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> Excerpts from the March 17, 2017 Right Wing Watch news story by Brian Tashman entitled:

Conservative Group’s New Song Aims To Get Neil Gorsuch Confirmed To The Supreme Court


The Confirm Gorsuch Ensemble

Today, Eugene Delgaudio, a Religious Right activist and former Republican politician based in Virginia, today released a new music video, “A Justice Like Scalia,” in praise of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.



Eugene Delgaudio

In the video, the “Confirm Gorsuch Ensemble” urged the Senate to confirm Gorsuch because he is, as Trump promised, a jurist in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia: “Oh Mamma Mia, another Scalia!”






"A Justice Like Scalia"
Sung to the tune of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” (from "The Sound of Music")

How do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a lion of the bench?
How do you find a mind to match Scalia's?
A textualist! An originalist! A mensch!

Many a thing you'd like in his successor:
Unwillingness to obfuscate or fudge,
respect for the law's intent,
and eloquence in dissent --
principles from which he'll never budge.

Oh, how do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a giant of a judge?



"We're Gettoing Gorsuch"
Sung to the tune of “Get Me To The Church On Time” (from the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady")

We're getting Gorsuch as a justice;
He's got a brilliant legal mind;
Neil's no beginner, Trump picked a winner!
For justice of the court, Neil's fine!

He will protect our Constitution
and all the rights therein enshrined,
giving assent to original intent!
For justice of the court, Neil's fine!

Religious freedoms he will support
and right to life won't come up short;
We're getting Gorsuch as a justice;
He's got a brilliant legal mind.

Oh. Mama mia! Another Scalia!
For justice of the court,
For justice of the court,
For justice of the court, Neil's fine!




And there's a "Confirm Gorsuch Song Competition", too!

Confirm Gorsuch Song Competition wrote:
Rules for the "Confirm Gorsuch" Song Competition:

1) All submissions must be made by 11:59 PM EST on April 8th, 2017. Contest open to all legal U.S. residents age 18 or over. Employees or agents of Public Advocate, and their immediate family members, are not eligible to participate. By entering the contest, you agree to these rules.

2) All submissions must be publicly posted to the entrant’s YouTube account. All entries must include both songs, and must have at least one person singing the songs, and eligible for only one prize. The more people that appear in the video the merrier, and the higher chance of winning Prize #1.

3) Judges: All the videos will go before a panel of three judges comprised of Public Advocate staff members. The videos will be judged based on the quality of the submission, in the sole discretion of the judges. By submitting a video, you waive any right to contest the judges’ decision.

3) Prize #1 — The video with the most people seen singing in it will receive a $50 reward.

4) Prize #2 — The video judged best by the judges will receive a $50 reward.

5) Prizes #3 — The first 10 submissions which are of acceptable quality to post will receive a $25 gift certificate to Chick-fil-A as a reward just for participating. If you win either Prize #1 or #2, you will not be eligible for this prize.

6) Your submission video must be titled "Confirm Gorsush Song By [Your YouTube Name]".

7) The videos may not contain profanities, obscene visuals, or liberal nonsense. Any such videos will be disqualified and will not be eligible to receive any reward or prizes.

8) The description for each video must credit Public Advocate of the U.S. as the sponsor of the "Confirm Gorsuch Song" and include a link to the Public Advocate website: http://www.publicadvocateusa.org/

9) By submitting a video for entry, you waive all rights of ownership in your submission, and agree to permit Public Advocate to use any or all of the video for the organization’s tax exempt purposes.

10) All submissions must be E-mailed to publicadvocateusa.org@gmail.com and must include the link to your YouTube entry. Entries must include your legal name, address, E-mail address, and phone number in order to have the reward sent to you. This information will be held confidential and will not be published anywhere. When attempting to contact the winners, Public Advocate will send one E-mail and place one phone call. If we do not hear back from you within 48 hours, we reserve the right to give your prize to another entrant.

See our Public Advocate website for more information: Public Advocate website: http://publicadvocateusa.org/



This all reminds us of another hit Delgaudio song smearing gay members of the Boy Scouts of America as child molesters:





 
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Eagle-Eyed Superhawk
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:


"A Justice Like Scalia"
Sung to the tune of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” (from "The Sound of Music")

How do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a lion of the bench?
How do you find a mind to match Scalia's?
A textualist! An originalist! A mensch!

Many a thing you'd like in his successor:
Unwillingness to obfuscate or fudge,
respect for the law's intent,
and eloquence in dissent --
principles from which he'll never budge.

Oh, how do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a giant of a judge?






If nothing else, this song was actually re-lyriced extremely well.
 
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James King
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Zedsdead wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

"A Justice Like Scalia"
Sung to the tune of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” (from "The Sound of Music")

How do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a lion of the bench?
How do you find a mind to match Scalia's?
A textualist! An originalist! A mensch!

Many a thing you'd like in his successor:
Unwillingness to obfuscate or fudge,
respect for the law's intent,
and eloquence in dissent --
principles from which he'll never budge.

Oh, how do you top a justice like Scalia?
How to replace a giant of a judge?

If nothing else, this song was actually re-lyriced extremely well.

Only, the final line should have been: How do you replace a right-wing hard-ass judge?

And ironically enough, there's no mention in the other lyrics of the song song about Gorsuch's known predilection to favor corporations over the common man among other outrages.


> Excerpts from the February 1, 2017 People for the American Way opinion column by Paul Gordon entitled:

Gorsuch’s Approach to the Law Would Make Him a Dangerous Justice



Who is Neil Gorsuch?

Most people had never heard of him until President Trump introduced him to the nation as his nominee to the Supreme Court.

The Far Right loves Gorsuch because they see him as being nearly identical to Justice Scalia, whom they portray as the ideal Supreme Court justice. That in itself should set off alarm bells: Scalia did great damage to our nation and to the American people during his three decades on the Court. Sometimes in the majority and sometimes in dissent, Scalia:

Helped eviscerate the Voting Rights Act in the name of States’ Rights, enabling a vast increase in voter suppression tactics;

Opened the floodgate to allow unlimited corporate money into our elections, empowering the already-powerful and drowning out the voices of the people elected officials are supposed to represent;

Vigorously and emotionally opposed any court ruling that would treat LGBT people as people with rights and dignity, rather than as “outsiders” that the majority could hurt in any number of ways in the name of “morality;”

Regularly twisted the law and bent logic like a pretzel to find ways to block victims of discrimination, anti-competitive business behavior, grossly defective and dangerous consumer goods, and others from even being able to file a case against unlawful conduct;

And showed deep hostility to a woman’s Constitutional right to make her own reproductive decisions, including whether to have an abortion.


This is not a legacy to be proud of. If Gorsuch’s supporters say he’s just like Scalia, that alone is enough to tell us that he should not be on our Supreme Court.

But we do know more about Judge Gorsuch -- a lot more.


Weakening Federal Agencies And Empowering Big Business & Wall Street

For one thing, Gorsuch has gone even farther than Scalia in embracing an extreme and far-reaching legal theory that , if put into practice, would severely restrict the federal government’s ability to effectively address national problems.

In a 2016 immigration case called Gutierrez-Brizuela vs. Lynch, Gorsuch indicated that he would weaken or eliminate the Court precedent holding that administrative agencies have great flexibility in how they carry out their missions. Called the Chevron Doctrine, it essentially directs courts to uphold an agency’s interpretation of the Congressional statutes that empower it as long as its interpretation is reasonable –– even if the court would have chosen a different interpretation on its own.

This flexibility is critical, since Congress has nowhere near the resources nor the expertise to address all the details of every issue it addresses. That’s why Congress delegates a limited amount of authority to the agencies, sometimes instructing them very specifically on details, but usually giving them parameters within which to work. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been able to interpret the Clean Air Act in a variety of ways to more effectively address advances in scientific knowledge, technology, and popular understanding.

This principle also makes executive agencies more answerable to the popular will. The Chevron Doctrine gave President Obama the flexibility he needed to effectively address environmental and climate issues in a variety of ways. And when the people elect a new president, that person is given the flexibility to effect their agenda. As in all things in a democracy, policies will change from administration to administration in response to the votes of the American people, but that is a feature, not a bug.

Without the Chevron Doctrine, agencies’ hands would be tied by however a particular judge or court interpreted the law. That is certainly not what Congress intends when it gives agencies a wide but not limitless grant of authority. And it certainly is not the way for the federal government to effectively tackle problems that officials have been elected to address.

But it gets worse: Judge Gorsuch has broached the possibility of limiting agency authority on a vastly broader scale. Under the Constitution, Congress cannot simply delegate its lawmaking authority to an agency without giving some parameters or guidance on how the agency should make its decisions. But how much authority Congress delegates to agencies is its decision. Only twice has the Supreme Court struck down a congressional delegation of authority, and that was under the anti-New Deal Supreme Court of 1935.

That history prompted Justice Scalia himself to write:

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:


The Supreme Court justices have almost never felt qualified to second-guess Congress regarding the permissible degree of policy judgment that can be left to those executing or applying the law.


But if a Justice Gorsuch were to increase the Court’s “second-guessing,” an enormous range of laws giving agencies rule-making authority could be at risk. If the Chevron Doctrine were to be eliminated, agencies would become far less equipped to address the critical issues that they are charged with taking on. As the federal government’s ability to address workplace safety, workers’ rights, environmental problems, investment abuse, consumer safety, and any number of other issues sharply diminishes, the power of Big Business and Wall Street to impose their will on every American would be greatly enhanced. The last thing we need is to give these already-powerful entities free rein to harm and take advantage of people in even more ways than they already do.


Justice For Some

While Gorsuch would be a friend to large corporations, he would be no friend to those he dislikes who use the courts to vindicate their rights. In 2005 (before he became a judge), he wrote an article in the National Review — “Liberals ’n’ Lawsuits” — that showed, at best, a complete misunderstanding of the very purpose of our judicial system and at worst, an inability to separate his personal beliefs from his jurisprudence.

That 2005 National Review article by Gorsuch can be read at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/213590/liberalsnlawsui...

In the article, Gorsuch harshly criticized progressives who turn to the courts to vindicate their rights, after first giving the requisite praise to the Brown vs. The Board of Education case:

Neal Gorsuch wrote:


There’s no doubt that constitutional lawsuits have secured critical civil-rights victories, with the desegregation cases culminating in Brown vs. the Board of Education topping the list. But rather than use the judiciary for extraordinary cases, … American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.


Brown vs. the Board of Education, like so many other cases, came about because African Americans faced harsh discrimination resulting from the political process. Because the Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law, they turned to the courts to vindicate what they claimed were their rights, and the Court agreed with them (as Gorsuch apparently does, as well).

But if same-sex couples face enormous discrimination as a result of the democratic process — denial of the right to marry, denigrating treatment as just two unrelated people for the purposes of Social Security or federal taxes, prohibitions from teaching in public schools, rejection of their ability to serve our nation’s armed forces or intelligence community — and if they feel their Constitutional rights are being violated, why is it illegitimate for them to seek to have their rights vindicated in the courts? Why is the political process the only appropriate recourse for them, but not for African Americans?

Is it because Gorsuch believes racial segregation was worse? If so, that should not be a factor: Suffering is not a contest, where only those who suffer the most get to argue their case before the courts.

It certainly does not appear that Gorsuch believes courts should refuse to hear cases like this – only that they should decide cases the way he wants. There is no indication I know of that he condemned the Supreme Court for addressing the merits of the 1980s case in Bowers vs. Hardwick when the justices upheld punitive laws criminalizing sex between people of the same sex. But apparently, by Gorsuch's reckoning, it was wrong for same-sex couples to turn to the courts again years later and eventually have that case reversed in Lawrence vs. the State of Texas.

So Judge Gorsuch apparently believes it is legitimate for some people who feel their Constitutional rights have been violated by the political process to ask a court to address their claims. But when those people are LGBTQ, or believers in church-state separation, or are otherwise what he dismisses as “liberal,” Gorsuch believes it is illegitimate for them to seek justice from the courts.

But in the American Constitutional system, that’s what courts are supposed to do: The whole purpose of having judges is so they can analyze cases brought to them and make the decisions they believe are legally correct.

Gorsuch, like much of the Religious Right, seems to disagree. In his article, he was doing more than disagreeing with judicial decisions: Gorsuch was criticizing the parties who turned to the courts in the first place, leading to those decisions. He was criticizing certain groups for daring to turn to our nation’s courts to vindicate their Constitutional and other legal rights.


This is not a man who should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.


 
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In Emails, Neil Gorsuch Praised A Leading Republican Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts


> Excerpts from the March 17, 2017 The Nation commentary by Ari Berman entitled:

In Emails, Neil Gorsuch Praised a Leading Republican Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts
Gorsuch’s ties to Hans von Spakovksy suggest a hostility to voting rights.



Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and Republican activist Hans von Spakovsky

Few people in the Republican Party have done more to limit voting rights than Hans von Spakovsky. He’s been instrumental in spreading the myth of widespread voter fraud and backing new restrictions to make it harder to vote.

But it appears that von Spakovsky had an admirer in Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, according to emails released to the Senate Judiciary Committee covering Gorsuch’s time working in the George W. Bush Administration.

When President Bush nominated von Spakovksy to the Federal Election Commission in late 2005, Gorsuch wrote, “Good for Hans!”




In another e-mail, when von Spakovksy said he was participating in a “Ballot Access and Voter Integrity Conference” at the Justice Department, Gorsuch wrote, “Sounds interesting. Glad to see you’re doing this. I may try to attend some of it.” Though the Justice Department was supposed to investigate both voting discrimination and voter fraud, the latter cause took priority and eventually led to Republican U.S. Attorneys’ being wrongly fired from their jobs for refusing to prosecute fraud cases.




At very least, the emails suggest Gorsuch was friendly with von Spakovksy. But it’s far more disturbing if Gorsuch shares Von Spakovsky’s views on voting rights. Given that we know almost nothing about Gorsuch’s views on the subject, this is something the Senate needs to press him on during confirmation hearings next week.

Although the emails sound mundane, they’re much more important when you consider what was happening at the Justice Department during the time Gorsuch overlapped with von Spakovksy. In 2005–06, Gorsuch was principal deputy to the associate attorney general and von Spakosvky was special counsel to Brad Schlozman, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, who said he wanted to “gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the [voting] section.” It was a time when longtime civil-rights lawyers were pushed out of the Justice Department and the likes of Schlozman and von Spakovsky reversed the Civil Rights Division’s traditional role of safeguarding voting rights. When von Spakovsky was nominated to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), six former lawyers in the voting section called him “the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division’s mandate to protect voting rights.”

In particular, von Spakovsky manipulated the process to approve Georgia’s strict voter-ID law in 2005, which was among the first of its kind. (I tell this story in great detail in my book Give Us the Ballot.) Von Spakovsky had been an advocate of such laws nationally and in Georgia specifically, where he was from, since the 1990s. “Requiring official picture identification such as a driver’s license with a current address would immediately cut down on a large amount of fraud,” Gorsuch wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 1995. Two years later, he recommended, “Georgia should require all potential voters to present reliable photo identifications at their polling locations to help prevent impostors from voting.”

Georgia’s voter-ID law was submitted to the Justice Department in 2005 under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required states like Georgia with a long history of voting discrimination to approve their voting changes with the federal government.



Dave Barbee, the chairman of the Richmond County Republican Party, celebrates in Augusta with state Rep. Sue Burmeister during a rally for Max Burns and other Republican winners.

The sponsor of the law, Republican Representative Sue Burmeister, told department lawyers, “If there are fewer black voters because of the bill, it will only be because there is less opportunity for fraud. She said when black voters in her precinct are not paid to vote, they do not go to the polls.”

Her racially-inflammatory assertions set off alarm bells among the team reviewing the submission, indicating that the law may have been enacted with a discriminatory purpose. Department lawyers feared the bill would disenfranchise thousands of voters.



Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin

Atlanta’s Mayor, Shirley Franklin, told the story of her 84-year-old mother, who had recently moved from Philadelphia to Atlanta and could not obtain a new photo ID for voting. Her expired Pennsylvania driver’s license was rejected as sufficient documentation to obtain a Georgia ID card, and she was told to produce a copy of her birth certificate. But Franklin’s mother had been born at home in North Carolina and, like many elderly African Americans who grew up during Jim Crow, never had a birth certificate. After voting for 40 years, she would be disenfranchised by the new law.

Citing the high number of voters without ID, the disparate rates of ID possession among blacks and whites, the number of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices that did not issue IDs, the cost of the ID and the underlying documents needed to obtain an ID (ranging from $20.00 for an ID card to $210.00 for naturalization papers), four of five members of the Georgia review team urged that the law be rejected under Section 5. “While no single piece of data confirms that blacks will [be] disparately impacted compared to whites, the totality of evidence points to that conclusion,” they wrote in a 51-page analysis.

Yet von Spakovsky placed a conservative lawyer on the review team, Joshua Rogers, who argued that the law should be approved. Von Spakovsky began secretly emailing Rogers copies of his articles and arguments and analysis in favor of the Georgia voter-ID law. Von Spakovsky told him to password protect his computer so that no other attorneys on the team could see their correspondence. Rogers’s dissenting memo, which was drafted with von Spakovsky’s input, became the basis for the Justice Department’s preclearance of the law.

A year later, when von Spakovsky was nominated to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), it was revealed that he published a law article praising voter-ID laws under the pseudonym “Publius” just a week after Georgia submitted its law for review. The article in the "Texas Review of Law & Politics", a conservative legal journal, was titled “Securing the Integrity of American Elections: The Need for Change” and its author was identified as “an attorney who specializes in election issues.” Publius (better known as von Spakovsky), wrote: “It is unfortunately true that in the great democracy in which we live, voter fraud has had a long and studied role in our elections,” the article began. It continued: “Putting security measures in place — such as requiring identification when voting — does not disenfranchise voters and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.”

Department of Justice (DOJ) ethics guidelines clearly stated that von Spakovsky, given his longstanding advocacy for voter-ID laws and the strong viewpoints in his then-anonymous article, should have recused himself from consideration of Georgia’s law. Indeed, his ethical lapses and deceptive support for new voting restrictions were a major reason Senate Democrats blocked his nomination to the FEC and President Bush was forced to give him a recess appointment. (Then-Senator Barack Obama put a hold on von Spakovsky’s nomination and he withdrew in 2008, joining the Heritage Foundation, which has championed Gorsuch’s nomination.)

But that’s not all. In addition to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Von Spakovsky was also appointed to the advisory board of the Election Assistance Commission, created by the Help America Vote Act to analyze the country’s election problems. The commission hired two well-respected experts, Republican Job Serebrov and Democrat Tova Wang, to produce a comprehensive study on voter fraud. “There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud, or at least much less than is claimed, including voter impersonation, ‘dead’ voters, non-citizen voting and felon voters,” a draft of the report stated. After von Spakovsky complained to the commission’s GOP leadership, the wording in the final report was changed to: “There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”

More recently, von Spakovsky has argued against that the Voting Rights Act was “Constitutionally dubious at the time of its enactment” and praised Trump’s promised investigation into voter fraud, which has been widely panned by Democrats and Republicans. “The real problem in our election system is that we don’t really know to what extent President Trump’s claim is true because we have an election system that is based on the honor system,” von Spakovsky wrote with John Fund after Trump said with no evidence that 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 people voted illegally.

Given that von Spakovsky hailed Gorsuch as “the perfect pick for Trump,” it’s safe to assume he believes that the Supreme Court nominee shares his views. The Senate needs to aggressively question Gorsuch to see if that’s the case.

Gorsuch has already cited Justice Antonin Scalia as a role model, who said the Voting Rights Act had led to a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Gorsuch, if confirmed, could be the deciding vote on whether to weaken the remaining sections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and whether to uphold discriminatory voter-ID laws and redistricting plans from states like North Carolina and Texas.


In many ways, the fate of voting rights in the United States hangs on this nomination.


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