This story will not provide any solace or reassurance, because there is not a single thing we can do to prevent it unless and until Democrats re-take control of the U.S. Senate. While Trump’s latest outrage or Tweet dominates reams of media commentary, the most important goal of the Republican Party, the stacking of the Federal Judiciary with conservative ideologues, is proceeding at an astonishingly rapid pace.
The latest specimen designated to lord over Americans in Court is particularly horrendous:
He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court’s abortion decision in Roe v. Wade to its pro-slavery 1857 Dred Scott decision.
And he is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
This is not a simple District Judge nomination, but one to the a United States Court of Appeals. An Appeals Court Justice is often one step away from the Supreme Court. As a rule, Presidents do not have the opportunity to make many of these appointments. Mr. Bush was confirmed by a party-line vote in the Senate last Thursday. Did you see one article about it cross your news feed?
Mr. Bush is a typical example of what the Republicans, with the aid of the Federalist Society and Stephen Bannon, are now installing into our Federal Judiciary:
Blogging under a fake name, Bush posted more than 400 items, often citing alt-right media reports containing conspiracy theories and false information, such as the claim that former President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.
NPR is being kind. Here is what your latest Court of Appeals Justice really believes:
Bush wrote about his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which is still the subject of litigation, and in September he called for it to be repealed and replaced. He’s expressed opposition to public financing of political campaigns, called the idea of trying terrorists in civilian courts “bone-headed,” and wrote in 2008 that the “two greatest tragedies in our country” were slavery and abortion.
There are also some off-color remarks. Bush, as G. Morris, live-blogged the Republican convention last year, and in a July 17 post noted that there was a protest by naked women.
“You know Trump is onto something huge when he causes people to shed their underwear,” Bush wrote, a few months before the Washington Post released the now-infamous tape from 2005 in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Bush also wrote that, “The Democrats are trying to win with the same game plan as in 2008, only substitute woman for Black.”
Bush also wrote posts opposing stem cell research and same-sex marriage. He also (apparently) wrote something so appalling about women and violence that he felt compelled to delete it, as it appears linked in the Medium article detailing these posts.
He also posted approvingly of threats of violence against Obama supporters.
Following the established pattern of Republican Judicial nominees, Bush lied at his confirmation hearing, saying, for example he would uphold a woman’s right to abortion under Roe v Wade. Which would be interesting, since he compared abortion to slavery (see above) . Apparently that means he would vote to uphold slavery as well. In a largely pointless gesture, Senator Dianne Feinstein,D-CA., felt compelled to remind Bush that he was under oath.
NARAL also points out that Bush worked for an anti-choice legal group called the “Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence,” authoring legal briefs in support of imposing more restrictions on women’s rights to reproductive choices, as well as writing briefs in support of keeping women from enlisting at the Virginia Military institute. His anti-women credentials are simply stellar.
On Thursday, every Republican in the Senate voted for this creature. One Republican, John Kennedy of Louisiana, appeared “clearly disgusted” at the prospect of voting for Bush after reading his blog posts.
Didn’t matter. The vote was 51-47, with McCain out because of his medical concerns.
Bush is the fourth Trump judicial nominee to win confirmation. Twenty-two nominations are pending. Including those 22, there are 135 judicial vacancies on the federal bench. That is far more than usual. When President George W. Bush left office, there were 54 vacancies. But in the last years of the Obama administration, when Republicans controlled the Senate, they blocked dozens of Obama judicial nominees, accounting for the large number of vacancies now.
This person will be on the Federal Bench for the rest of his life. And he’s just the beginning. As long as the Republicans control the Senate, they control the Senate Judiciary Committee, which allows people like this to be nominated and confirmed.
We have to re-take the U.S. Senate.