Judge Neil Gorsuch is scheduled to complete the long and grueling questioning of his confirmation hearing today. Indeed, he may finish a bit early. Like past nominees, Gorsuch declined to discuss cases and said little about his positions on possible cases dealing with subjects like abortion. Nominees are trained to hit grounders in these hearing and avoid pitches in the corners or trying to put anything over the wall. He stayed with that strategy and the Democrats have made little progress in undermining his stellar record. I have two columns out today at USA Today and The Hill newspaper discussing different aspects of the nomination. I am scheduled to testify at the hearing on Thursday when they call expert witnesses. There remains one disturbing question, however, that needs to be addressed: is Judge Gorsuch anti-duck?
There is an interesting proposal in California where legislators are moving to punishing any companies who work with the federal government in the construction of the wall pledged by President Donald Trump between the United States and Mexico. The bill would force pension funds to divest from participating companies. It is a bill that would significantly raise the level of conflict between the Trump Administration and certain states. The Trump Administration is already moving to withdraw grants from cities and states barring assistance to federal immigration officials. To now have states retaliate against companies for simply contracting with the federal government would push the already bad situation to Def Con 1 over federal/state conflict. There is no way that the federal government could sit ideally by as states retaliated against federal contractors.
Alden Whiteside could not have handled things worse on his way Spring Break in Florida. First, there was the seven cases of beer in plain view in his truck. Then there was the problem of being 19 and not allowed to drink or buy alcohol. Then there was the fact that he was speeding. Then there was the fake driver’s license that he was using. Finally, there was the marijuana discovered in the car. That pretty much covers most of the criminal code. He was not the only Alabama college student facing charges from a Spring Break gone bad.
We have seen rising violence and intolerance on our colleges and universities as some students seek to prevent speakers and claim an ever-widening array of “microaggressions” and cultural appropriations. The latest occurred during a basketball game where a player was attacked due to wearing braids that 20-year-old Hispanic student, Carmen Figueroa, claimed to be cultural misappropriation.
There is a chilling and tragic case out of East Sussex, England where Shana Grice, 19, was found dead with her throat slit. Months ago, Grice was fined by police for wasting their time in accusing her ex-boyfriend, Michael Lane, 27, of stalking her. Lane is now standing trial for her murder.
We discussed earlier how Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee and CNN commentator, denied the legitimacy of emails that showed her leaking a question to Hillary Clinton that would be asked verbatim at the CNN downhill event. I was highly critical of the failure of the media to investigate the claim, including confirming the receipt of the earlier emails from Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Brazile stuck by her false statements even after additional emails allegedly showed Brazile secretly feeding information to the Clinton campaign. Again, there was relatively little media attention to the story and CNN initially issued a remarkably weak response that it was “uncomfortable” with the new disclosures on Brazile’s actions while a CNN commentator. While CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker later called Brazile’s actions “disgusting” and others have denounced her actions and later contradictions, the DNC stuck with Brazile — even praising her post-scandal appearance before staffers (with one notable exception). Then, the declassified intelligence report directly disputed what Brazile has said. Yet media remained relatively passive and again failed to press Palmieri on the issue. Now, Brazile has admitted that she gave the questions to the Clinton campaign in a Time magazine essay. She simply says it was a “mistake” but does not address her lying to the media. Again, the coverage is quite limited and no one has asked Palmieri how she remained silent despite knowing that Brazile was lying and misleading the public. Palmieri is now a regular guest on various news outlets.