Senate Judiciary Committee member Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., spent the time allotted for him to question Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Tuesday on a “hypocritical monologue” that claimed “dark money” was behind her nomination, “The Five” co-host Dagen McDowell argued.

“I wanted to talk about Sheldon Whitehouse and the hypocritical monologue or lecture that he hacked up in front of her,” McDowell began. “[He didn’t] ask her one question. Not one. He implied that Amy Coney Barrett is not there because of her accomplishments, because of her intellect, because of how she’s lived her life, but that she’s there because she’s a pawn of dark money.

“Hypocrite! You know what that also is?” she asked. “That’s sexist. Let me call him out on it.”

McDowell recounted how Whitehouse, a former federal prosecutor, offered a 30-minute dissertation on how the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network have purportedly conspired to spend millions of dollars in support of judicial nominees that support their agenda.

Whitehouse laid out his theory during th hearing on a posterboard labeled “The Scheme.”

“In all cases, there’s big anonymous money behind various lanes of activity,” he said, holding up a sign bearing the names of the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network along with a reference to legal “groups,” all of whom purportedly receive millions in anonymous donations as they influence judicial nominations and court cases.

Whitehouse further tied issues like abortion and health care to large donations to conservative judicial groups and statements from Republicans about judicial nominations.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He then referred to briefs from Republican senators arguing that courts should overturn  the Affordable Care Act, as well as the claim often made by Democrats that Trump specifically chose Barrett for the Supreme Court to rule against the

WASHINGTON – Bringing it to the real world, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., plowed new ground at Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday when he asked the mother of two Black children about the impact of George Floyd’s death.

Barrett, guarded in her answers until this point, gave a candid reply.

In May, Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death sparked a new chapter of racial reckoning in the U.S.

Barrett told Durbin after Floyd died she discussed with daughter Vivian, who is Black, “that there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of, that kind of brutality.”

Democrats know they are powerless to block the confirmation of Barrett, who President Donald Trump tapped for the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Three years later, days after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump nominated Barrett, the ideological opposite of Ginsburg, to fill her seat.

What Durbin has been doing at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings – and in a private call last week – is to talk to Barrett about the impact Supreme Court decisions have on real people, bringing up race, guns used for crimes in Chicago traced to Indiana and Mississippi, and the crucial need for health care coverage.

Barrett, a former Notre Dame Law School professor, is known for her conservatism. She shared with her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, her belief in originalism and textualism.

That is, she explained on Tuesday, interpreting the Constitution with the meaning the writers had when it was ratified and analyzing a statute using only the text.

Barrett mainly works and lives in South Bend,

President Trump’s third nominee to the Supreme Court declined to answer some questions that seemed steeped in basic facts, such as whether a president has the power under the Constitution to unilaterally delay an election. Barrett also declined to say whether she would recuse herself from a potential 2020 election case as Senate Democrats demanded, saying she would not be “used as a pawn to decide the election for the American people.”

Like high court nominees who preceded her, Barrett repeatedly avoided weighing in on her personal views of landmark decisions and declined to say whether she endorsed opinions from her mentor, former Justice Antonin Scalia, on abortion and same-sex marriage. At the same time, under hours of questioning from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she reinforced perceptions that she would help solidify a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

On the Affordable Care Act, whose constitutionality will come before the Supreme Court in oral arguments on Nov. 10, Barrett on multiple occasions said she was not “hostile” to the 2010 law that has been the core of the Democratic Party’s argument against her confirmation.

“I am not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” Barrett said under questioning from Democrats who tried to shed light on how she may rule on California v. Texas, a case brought by nearly 20 Republican attorneys general and backed by the Trump administration that challenges the constitutionality of former president Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.

Barrett, who would succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if confirmed, testified that judges should not be swayed by their personal views on policy.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns; I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk

The Academy Award for hypocritical chutzpah during the Supreme Court nomination hearings goes to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, for his full conspiracy-theory rant about the supposed evils of the “dark money” supporting Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.



Sheldon Whitehouse wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by Washington Examiner


So-called dark money is political spending by nonprofit organizations that don’t disclose their donors’ names. To be clear, dark money exists, and it does have influence. The truth, though, is that dark money is more prevalent on the political Left as on the Right, and Whitehouse’s allies in leftist dark-money groups are working just as hard at defeating Barrett’s nomination as conservative groups are at confirming her. More pointedly, Whitehouse is a particularly avid purveyor of the same dark arts as those he loudly denounced during Tuesday’s hearing.

First, let’s consider Whitehouse’s stunning hypocrisy in shouting against “forces outside of this room who are pulling strings and pushing sticks and causing the public — puppet theater to react.” As the Wall Street Journal noted in more than a half-dozen editorials, Whitehouse has long been a star in the dark-money puppet theater. Sometimes, he plays Geppetto, sometimes Pinocchio, but he’s a major player either way. The Journal has noted a whole series of friend-of-the-court briefs filed in Whitehouse’s name but which were funded, or for which legal work was done, by either top campaign donors or suspected top donors to Whitehouse. The same paper also raised questions, never fully answered, about a particular example of when “the senator intervened for a [specific] company after campaign cash flowed.”

Among the dark money outfits about which the Journal wanted Whitehouse to disclose his ties were ones called Arabella Advisors, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, and Demand Justice. A watchdog group called Influence Watch keeps close tabs on those left-wing

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island used the time allotted to him for questioning of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to make an expansive argument about conservatives’ activist efforts to influence the judiciary.

Without asking Barrett a single question, Whitehouse laid out what he said was a strategy by small group of influential conservatives to cement control of the federal judiciary. He displayed a series of charts drawing connections between organizations that promote the careers of favored judges and also write amicus briefs supporting conservative causes that appear before those same judges.

“This, more and more, looks like it’s not three schemes, but it’s one scheme. With the same funders selecting judges, funding campaigns for the judges, and then showing up in court in these orchestrated amicus flotillas to tell the judges what to do,” Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse also rebutted claims from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee that Barrett’s nomination was unrelated to the Affordable Care Act case set to be heard on the Supreme Court later this year.

“Don’t act as if we’re making this stuff up,” Whitehouse said. “This is what President Trump said. This is what your party platform says. Reverse the Obamacare cases. Senator after senator, including many in this committee, filed briefs saying that the Affordable Care Act should be thrown out by courts. Why is it surprising for us to be concerned that you want this nominee to do what you want nominees to do?”

It’s an argument that Whitehouse has made before. Last month, for example, he called the situation “a problem of court capture.”

“This has been the product of a very orchestrated scheme to control who gets nominated, to provide funding, to provide political cover, to run certain cases before the Supreme Court,” he said then. “The big donors