Gearing Up for 2020

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Claims and Courts

Can You Believe?

Can you believe Chief Justice John Roberts’s claim that Trump’s travel ban was “facially neutral” – that is, had nothing to do with religion – even though Trump repeatedly called it a “Muslim ban”? If you do, I know a bridge in Brooklyn you might want to buy.

Can you believe Rep. Jeff Denham’s claim that he surrendered on his Dreamers’ bill because he thought the GOP House would actually pass a consensus immigration reform bill? If you do, you could pay double for that bridge. (This week the House rejected the least-noxious GOP immigration bill by a vote of 301 to 121.)

Can you believe that Jeff Sessions joked about family separation and claimed that the policy’s critics were “radicalized” leftists who live in gated communities? (“And if you try to scale their fence,” he said, “believe me, they’ll be only too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”) Hard to believe.

Hits and Misses – the week’s best and worst moves

Hit of the Week: Judge Dana Sabraw’s ruling ordering the administration to reunite all separated immigrant families within 30 days. In 2003, I was proud to join Senator Feinstein in recommending him to the federal bench; this wise and humane ruling makes me prouder than ever. (Also proud of my former Senate colleagues for unanimously confirming Judge Sabraw’s nomination – seems like a million years ago.)

Miss of the Week: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s three terrible decisions: upholding Trump’s travel ban, undermining workers’ rights to organize, and retiring from the Supreme Court.

Hot Race of the Week

The Nevada Senate race was already Democrats’ top target for a pickup this year: Hilllary Clinton and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won the state in 2016, and incumbent GOP Senator Dean Heller is deeply unpopular (a recent poll gave him a 24% approval rating). Heller was initially critical of Trump’s most extreme statement and actions, particularly on immigration; but now he has gone all-in with Trump, bringing him to campaign in the state and endorsing his travel ban. Democrats have a very strong candidate in Representative Jacky Rosen, but she’ll have to overcome the megamillions that Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers pour into this race.

Fight Back

On this week’s podcast, Nicole and I discuss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunning House primary upset, Democrats’ needing to win with unity and authenticity, and the recent Supreme Court rulings. Then I speak with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) on Trump’s impending Supreme Court nomination, the Court’s potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, and how to effectively fight back. In her Hot Race segment, Nicole speaks with Democratic nominee Deb Halaand of New Mexico, who could make history by becoming the first Native American woman in Congress.