form of Subchapter-S corporations. NFIB is extreme in its opposition to the Affordable Care Act in particular. NFIB operates in virtual secrecy, but is united in its embrace of ultra-hard right extreme principles placing profits above people in all circumstances.
Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Tom Collamore is the counselor to the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue. Before going to the U.S. Chamber, Collamore served as Fred Thompson's campaign manager until he was replaced in 2007. The U.S. Chamber is the voice of Wall Street and large multi-national corporations who stand to gain if Gorsuch is confirmed and brings his view that corporate "people" are more important than flesh-and-blood people.
The U.S. Chamber is involved in many matters pending before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning issues about unions, the EPA, pipeline projects, and more. Therefore, any nominee would certainly need their approval to move forward.
Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
Norquist has been an extreme right-wing staple since the Reagan administration, when he organized weekly confabs of what is now the large right-wing establishment infrastructure. Norquist famously opined that government should be shrunk to a size that could be drowned in a bathtub. Norquist is also famous for requiring that Republican candidates sign his "tax pledge", which Donald Trump did not sign ahead of his election.
Leonard Leo, Federalist Society
As Slate reports, the Federalist Society is the gatekeeper for all Republican Supreme Court nominations. They supplied the list of potential nominees to Trump, and they must rubber-stamp the nomination before it is put forward for consideration. Gorsuch founded and edited a student newspaper called The Federalist Paper in college. Here is an image of him and his college yearbook quote:
That is a quote from Henry Kissinger, which reads, "The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer."
The Federalist Society is but one of several right-wing organizations that brings forth extremist, activist judges. I reported on Teneo, which is a networking organization to plug young, aspiring lawyers into the theocratic legal structure, get them placed in the judiciary, and ultimately onto the Supreme Court.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List
The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA-List) is yet another forced-birth, extreme right wing organization which exists to rob women of their choices. Dannenfelser is another who has vowed to kill Planned Parenthood while advocating for forced births for all women.
One of the few forced birth advocates who supported Trump during his campaign, Dannenfelser looks forward with glee to defunding Planned Parenthood, according to Right Wing Watch. “President Trump has taken very seriously his commitments to the pro-life movement and to the country, and so this defunding and redirecting of Planned Parenthood’s funds may very well happen within a few weeks,” she said.
Morton Blackwell, Leadership Institute
A stalwart of the Reagan era, Blackwell represents the activist organizing and training arm of the establishment extreme right. The Leadership Institute coordinates with the State Policy Network and other arms of the Kochtopus to get their most promising candidates into different areas of media, business, and political leadership. Blackwell originally supported Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primary, but shifted to Trump when it was clear he had won the nomination.
The Council for National Policy
Of those Spicer listed, nearly all are members of the secretive, extreme theocratic organization known as the Council for National Policy (CNP), a cabal of right-wing organizations, businesses, lawyers, media personalities and church officials, founded by Tim LaHaye.
A list of inner-circle members of the CNP from 2014 uncovered by Hatewatch has Dannenfelser, Blackwell, Leo, Norquist, LaPierre, and Nance listed as members. While O'Steen was not specifically listed as a member, there was a representative from the National Right to Life Committee on the main list.
Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon are CNP inner-circle members, too.
Please keep this list in mind and circulate it every time a Republican claims that Judge Gorsuch is qualified and a Democrat counters with a need for a more moderate nominee who can get a consensus vote of more than 60 in the Senate. Judge Gorsuch is the dream of extremist right-wing groups. He's pro-business, anti-individual, and hard-right wing. Ideology will drive his rulings from the bench, and he's the wrong choice for the Supreme Court.
Judge Merrick Garland was hardly a champion for liberals. He was moderate, middle-of-the-road, and not ideological. He was no radical on any side of the spectrum. They want to now trade that stolen nomination for one supported by the hardest-right theocrats in the Republican Party. I do not think so.