Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) refuses to support President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee no matter who it is simply because the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank had a major influence in shaping the chief executive’s list of potential selections.
“I will oppose the nomination the president will make tonight because it represents a corrupt bargain with the far Right, big corporations, and Washington special interests,” Casey (pictured above right) declared Monday in a statement.
Casey, who is up for re-election in November in a state Trump won during the 2016 presidential election, unilaterally refused to consider any of Trump’s potential nominees hours before Trump’s big 9 p.m. announcement.
Casey’s main point of contention was the role the “extreme-Right organization” played in shaping Trump’s shortlist, which originally was created in 2016 and has since been modified. The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s largest conservative think tank and has provided thousands of policy recommendations and personnel suggestions to multiple presidents and to Congress since 1975.
“In a nation with over 700 sitting federal judges, many of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, it is outrageous that President Trump will nominate from a list of just 25 dictated to him by the Heritage Foundation,” Casey complained.
Liberals also took issue with the presence of Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society’s executive vice president, who is currently on leave from the group of conservative attorneys and scholars to work with Trump’s Supreme Court nomination team.
“This list is the bidding of corporate special interests hell-bent on handing health care over to insurance companies, crushing unions that represent working men and women, and promoting policies that will leave the middle class further behind,” Casey claimed. “Any judge on this list is fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp.”
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement late last month enraged many liberals and caused them to erupt into mass hysterics because his departure allows Trump to nominate a second justice just a year and a half into his presidency.
When Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017, he faced an intense backlash from liberal activists and fielded a barrage of hostile questions from Democratic senators during his confirmation hearings. The Senate ultimately confirmed Gorsuch by a 54-45 vote, with only three Democrats crossing the partisan divide in his favor. Casey voted against Gorsuch.
On the same day Kennedy announced his retirement, Casey took to Twitter, writing, “If an individual from the list provided to candidate Donald Trump by far-right organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society is nominated, then I am highly unlikely to support that nominee.”
If an individual from the list provided to candidate Donald Trump by far-right organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society is nominated, then I am highly unlikely to support that nominee.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 27, 2018
Trump and his advisers remain confident the Senate will confirm the president’s second nominee.
Casey, who promotes himself as a moderate, relatively pro-life Democrat, could encounter re-election difficulties in the key swing state Trump carried in 2016 by unilaterally opposing the president’s nominee.
Other red-state senators up for re-election, such as Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) are waiting until after Trump announces his nominee before revealing how they will vote.
The plight of vulnerable red-state Democrats on the November ballot appears to matter little to liberal activists and secure Democratic lawmakers.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) insisted Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that delaying Trump’s nominee as a Democratic bloc is even more important than the re-election hopes of vulnerable red-state senators struggling to retain their seats by supporting the nominee.
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“It is a dilemma in one respect but not in another,” Durbin said of the red-state senators’ choices. “It’s about more than the next election. It’s about what [direction] the United States of America is going to chart as its course in the future on this Supreme Court. I think each and every one of them take[s] that seriously, that personally. It goes beyond the next election.”