In yIn yesterdays’ Daily 202 from the Washington Post, James Hohmann wrote, “The American people are more focused on the daily drama emanating from the reality television presidency than they are substantive policy issues. Meanwhile, the administration is making meaningful moves every day — and we’re covering them — but these stories are often overlooked in favor of distracting shiny objects."
Yet I have an even more alarming perspective. It’s not just the administration’s daily moves. Check out what Congress is doing. No one’s paying any attention – at all.
This morning, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee began voting on a bunch of terrible bills, some of which were just introduced this week, which would upend centuries of law and/or make it more difficult for people who have been harmed to have their cases fairly heard and/or stop courts from blocking Trump’s illegal actions. Yup, all that just this morning!
Behind it all is the soon-to-be-ex- (thank goodness) Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, a Republican who has represented Virginia’s 6th congressional district since 1993. Last year, Goodlatte rammed through his committee five bills that together, strip away major legal rights from everyday Americans. He was so fixated on making sure these bills passed with the greatest amount of harm to victims, that he forced the committee to re-vote on an amendment - after he lost - that would have prevented his legislation from violating state constitutions. Last month, Goodlatte's son Bobby “blasted” his own father “for his role in ruining [FBI agent Peter] Strzok’s career, tweeting, “I’m deeply embarrassed that Peter Strzok’s career was ruined by my father’s political grandstanding. That committee hearing was a low point for Congress. Thank you for your service sir. You are a patriot.” Bobby also urged voters to elect a Democrat to replace his father.
So let’s just say, today’s hearing isn’t all that surprising. As explained by a number of public interest groups who literally overnight turned in a letter of opposition to four of the bills, here’s what the House Judiciary Committee majority, chaired by Mr. Goodlatte, wants to do:
- Ban nationwide injunctions – the kind of injunctions issued by federal judges to slow down or prevent harm caused by some of the more destructive policies of the Trump Administration.
- Radically change the law of diversity jurisdiction, forcing a vast number of state cases into federal court that have no business being in federal court. It’s essentially a corporate forum-shopping bill since corporate defendants prefer to litigate in federal court.
- Break up the Ninth Judicial Circuit at the behest of corporations and the right, even though everyone from the American Bar Association to the judges themselves object to this.
We’re tired of covering this type of dumb, destructive and corrupt policy-making. Today is primary election day in New York State (home of ThePopTort!), and we’re reminded of our message to you this fall: get out there on November 6 and vote!