November 14, 2019

Republicans in the Senate have given right-wing, anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, white supremacist, extremist Steven Menashi a lifetime seat on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. No Democrat present voted for him, and one Republican—Susan Collins—voted against him (like that's enough to erase her Kavanaugh and Gorsuch SCOTUS votes).

Menashi comes direct from the Trump administration, where he both helped Stephen Miller create the policy of ripping children from their families and putting them in cages and helped Betsy DeVos attempt to rewrite the rules to remove protections for rape survivors on college campuses. He quite possibly has been involved in the efforts to cover up Trump's Ukraine communications that are now the subject of the presidential impeachment inquiry.

This puts him in the position of being the deciding vote on the circuit, now flipped to a 7–6 majority of Republican appointees. It also puts him in a position to protect Trump from investigations from the House. Right now, the 2nd Circuit is considering whether to allow House subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capital One for Trump's financial records. They’re being considered now by three of the court's judges. If they decide against Trump, he can appeal for a full en banc panel to consider it. One of the votes on that full panel is now guaranteed for Trump.

Menashi is not just profoundly and dangerously ideological; he's profoundly inexperienced. As Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin pointed out, "He has never tried a case. He has never argued an appeal, nor has he made any oral arguments in court. He has never conducted a deposition. He has zero experience handling criminal cases. He could not even name a single time when he observed a criminal trial." None of that matters to Trump, or to Mitch McConnell or the rest of the Republicans.

Published with permission of Daily Kos

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