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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Donald Trump listen during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

In No Rush to Approve Covid-19 Aid, McConnell Says He Will Start Confirming More Trump Judges 'As Soon As' Senate Returns

"This is all they care about: stacking courts with ideologically extreme judges to roll back our rights for decades."

Jake Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear in an interview Wednesday that the top priority for the Republican-controlled upper chamber upon its expected return early next month will not be approving desperately needed coronavirus aid for the unemployed, the uninsured, and frontline workers.

Rather, McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Senate will resume its rapid-fire confirmations of President Donald Trump's lifetime right-wing judicial nominees "as soon as we get back in session."

"The pandemic hasn't stopped Trump and McConnell from trying to take over our federal courts with extreme judges who are anti-healthcare and anti-civil rights. This is their priority."
—Vanita Gupta, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

"The current plan is to go back in session on May the 4th," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. "I haven't seen anything that would discourage me from doing that. And as soon as we get back in session, we'll start confirming judges again. We need to have hearings, and we need to confirm judges. Hugh, you and I have discussed this before. My motto for the year is leave no vacancy behind. That hasn't changed."

"The pandemic," McConnell added, "will not prevent us from achieving that goal."

McConnell's remarks came just hours after the Senate Majority Leader threw cold water on the prospect of fast movement on a fourth coronavirus aid package that—unlike the interim measure the Senate passed Tuesday—includes relief for the millions of people struggling to meet basic needs amid the coronavirus-induced economic fallout.

"The best way to get the economy back and running is to begin to open it up again, rather than passing immediately another bill where we have to borrow," McConnell told Politico.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, Trump in recent weeks has nominated two more ultra-conservative judges: U.S. District Judge Justin Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

"This is all they care about: stacking courts with ideologically extreme judges to roll back our rights for decades," Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, tweeted in response to McConnell's comments Wednesday. "We can't stand for it."

Civil rights groups decried Trump's nomination of Walker and Wilson as another step toward packing the federal courts with "right-wing ideologues" hostile to reproductive rights, workers, and the environment.

Trump, with the help of McConnell and the right-wing Federalist Society, has now hand-picked around one in every five U.S. federal judges. Because Trump's selections have been disproportionately young, they will have the power to reshape American law for decades to come.

"Please pay attention," Gupta said earlier this month. "The pandemic hasn't stopped Trump and McConnell from trying to take over our federal courts with extreme judges who are anti-healthcare and anti-civil rights. This is their priority."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

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'Yeah, And?': Ocasio-Cortez Embraces GOP Freakout Over Helping Women Skirt Abortion Bans

"Republicans are mad because I am sharing this information," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. "Too bad!"

Julia Conley ·

WATCH LIVE: Top Meadows Aide Cassidy Hutchinson Testifies at Surprise Jan. 6 Hearing

Hutchinson, who has spent more than 20 hours in deposition with the House panel, is expected to provide more damning evidence of the role that Meadows played in Trump's coup attempt.

Kenny Stancil ·

Oxfam Condemns G7 for Leaving 'Millions to Starve' as Global Hunger Surges

"Faced with the worst hunger crisis in a generation, the G7 have simply failed to take the action that is needed," said Max Lawson of Oxfam International.

Jake Johnson ·

'Horrific': 50 Migrants Found Dead in Abandoned Trailer Truck in Texas

"We need to end Title 42 and fix our broken immigration system so these unimaginable tragedies stop happening," said Rep. Chuy García. "People fleeing violence and poverty deserve a chance at a better life."

Jake Johnson ·

Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

Jake Johnson ·

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