Trump is Going to Pick ‘The White Man’ As Supreme Court Nominee


During Thursday’s edition of Morning Joe, the panel discussed some of President Trump’s potential Supreme Court picks, specifically Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. When Axios co-founder Mike Allen suggested that the final decision will be determined by “the personal connection, who he feels comfortable with in that moment.” Scarborough responded, in reference to Kavanaugh: “So you’re saying he’s going to pick the man, the white man.” Scarborough justified his assumption by saying “90 percent of Donald Trump’s selections for U.S. Attorneys and federal judges were white men.”

To start the segment, co-host Mika Brzezinski began by mentioning Kavanaugh and fellow Supreme Court finalist and Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett. She then pointed out some of the tactics liberals are using to try and prevent the confirmation of whomever he picks, such as the “millions of dollars of advertising and activism” designed to “target Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.”

 

 

Brzezinski pointed out that some Republican Senators have already expressed reservations about the potential candidates, citing an Associated Press report alleging that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul plans to vote against Kavanaugh. Scarborough dismissed the story: “Well Rand Paul always says that and then Rand Paul always votes for whatever Donald Trump wants him to vote for.”

Brzezinski mentioned that Collins has indicated she will vote against “any Supreme Court pick who demonstrates hostility toward Roe v. Wade.” Moments later, Scarborough asked Allen: “Nobody that Donald Trump selects is going to say that Roe v. Wade is settled law, are they?”

Allen answered Scarborough’s question in the affirmative before arguing that “Amy Barrett would be better for the base, but a tougher confirmation fight so that is the calculus aides are making.” At this point, Allen suggested that the final decision will be determined by “the personal connection, who he feels comfortable with in that moment.” Scarborough thought that meant for sure that President Trump would pick Kavanaugh, or as he calls him, “The White Man,” while Brzezinski disagreed.

BBC World News America Washington Anchor Katty Kay also offered her analysis; saying that Barrett, whom she incorrectly referred to as “Amy Kavanaugh,” better represents the President’s base while Kavanaugh was “much more establishment.” “That is not necessarily the type of person…nominated by George Bush. That is not necessarily the type of person in the past that that Donald Trump has had a kind of instant rapport with.”

As for Scarborough’s analysis of the demographics of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Kay agreed: “You’re right, he has a thing about appointing white guys but it wouldn’t totally surprise me if he goes for somebody who feels more in line with the base on this one and gets his excitement about the base going.”

Just remember what happened during Barrett’s confirmation hearing last year. Senator Dianne Feinstein appeared to engage in a little bit of anti-Catholic bigotry, telling Barrett: “When we read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for – for years in this country.”

Whoever President Trump ends up selecting to fill the impending vacancy on the Supreme Court will surely have to endure similar questioning from Democrats, especially regarding their favorite Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Morning Joe on July 5, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

07/05/18

08:00 a.m. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And with us this morning we have Washington Anchor for BBC World News America, Katty Kay, columnist and associate editor for The Washington Post David Ignatius, and co-founder of Axios, Mike Allen. Let’s get to the news. President Trump is expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee on Monday and has so far spoken with seven potential candidates. According to the Associated Press, Vice President Mike Pence has also met with some of those contenders. A person familiar with the search process tells the A.P. that the meetings took place in recent days, but that person would not say which candidates Pence met with. Right now, two appeals court judges are seen as leading candidates. Brett Kavanaugh, a veteran of George W. Bush’s White House, and Amy Coney Barrett, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia. Liberal groups are hoping to counter the President’s eventual nominee using similar tactics from last year’s health care fight. Political strategists are raising millions of dollars in advertising and activism to target Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, both of whom bucked their own party’s attempts to repeal the Affordable care Act. According to the Associated Press, Republican Senator Rand Paul has told colleagues he may not vote for Kavanaugh if he is nominated. A person familiar with Paul’s conversations says the Senator has cited Kavanaugh’s role during the Bush Administration on cases involving executive privilege and the disclosure of documents to Congress.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well Rand Paul always says that and then Rand Paul always votes for whatever Donald Trump wants him to vote for. So Rand Paul…just full stop, Rand Paul will vote for Trump’s nominee, whoever it is.

BRZEZINSKI: Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins who has said she won’t support any Supreme Court pick who demonstrates hostility toward Roe v. Wade says she has talked to White House Counsel about some of the potential SCOTUS nominees.

SUSAN COLLINS: I’ve done a lot of work on the list, and I have told the White House Counsel individuals that to me appeared to meet the criteria of accepting that Roe v. Wade is settled law, and to have extraordinarily good backgrounds.

SCARBOROUGH: Well Mike Allen, nobody on those, nobody that Donald Trump selects is going to say that Roe v. Wade is settled law, are they?

MIKE ALLEN: Well, that’s right. And that’s why we have these two favorites that we just saw there. The inside line is that Amy Barrett would be better for the base, but a tougher confirmation fight so that is the calculus aides are making. But Mika and Joe, this won’t surprise you, the people who are involved in the vetting tell us that for the President, it’s going to be all about the personal connection, who he feels comfortable with in the moment.

SCARBOROUGH: So you’re saying he’s going to pick the man, the white man?

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, no, I totally don’t think that. 

SCARBOROUGH: You disagree?

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: I don’t know. I mean you look, only reason I say that is, Katty Kay, if you look and see at least through the first year, 90 percent of Donald Trump’s selections for U.S. Attorneys and Federal judges were white men.

KATTY KAY: Yeah, look, I guess the issue here would be that Amy Kavanaugh [sic] represents more of Donald Trump’s base.  I don’t know how that means he relates to them one-on-one. And Brett Kavanaugh is much more establishment, Yale, Harvard. That is not necessarily the type of person…nominated by George Bush.That is not necessarily the type of person in the past that that Donald Trump has had a kind of instant rapport with. So he may go for the base pick on this one. He may feel if it really comes down to how he feels about the person in the room, it wouldn’t totally be — you’re right, he has a thing about appointing white guys but it wouldn’t totally surprise me if he goes for somebody who feels more in line with the base on this one and gets his excitement about the base going.



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