No Russia Probe, No SCOTUS Robe

Thanks in large part to the chaos that was Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has continued to fly under the radar. Gorsuch’s four-day hearing last week, during which he failed to answer most of the questions asked of him, gave virtually no further insight into what kind of justice he will be. But his record tells us a few things: Gorsuch is anti-worker, anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-environment, and anti-campaign finance reform.

Gorsuch’s record isn’t the only cloud hanging over his nomination. On the first day of his Senate hearing, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating possible links and coordination between the Trump team and Russia. Now, Rep. Devin Nunes is being asked to step down as chair of the House Intelligence Committee because of secret meetings with the White House on the issue, as well as secret documents shared with the administration. No president has ever made a lifetime appointment while facing such fundamental questions about his claim to the presidency.

Nevertheless, senate majority leaders are eager to push his nomination through. The Senate Judiciary committee is set to vote on Gorsuch’s nomination on Monday and the full Senate vote is scheduled for next Friday April 7, before Congress goes home for a two-week recess.

ACTION OF THE DAY

#NoRussiaProbeNoSCOTUSRobe. Senate Republicans held the Supreme Court vacancy open for more than a year and now are trying to rush through a nominee despite serious concerns over the administration’s possible interference in our elections. Trump should not be able to move forward with Gorsuch’s nomination until an independent investigation into Russia’s interference is complete. Now is the time to ramp up the pressure on your Senator. Go to NoRussiaProbeNoSCOTUSRobe.com for all the info you need to resist Gorsuch’s nomination, then find an event near you this Saturday.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Acting Guilty. The White House reportedly went to great lengths to prevent former Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying in a now-cancelled House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia. Sounds like they were spooked by the idea of Yates talking about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s relationship with the Russians. What’s worse, House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) apparently isn’t concerned about the White House’s attempts to stifle the Russia investigation.  You can add this to the list of reasons why we need an independent commission to investigate Trump and Russia, stat.

Priorities. Daniel Ramirez Medina, thought to be the first DREAMer detained by immigration officials after Trump took office, was ordered to be released by a federal judge yesterday. Two other immigrant advocates who were detained in Vermont last week were also released this week. Yesterday, acting ICE director Thomas D. Homan repeated the Trump Administration claim that their focus is on criminals. “We focus our resources first on those who are a national security threat and those who are a public safety threat,” Homan said. But that has proven not to be true. These are just a few examples of the real human toll the Trump Administration’s assault on immigrants is having.

Let it go. Some House Republicans, President Trump, and Acting President  chief strategist Steve Bannon keep insisting they are going to revive efforts to repeal the ACA—despite last week’s failure. Talks are frozen, however, as congress remains deeply divided about bringing the bill back. Some are probably wishing that Speaker Ryan would stop trying to make Trumpcare happen. Hint: It’s not going to happen because the Affordable Care Act works, which is why it’s more popular than ever.

UNDER THE RADAR

Invisible. The Trump Administration seems to be trying to make the LGBT community invisible. First, Secretary of HHS Tom Price rolled back data collection on older LGBT adults. And now, the administration seems to have included and then omitted LGBT people from a report to Congress on content for the the American Community Survey, an annual survey that gathers information about educational attainment, military service, housing, and health coverage. Few federal surveys ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity and policymakers need this data to enforce federal nondiscrimination laws and make sure federal policies meet the needs of LGBT people.

GOOD NEWS

Join the resistance. It’s no secret that Facebook plays a big role in politics but now the company is making that role an active one. The social networking giant recently released a new feature called, “Town Hall,” which allows users to contact their representatives.