Rather than hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Republicans have instead said that the seat should be held open for a potential President Trump to make the appointment.
Trump, who has pledged to outsource the role of appointing justices to right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, said that he will only nominate those who will “unpass” the abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade and oppose the Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality decision.
According to a new Public Policy Polling survey of swing states that also have close U.S. Senate races, the GOP’s maneuver appears to be a bust, as voters don’t trust Trump, who doesn’t seem to understand how the judicial system works, to fill the vacancy.
The poll, conducted in Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Republican incumbents are facing tight re-election races, found wide support for the Senate to move on Garland’s nomination:
Because voters trust President Obama to make a Supreme Court choice and don’t trust Trump to, there’s overwhelming support for the Senate to move forward with confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than 60% of voters in each of these states supports hearings for Garland, by margins ranging from 38 to 46 points. That includes overwhelming support from critical independent voters, and even plurality support from Republicans in 4 of the 6 states
In Iowa, home of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a clear majority — 64 percent — of voters want the Senate to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, as do a plurality of Republicans.
Voters across the board “say that they’re less likely to vote for [Republican incumbents] because of their opposition to hearings for Merrick Garland.”
Rather than act to fill the vacancy on the court, it appears that Republicans would rather take their unprecedented obstructionism to the next level.
Pat Robertson reacted today to the “terrible” Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of a Texas anti-abortion law by declaring that America will face divine judgment for allowing the abortion to be legal.
We have slaughtered over 55 million unborn babies in this country and we’re going to pay a terrible price as a nation for allowing that. And when it’s sanctioned and approved of by the highest court in the land, then we all stand responsible for it and we will pay, all of us, as a nation, because the Supreme Court and the president and the leaders of our country said that’s what they want.
And those unborn babies are crying out, their blood will cry out against us as a nation and one of these days what’s going to be happen is going to be horrible. So, this is the law, you can talk about the law, it’s legal to have an abortion, Roe v. Wade, and so forth. But what is happening is the slaughter of the unborn is exceeding in America the slaughter in any nation I am aware of in the history of mankind.
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver called on churches and Christian organizations to pass resolutions in support of "traditional marriage" and vowing never to accept the legitimacy of gay marriage, saying that doing so will put them on "the right side of history."
Staver cited a resolution that he helped to write that was recently passed by the Southern Baptist Convention as the sort of thing that other denominations should emulate.
"I encourage other denominations and churches to pass resolutions," he said, "and we're certainly willing and able to draft them ... I encourage your people in your churches to step on the right side of history and step on the side of marriage and the natural created order of man and woman."
Staver went on to lament that some churches turned memorial gatherings following the terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando into a "homosexual love fest."
"Even in the situation following what happened in Orlando," he said, "churches got involved and they led in some cases and in other cases they followed and they ultimately allowed that situation, instead of an opportunity to pray, some of them allowed it to be a homosexual love fest. That's not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans."
Co-host Matt Barber then joined in to fault gay-friendly Christians because they are "disobeying Christ, are actually running afoul of God and Jesus in the context of the marriage debate and are siding with the Prince of the World who is trying to redefine marriage."
"Believe me, this idea of gay marriage didn't come from God, it didn't come from Christ," Barber said, "so who did it come from?"
On Wednesday, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., joined conservative radio host John DePetro at anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, where Tancredo claimed immigrants degrade the environment and expressed his hope that Donald Trump might help the anti-immigrant movement achieve its long-held goal of winning over the environmentalist movement.
“There’s another area in which we and Donald Trump, I think, has the ability to begin to communicate with another group that we’ve had a difficult time with over the years, and that’s the environmentalists, because if you concentrate on this issue, if you think about it for any length of time, you will recognize that massive immigration, both legal and illegal, has a significant impact on the environment,” Tancredo said.
The anti-immigrant movement has long tried to “greenwash” itself in a so far unsuccessful effort to build alliances with major environmentalist groups.
Tancredo claimed that “everybody coming to Colorado will soon have to actually make reservations to get into the national park. All of the park systems throughout the country are being eroded and degraded by the massive numbers of people, the water supply, you name it.”
“I mean, even Colorado, there’s no way that we can possibly keep up with the infrastructural needs of the state because of the massive number of people coming there from all over, not just from other states but, of course, all over the world,” Tancredo said. “And so there is a degradation of the environment with massive numbers, and a lot of people in that movement understand that.”
Americans, Tancredo said, “can find common ground” on immigration restriction and environmental protection.
“A person like Trump, I think, can actually begin to make inroads where we hadn’t before, and this is one area,” he said.
Steve Crampton Mocks The Idea That Having To Travel Hundreds Of Miles To Obtain An Abortion Is An 'Undue Burden'
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer interviewed right-wing activist and attorney Steve Crampton about the Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law aimed at limiting access to legal abortion under the guise of protecting the health of women.
Fischer and Crampton, who is currently running for a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court, mocked the idea that having to travel hundreds of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to obtain an abortion because unnecessary requirements had shut down dozens of women's health clinics in Texas created an "undue burden" upon women, saying that nobody is entitled to have medical care located nearby.
Fischer absurdly likened this situation to people with cancer who incur significant expenses and travel requirements in order to obtain treatment at renown hospitals like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota or the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
"Nobody says that is an undue burden and therefore we are going to require every community to have a MD Anderson clinic," Fischer said, "and we're going to require every state to have a Mayo Clinic."
"I think you're exactly right," Crampton replied. "Where it is written that we have a right to access a hospital or, in this case, a specialty kind of thing, within X number of miles of our home? I don't think that's in my version of the Constitution."
Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision, which, if Religious Right activists were to be believed, was to usher in a horrible tyranny that would lead to mass deaths and war.
Of course, the Right’s doomsday predictions about what would happen if same-sex marriage became legal nationwide were totally unfounded, and only a tiny contingent of conservativescame to a protest the ruling in Washington, D.C., this weekend.
While the conservative movement certainly hasn’t given up on the fight against LGBT rights and is thrilled by Donald Trump’spromise to appoint anti-LGBT judges who would oppose the marriage ruling, many activists have once again shown that they are more interested in stirring up fears about the LGBT community than in the facts.
1) War’s A-Brewin’
Many “mainstream” Religious Right leaders said that if the Supreme Court were to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, Americans should prepare for a revolution.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, for example, said there would be an anti-gay “revolution” that would “just break this nation apart” if marriage bans were overturned, warning that such a ruling would “literally split this nation in two and create such political and cultural turmoil that I’m not sure we could recover from it.”
Mat Staver and Matt Barber of the Religious Right legal group Liberty Counsel made similar statements, with Barber declaring that “revolution is at hand” and Staver claiming that there would be a “new American Revolution” resisting marriage equality. Former House GOP Leader Tom DeLay insisted that “all hell” was “going to break loose” if the court sided with LGBT activists on marriage.
“We’ve got to fight to our deaths to save this great country,” said Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy In Media, while Vision America’s Rick Scarborough vowed that he was willing to “burn” in defiance of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.”
One year later, no anti-gay revolution has occurred and Rick Scarborough has not self-immolated.
Just before the ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah called on governors “to secede” from the union in order “to offer a refuge” for the “millions of Americans” who he believed would flee the country as a result of marriage equality. “The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?” he asked. “If not a state, are there any nations in the world interested in a pilgrimage by millions of Americans?”
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned that the U.S. could witness a second civil war over a same-sex marriage decision and televangelist Rick Joyner predicted that the court would “start an unraveling where our country fractures like it hasn’t since the Civil War.”
Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, for her part, said that she and other “prophets” had heard from God about a great “conservative revolt” and a “War between the States” that would take place as states threatened to secede to preserve “biblical marriage”.
Conservative activist Alan Keyes said the ruling amounted to “a just cause for war” and was “likely to produce the separation and dissolution of the United States,” while one author, former Reagan aide Douglas MacKinnon, called on a group of Southern states to form a new country called Reagan that would not tolerate gay rights.
We are still waiting for such a brave governor to threaten secession.
3) God’s Punishment
Gay marriage would lead to a divine reckoning, many conservative pundits predicted, possibly in the form of a global financial crash, a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack or “a fireball from space.”
“It is just a question of how soon the wrath of God is going to come on this land,” televangelist Pat Robertson warned. Florida-based pastor Carl Gallups, now a staunch Donald Trump ally, maintained that “this ruling may prove to be the final death knell of divine judgment upon our once great nation.”
Radio host Rick Wiles predicted that “God will cut off America’s food supply and this nation will be hit with disease, pestilence, drought, natural calamities and a great shaking” and urged people to flee the country.
End Times author Jonathan Cahn even wondered if God would use Hurricane Joaquin to damage Washington, D.C., as a sign of his displeasure with the same-sex marriage decision.
The hurricane, in the end, did not hit D.C.
Following the passage of the 2009 law that expanded hate crime protections to LGBT people, many right-wing politicians and analysts falsely claimed that the act legalized pedophilia. Of course, it did nothing of the sort and child abuse is still a crime.
Many of these same people claimed years later that the Obergefell ruling would also legalize pedophilia, which, obviously, it did not do.
DeLay warned that the ruling would pave the way for a secret government plan to legalize “12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy [and] having sex with little boys.” Ben Carson, then a GOP candidate for president, suggested that NAMBLA would benefit from the ruling.
5) Outlawing Religious Belief
Mike Huckabee said that America was witnessing “the criminalization of Christianity” and that any pastor who didn’t want to officiate a wedding for a same-sex couple would be liable to face criminal charges :
If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says ‘I can’t perform that wedding’ will now be breaking the law. It’s not just saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a preference.’ No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil for sure and possible criminal penalties for violating the law…. If you do practice biblical convictions and you carry them out and you do what you’ve been led by the spirit of God to do, your behavior will be criminal.
No pastor has been arrested for refusing to officiate a same-sex couple’s wedding, reading from the Bible or preaching against homosexuality, all things that conservatives predicted would happen.
Many pundits, however, have wrongly used the case of Kim Davis to claim that their fears were realized.
Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, was temporarily incarcerated by a federal judge when she refused to abide by court orders which found that she was unlawfully denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. Davis, who boasted that she was defying the Supreme Court decision and subsequent rulings because she was working under “ God’s authority ,” was released after deputy clerks in the county office agreed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis was not incarcerated because of her religious objections but because, in her role as a government employee, she clearly defied the rule of law. She was not attempting to exercise her religious freedom as a private citizen but was trying to impose her personal religious beliefs on the functions of government, and make all the people in her jurisdiction abide by her faith.
People:Alan Keyes , Cliff Kincaid , James Dobson , Joseph Farah , Mat Staver , Matt Barber , Mike Huckabee , Pat Robertson , Rick Scarborough , Tom DeLay, Tony Perkins , Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Wiles, Ben Carson, Janet Porter, Carl Gallups, Kim Davis
- John Fea: What James Dobson Said in 1998 About Moral Character and the Presidency.
- Heather Dibgy Parton @ Salon: Not keeping the faith: Donald Trump and the conning of evangelical voters.
- Sarah K. Burris @ Raw Story: Mike Huckabee forced to fork over $25K for playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at Kim Davis rallies.
- Sam Reisman @ Mediaite: Anti-Trump Conservative Challenges Trump to a ‘Real Fight’ and to Prove That He’s a ‘Badass’.
- Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Huckabee: George Will, Ben Sasse Aren’t Republicans Because They Don’t Back Trump.
- James Dobson claims that Donald Trump was led "to accept a relationship with Christ" by Paula White and is now a "baby Christian."
- Judson Phillips wants Texas to secede from the United States.
- Paragon of integrity Matt Barber is now in the process of justifying voting for Trump after having previously declared that he would never do so.
- A bunch of right-wing activists will be releasing a report from "the Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" on Wednesday that is sure to be objective and insightful.
- Sandy Rios says that CAIR's placement of the American Family Association on an "Islamophobia" list amounts to a "declaration of jihad."
- Finally, David Kupelian laments the first anniversy of the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling: "But consider that just a few short years ago, the idea of two men, or two women, marrying each other was regarded universally as not merely bizarre, but insane. Every culture, every nation, every religion in the world, and throughout every era of history, understood that two men marrying each other was off-the-charts weird – and wrong."
Tom DeLay: Obama Is A Communist 'Muslim Sympathizer' Who 'Hates America'
6/15/16 @ 3:30pm
Kevin Swanson: God Let Orlando Massacre Happen Because The Sins Of Homosexuality And Islam Lead To Murder
6/17/16 @ 1:55pm
Ann Coulter: Donald Trump Is 'Our Only Hope'
6/16/16 @ 4:00pm
Donald Trump Taps Michele Bachmann, James Dobson & Other Far-Right Leaders For Advisory Board
6/21/16 @ 3:20pm
We Now Have 6 Years Of Donald Trump’s Tax History. In 3 Of Them He Paid No Income Taxes
6/17/16 @ 2:55pm