Announcements 

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.




The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement



SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris





SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018





SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018




SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017






SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven




2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.



Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling


resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at contact@btlonline.org to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.


Between The Lines on Stitcher

stitcher

Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

inequality
"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.





Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.



JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at www.WPKN.org (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.


Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016


Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:

|


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog


Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!


Trump, GOP Transforming Judiciary with Rapid Confirmation of Extreme Right-Wing Judges

Posted Jan. 10, 2018

MP3Interview with Marge Baker, executive vice president, People for the American Way, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

judges

Many people on the left often ridicule President Donald Trump for running an inept administration. Yet one area where he’s already made a major impact is the judiciary, where changes to the confirmation process have facilitated many of his appointments. Under President Obama, Senate Republicans blocked votes to fill vacancies to the key D.C. Circuit Court, so Democrats changed the rules, requiring only a majority vote for confirmation of judges to lower courts, but kept the 60–vote requirement to confirm Supreme Court nominees.

After Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015, they refused to hold hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to fill the vacancy created by the 2016 death of Antonin Scalia. When Donald Trump was elected president, Republicans changed the rules again, requiring only 51 votes to confirm Supreme Court justices and thus were able to confirm Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The U.S. has 13 federal circuit courts, to which appeals are made from district court rulings. To date, Trump has filled 12 circuit court vacancies. At the same point in Obama’s first term he had filled just three. However, three of Trump’s federal judge nominees were considered so unqualified that their nominations had to be withdrawn. Currently, there are 142 vacancies – 126 at the district level and 16 at the appellate level. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Marge Baker, executive vice president with the group People for the American Way. Here, she talks about her group’s concerns regarding the long-term impact of Trump’s right-wing extremist judicial appointments. [Rush transcript.]

MARGE BAKER: We are truly alarmed at what we’re seeing from the Trump administration. There is a relentless pace of putting extremely unqualified extremists on the bench on the lower courts – and of course they accomplished this with the Supreme Court as well after the disastrous, and we believe, unconstitutional effort to prevent President Obama from having his Supreme Court nominee even getting a hearing. And they are driven by the desire to remake the courts with extremist judges who will end up interpreting the law and the Constitution in a very narrow-minded and elitist way that ends up privileging the powerful and the wealthy instead of all Americans. And it’s a serious problem and affects every aspect of one’s lives, from consumers to workers to women’s rights to issues around civil rights, LGBT equality, environmental issues – any number of issues ends up in the Supreme Court and the lower courts – and is potentially disastrous for the American people. It’s a serious issue and frankly affects the ability of the government to serve the public good and the quality of life of all Americans.

BETWEEN THE LINES: There was, of course, a lot of coverage about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who was narrowly confirmed by the Senate. But for all these other nominations to the lower courts, there’s been almost a media blackout unless you go to sites like yours.

MARGE BAKER: Yeah. I think it’s really important to understand – the Supreme Court is very important, obviously – the Supreme Court hears less than 100 cases a year. There’s two levels of courts below the Supreme Court: the Courts of Appeals, which hear about 35,000 cases a year, and the district courts, which are the trial courts, and they hear about 350,000 cases a year. So the bulk of the cases that go through the courts are either decided by the lower-level trial courts called the district courts or the second level are the Courts of Appeals. Very, very few get to the Supreme Court, so all the issues we were talking about end up being decided by lifetime appointees to the lower federal courts – district courts and circuit courts. And that’s why we are so concerned – and that’s the pace at which the Trump administration is pushing through these nominees is unbelievably fast. They’re not creating opportunities to fully vet these nominees, and it’s very clear from the nominees that they’re choosing that they have an ideological agenda. They are trying to pack the courts with narrow-minded elitists who will inevitably rule in favor of the wealthy and the powerful over all Americans.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Marge Baker, in his eight years as president, Obama also appointed a lot of judges, and under Trump in many cases, the courts have been the remedy of last resort to protect civil liberties and human rights.

MARGE BAKER: Right, I mean right now the courts have been a check on the excessive executive power this administration is trying to assert. They’ve been a check on the effort to ban Muslims. They’ve been a check on what the administration is able to do – or wants to do – on the Affordable Care Act. But that is in danger if this administration is able to pack the courts with extremist ideologues. We’re seeing Republicans pack hearing agendas; we’re seeing Sen. Grassley ignore the rights of every senator to determine whether or not a nominee from their home state should go forward. We’re seeing clearly unqualified nominees pushed through, not because they’re qualified – they don’t have a bit of trial experience – but they’re being nominated to be a trial court judge. It’s because they are ideologues; it’s very, very clear that this administration and the folks vetting these nominees don’t care about qualifications or capabilities – they care about ideology.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What can be done to stop this juggernaut?

MARGE BAKER: One thing that has happened so far – we’ve succeeded in forcing the administration to withdraw three nominees for these lower courts because they’ve demonstrated they are totally unqualified to sit on the court. So one thing we can do and are doing and activists can help us do is amplify the really, really sorry records of a number of these nominees so when they’re exposed to the light of day, it’s less likely they’ll be confirmed. And the other thing is, elections matter. And 2018 elections are coming up, and a Democratically-controlled Senate would have a whole lot more ability to slow these nominations down, which is really something that would be important for the American people.

For more information, visit PFAW.org.

Related Links:



Subscribe and get Between The Lines' Weekly Summary in your inbox!