Impeachment Process Begins, Another Record, Debate Night

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Impeachment Process Begins
Progressives on the House Judiciary Committee this morning took the first steps toward launching formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump.  The move is somewhat surprising given the spectacular failure of Robert Mueller's testimony. 
Polling finds that only 35% of the country supports impeachment proceedings, which is why Nancy Pelosi has been trying to rein in her left flank.  But Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made it clear that he's all in, saying:
"This committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump.  Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms."
Nadler also wants to impeach Justice Kavanaugh.  (Here and here.) 
Supreme Win
Yesterday, in a 7-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court overturned a lower-court injunction from an Obama-appointed judge and allowed the president's asylum reforms to take effect.
The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality the of the president's plan later.  What the justices did yesterday was tell lower federal courts that they cannot block President Trump's plan.
The reforms at issue require migrants fleeing purported persecution to claim asylum in the first country they arrive in, rather than marching all the way through Central America and Mexico to claim asylum in the U.S. 
That means refugees from Nicaragua should claim asylum in Honduras, not Texas.  Refugees from Guatemala should claim asylum in Mexico, not California.
To be clear, the Supreme Court's decision was only a process ruling, but it was an important one that allows the administration to stop the abuse of our asylum rules. 
We know that the vast majority of migrants claiming asylum don't qualify as legitimate refugees, and they disappear into the interior of the country while their legal proceedings drag on.
Cases challenging the constitutionality of Trump's order are still working their way through the courts and will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.  That a majority of justices rejected a liberal judge's injunction is a positive sign, but by no means definitive as to how they will ultimately rule.
Another Record
Yesterday, the Senate confirmed President Trump's 150th judicial nominee.  That's a record number of confirmations at this point in a president's term.  It includes 105 federal district court judges, 43 circuit court judges and two Supreme Court justices.
This success has only been possible because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is no longer allowing progressives to abuse arcane rules to needlessly delay conservative nominees.
The president's appointments have already flipped one circuit court majority and three more are on the verge of flipping.  The Washington Post lamented earlier this year that because of Trump's seven nominees even the Ninth Circuit is no longer so reliably left-wing.  (There are 11 circuit courts, plus the highly influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.) 
That's why the left is going all out to defeat the nomination of Steven Menashi, whose appointment could flip the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Menashi has been viciously smeared by Rachel Maddow, CNN and other left-wing activists who do not want to see this conservative Jewish former Alito clerk on the federal bench. 
If confirmed, Menashi could be a future Supreme Court nominee and the left is desperate to stop him now. 
Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support Menashi's confirmation.
Must See TV
Former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice appeared on the "Today Show" yesterday promoting her book on the Cold War.  Host Savannah Guthrie used this interview to once again raise the left's favorite fantasy -- that Russia and Trump stole the 2016 election. 
Guthrie asked Rice, "Do you think it's possible that Russia's election interference actually worked?  It actually elected Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?"
Rice didn't take the bait.  She calmly answered:
"I don't think there's any evidence of that.  And, you know, I really don't think that's a good conversation to have.  I think that really does devalue the people in Wisconsin and Michigan and [Pennsylvania] who decided to vote for President Trump."
Later in the day, former ICE director Tom Homan testified before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.  Liberal progressives were trying to make the point that ICE policies violate the civil rights of illegal immigrants.
After Homan spoke, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz blasted his testimony as "jingoistic," "bigoted," "an outrage" and "nearly completely untrue."
Homan shot back, saying:
"I've forgotten more about this issue than you'll ever know.  So if you say my testimony is inaccurate, [you're] wrong.  Everything I said here is accurate. Bottom line. If you want to go toe to toe, I'm here.  I'm here on my own time to speak to the American people about what's false and what's fact."
Homan also took on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, blasting her call to abolish ICE, saying, "In my 34 years I have never seen such hate toward a law enforcement agency in my life that you want to abolish them."
Debate Night
The Democratic candidates will take the stage in Houston tonight for their third debate, which will air on ABC News at 8:00 PM ET.
This debate is unique because it marks the first time that the frontrunners -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- will appear together.  Also on stage will be:

  • Sen. Cory Booker
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
  • Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Businessman Andrew Yang

I expect we will see some fireworks tonight.  The lower-tier candidates are rapidly reaching a make-or-break point for their campaigns.  They will be looking to stand out and break out of the pack. 
In addition, new polling shows that Biden's position is very precarious.  The latest CNN poll finds Biden getting just 24% (down five points since last month's survey), while Warren and Sanders are at 18% and 17% respectively.  No other candidate received double-digit support.
In fact, Biden may not even be the frontrunner anymore.  The latest Economist/YouGov poll found Warren at 26%, Biden at 26% and Sanders at 16%.  No other candidate received double-digit support.