Severino: Dark Money ‘Demand Justice’s’ SCOTUS Short List Full of Far Left Activists

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The far leftwing Demand Justice, funded in part by billionaire George Soros, has released its short list of activists they would like to see nominated to the United States Supreme Court.

The names on the list do not emphasize judicial experience — only eight of the 32 named have that experience, and only four are judges appointed by former president Barack Obama — facts that led Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network, to pen a commentary about how far left Democrats have lurched:

While President Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees currently includes 24 individuals, of whom 23 are experienced federal or state judges, the extremists at Demand Justice have clearly taken a different tack. Their list — which they are lobbying Democratic candidates to adopt — is wholly consumed by far-left activism and identity politics.

They see the courts as their ticket to implementing their radical policy agenda, which includes gutting the First and Second Amendments, establishing a right to illegal immigration and abortion on demand straight through birth, and destroying our economy by imposing burdensome regulations on everyone from Main Street to Wall Street.

And the newly published list neatly lines up with their radical policy agenda. For every specific policy goal that the extreme left wants to implement, Demand Justice has provided a name — or two or three — of an ultra-liberal lawyer who has made that cause a focus of his or her activism.

Demand Justice has a different perspective on its list:

In 2016, Donald Trump released a shortlist of possible Supreme Court picks, and it succeeded in rallying conservative voters to his side. In 2020, the Democratic candidates running for president should also state what kind of justices they would appoint. Doing so would show their commitment to the Supreme Court as an issue and draw a clear line in the sand about what is at stake in the coming election.

To prod the candidates, Demand Justice is releasing its own Supreme Court shortlist of possible nominees in the next Democratic administration. Our list is made up of brilliant lawyers who have spent their careers fighting for progressive values and represent the diversity of our nation.

In releasing this list, we also hope to make clear that the next Democratic president ought to approach the task of nominating judges with a new playbook––one that prioritizes unabashedly progressive lawyers and legal thinkers, who have all too often been pushed aside. None of the lawyers on our list are corporate lawyers, in keeping with our call for the next president to avoid nominating any more lawyers who have been partners at corporate law firms or in-house counsel at large corporations. Instead, our list boasts    wide range of former public defenders, public interest lawyers, academics, and plaintiff’s lawyers.

Here are more details about some of the figures on the SCOTUS short list:

• Pro-abortion activist Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. Her bio on the ACLU’s website states: “She is currently litigating numerous cases, including leading the Jane Doe case, challenging the Trump administration’s ban on abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors. She also represents the last abortion clinic in Kentucky, including in a challenge to the 6-week abortion ban.

• Xavier Becerra, attorney general of California. “When he was a member of the House of Representatives, Becerra in 2003 voted no on the bill banning partial-birth abortions that ultimately was signed into law,” Severino wrote.

• NYU Law professor Melissa Murray is a self-proclaimed expert on “reproductive justice” issues who testified against Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate confirmation hearing. Her bio states: Murray’s award-winning research focuses on the legal regulation of intimate life and encompasses such topics as the regulation of sex and sexuality, marriage and its alternatives, the marriage equality debate, the legal recognition of caregiving, and reproductive rights and justice.

• “The Demand Justice list includes several individuals, such as Nina Perales and Thomas Saenz of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who have fought against legislation aimed at discouraging illegal immigration and sanctuary cities,” Severino wrote.

• Vanita Gupta is president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and has been involved in anti-Trump protests since his inauguration at prsident. She “advocated vigorously against the Trump administration’s executive order that would have required a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. Gupta argued that inclusion of a citizenship question would “weaponize” the census,” Severino wrote.

• “Also on the list is Deepak Gupta, a former senior attorney for Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has significantly increased the regulatory burden on everyday consumers since its inception nearly a decade ago,” Severino wrote.

• Goodwin Liu,  former law professor, “disavows Originalism and textualism. Liu once said in an American Constitution Society podcast: “the Constitution should be interpreted in ways that adapt its principles and its text to the challenges and conditions of our society in every succeeding generation,” Severino wrote.

• “Michelle Alexander, is more forthright in articulating the left’s belief that its hope lies outside the democratic process: “I no longer believe we can ‘win’ justice simply by filing lawsuits, flexing our political muscles or boosting voter turnout.” 

Severino said her post in National Review “only scratches the surface” on this effort from the left.

“But make no mistake, these are the kinds of judges that Demand Justice and others on the extreme left want, not just on the Supreme Court, but also on the lower federal courts,” Severino wrote. “These individuals are far-left ideologues who are out of touch with the mainstream.”

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