Appeals Court Nominee is Another Trump Anti-women’s Rights Extremist

There can be little doubt any longer that there is an official, administration wide, war on American women in this country and if any American doesn’t believe it the  people are stupider than one originally thought possible.  Republicans have waged a non-stop war on women for decades, but Trump’s election empowered them to take extreme measures against women because a rubber stamp is in the Oval Office. Based on Trump’s selection for a seat on a U.S. District Court of Appeals, there will be another patriarchal rubber stamp on the federal judiciary and this particular anti-women’s rights malcontent believes that there are no rights worth affording over half the population; simply because they are women.

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Trump’s nomination to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for the rest of his misogynistic life. The current justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Don Willett, was in the running as a “potential” Supreme Court justice while Trump was campaigning for a job he is unqualified to hold, so it begins to make sense why he tapped Willet for an Appeals Court appointment he is unqualified to fill.

Willet has not altered his opinions since 2000 when he sent a “memo” demanding that then-Texas governor George W. Bush refrain from praising the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women because they supported equal rights for women. Bush does have two daughters, a wife, and a mother and no doubt he considered their plight in a decidedly patriarchal society and had a semblance of appreciation for a Texas Business group advocating for women’s rights.

The letter Willet wrote to his boss, the Texas governor, was about a litany of policies he vehemently opposed; basically  anything remotely related to women’s equal rights. It was former head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and current head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Vanita Gupta, who sent the “memo” in a letter to the Senate prior to Willet’s confirmation hearing to alert them to Willet’s extremist position on women’s rights..

In his “memo” to Bush, Willet not only questioned the need for any laws protecting women from all manner of discrimination, he mocked the policy positions of the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women. It is noteworthy that then Governor Bush was only going to make an “official proclamation” praising the business group’s advocacy for women in business; still, it was too much for Willet to take. He wrote:

They support the ERA, affirmative action, abortion rights, legislation adding teeth to the Equal Pay Act, etc. and they regularly line up with the AFL-CIO and similar groups. I resist the proclamation’s talk of ‘glass ceilings,’ pay equity (an allegation that some studies debunk), the need to place kids in the care of rented strangers, sexual discrimination and harassment, and the need generally for better ‘working conditions’ for women. I strongly resist anything that shows we believe the hype.”

Willet didn’t elucidate exactly what “hype” he or other Republicans don’t believe, but it appears that anything giving women the equality the U.S. Constitution guarantees all American citizens is an atrocity in his mind. Equal pay, not happening. The right to self-determination in reproductive health choices, definitely not acceptable. Placing children in day care while women work, for lower pay, also not acceptable. And the idea of better working conditions, such as protection from gender discrimination and sexual harassment cannot be allowed to take place.

No doubt Willet and his supporters will claim those were his deeply-held religious beliefs two decades ago and he’s a changed patriarchal conservative. That would be bullshit. Republicans still oppose equal pay, equal rights, protection from sexual harassment and reproductive freedom and Willet is, if nothing else, a dyed-in-the-wool patriarchal Republican. And, just two years ago he praised a 1905 case banning labor from suing employers for discrimination and minimum wage violations. He is anti-labor as well as an enemy of women and their Constitutional rights; it is precisely why Trump tapped him to sit on a federal appeals court for the rest of his life.

This latest assault on women by the Trump administration is more than a trend; it is an ongoing and concerted government-wide agenda that shows no sign of letting up. Putting an avowed anti-woman’s rights sycophant on a federal Appeals Court for life virtually guarantees women far into the future will have to contend with patriarchs who oppose equality for women – probably because it is a biblical construct. Now it is safe to assert it is the official policy of the Trump administration that no small number of white women helped elect because they wanted the country to go in a different direction and revert to a different era.

 

 

Trump Judicial Nominee Epitomizes America As a Failed State

For a nation to fail, what is known as “a failed state,” its “political or economic system has to become so weak that the government is no longer in control.”

With Donald Trump in the White House, it is safe to assert that America is as close to a “failed state” as it can possibly be. There is still a “political and economic” system in place, but they are now under total and complete control of a foreign power and corporate and special interests. Instead of “draining the swamp,” Trump transformed Washington into a corporate-run special-interest cesspool. To make matters worse, Trump is transforming the federal judiciary into a partisan rubber stamp for religious fanatics and special interest groups that reliably furnish Republicans with an unlimited amount of money and loyalty at the polls.

Immediately after his poorly-attended inauguration, Trump began appointing either woefully unqualified Republican campaign donors or corporate shills to cabinet-level positions to better serve the bottom line of the special interest cesspool running the government. Of course it is part and parcel of Steve Bannon’s stated agenda of using the Trump administration to deconstruct the administrative state and authorize special interests to govern the people. Trump’s latest judicial nominee is a prime example of the “deconstruction” policy and it is important to remember that Trump pledged to appoint only the most qualified people in America to better serve the people.

The “most qualified person” in America to be a federal judge in Alabama is a 36-year-old man with absolutely no judicial experience because he has only been a lawyer for three years. Even worse, the nominee, Brett J. Talley, has never tried a court case, and was “unanimously” rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association’s judicial rating committee. And as an anti-Hillary Clinton blogger, he demonstrated his extremist partisanship and that doesn’t include pledging fealty to, and undying support for, the National Rifle Association and its gun industry agenda.

Despite the lack of qualifications, or trial experience, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Talley for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench. The full Senate is expected to confirm Talley’s nomination because he hates Hillary Clinton and particularly because he is an ardent advocate for the National Rifle Association agenda; no Republican dares oppose installing an NRA surrogate on the federal judiciary.

Trump boasted about appointing clueless and partisan judges because as he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed; these special interest judicial appointments will “have consequences 40 years out, depending on the age of the judge – but 40 years out.” That 40 years worth of adverse consequences on the nation are what Trump boasts is “his untold story” nobody wants to talk about. Aware that Trump’s appointments are creating a failed state,  civil rights groups and left-leaning advocates were not shy talking about an inexperienced NRA man on the federal court.

Some of those groups denounced the “laughable” Republican votes to confirm a novice lawyer with next-to-no experience to “preside over federal trials;” especially when he has never even “brought a case” before any kind of court. The executive vice president of the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, Kristine Lucius, said:

He’s practiced law for less than three years and never argued a motion, let alone brought a case. This is the least amount of experience I’ve seen in a judicial nominee.”

Several groups joined Ms. Lucius  in appealing to the Senate Judiciary Committee to “reject Talley” because of his “lack of qualifications and doubts over whether he had the ‘temperament and ability’ to approach cases with the fairness and open-mindedness necessary to serve as a federal judge.” Those “doubts” were addressed during the Judiciary Committee hearing on several of Trump’s nominations with special attention on Talley.

For example, Judiciary Committee member Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Talley about “his fervent advocacy of gun rights.” Ms. Feinstein was likely alluding to a pro-NRA blog post Talley penned titled “A Call to Arms: It’s Time To Join the National Rifle Association.”

In the post he toed the NRA member recruitment line and parroted the gun industry’s  typical fear mongering claim.

The President and his democratic allies in Congress are about to launch the greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime. The object of that war is to make guns illegal, in all forms. The NRA stands for all of us now, and I pray that in the coming battle for our rights, they (the NRA) will be victorious.”

Talley was doing the heavy lifting for the NRA after President Obama proposed background checks for gun purchases after a gun fanatic slaughtered 20 small children and six of their adult teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

About a month after doing his NRA advocacy duties with the fear mongering blog post, Talley reprinted what he claimed was “a thoughtful response” from another NRA-supporting gun nut who wrote:

We will have to resort to arms when our other rights fail to yield the desired results.”

Instead of repudiating a call for violence, Talley concurred with the gun fanatic saying: “I agree completely with this.”

The man Trump nominated for a lifetime gig on a federal court completely agrees with a gun zealot wanting to “resort to arms” when “their other rights fail to yield the desired results.” Trump may as well have nominated Wayne La Pierre for the federal judiciary; Talley is as much an NRA shill as La Pierre, and coupled with his humiliating lack of experience, represents America as a failed state.

No-one in their right mind can say that Trump appointing an unqualified judicial nominee or special interest shill is an anomaly; every person at every department and agency he appointed represents a special interest devoted to undermining or “deconstructing” the agency they lead. Big pharma is running the FDA, an anti-public education evangelical is running the Education Department, investment bankers and Wall Street are running the Treasury Department, fossil fuel is running the EPA, a religious racist is running the Justice Department, and now an NRA crusader is in line to be a federal judge, for the rest of his life.

America under Trump is being run by corporations, religious fanatics, and various special interests with no regard for anything other than advancing their own “special interests;” what was once “the government” of, by and for the people is no longer in control of anything.  America is a failed state because Trump has handed the government, lock, stock and barrel, to corporations, religious fanatics and special interests who intend to finish destroying what’s left of America as a functioning democratic republic.