Senate Committee Votes Against Biden-Nominated Judge Who Allowed Male Rapist in Female Prison

Senate Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday against a judicial nominee who had allowed a male serial rapist, who identifies as a woman, to be housed in a female prison.

President Joe Biden nominated Sarah Netburn to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, but the nomination was blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 10-11 vote. In August 2022, Netburn recommended the transfer of male inmate William McClain, who goes by July Justine Shelby, into a female prison despite his record of sex crimes, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Read the full story

Tennessee Considers Bill Restricting State Department of Child Services from Requiring Adoptive Parents to Vaccinate

Parents

The Tennessee General Assembly is considering a bill that would restrict the state’s Department of Child Services from requiring prospective adoptive or foster parents to get vaccinated.

The State House Children and Family Affairs Subcommittee voted to pass the State House version of the legislation today after discussion and testimony. It is now on the calendar for the State Senate for February 29.

Read the full story

Lawmakers Consider Bill to Classify Some Fatal Fentanyl Poisonings as First Degree Murder

Fentanyl pills

An Arizona bill would increase the criminal penalties for those convicted in a fentanyl-related death.

Senate Bill 1344, introduced by state Sen. Anthony Kern, would make certain fentanyl drug deaths classified as first-degree murder. This means someone could face life behind bars or the death penalty if they are found guilty, according to a state law. 

Read the full story

Bill Would Curb Court Power to Suspend Driver’s Licenses

Blessing Ingram

For nearly a year, Ohio lawmakers have been trying to stop the state from using driver’s license suspension as a punishment for things unrelated to driving.

The idea has support from Republicans, Democrats and countless other professional, policy and social groups. Still, despite four hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, it has yet to move to a full vote in the Senate.

Read the full story

Tennessee U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett Asks House Oversight Committee Chairman to Subpoena Jeffrey Epstein’s Flight Logs

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) sent a letter to James Comer (R-KY-01), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, requesting he subpoena the flight logs associated with the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane.

“As you are aware, there have long been unanswered questions surrounding the sex trafficking ring spearheaded by the late Jeffrey Epstein,” Burchett wrote. “We know that Epstein and his associates engaged in child sex trafficking and catered to the rich and powerful elite from around the globe. Many of Epstein’s clients are alleged to be some of America’s most powerful and well-known people.”

Read the full story

Senator Blackburn Leads Letter Requesting AG Garland, U.S. Attorney Weiss to Testify Regarding Hunter Biden Tax Investigation

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) led a letter signed by every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent to Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) asking him to call Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney David Weiss to testify in light of recent events related to the Hunter Biden tax investigation.

Read the full story

ASU Theology Professor Warns University Uses ‘DEI Questions’ to ‘Screen’ Professors in Hiring Process

Arizona State University (ASU) theology professor Dr. Owen Anderson claimed the university now uses Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) questions to “screen” and exclude job applicants during the hiring process. Dr. Anderson revealed this information to The Arizona Sun Times when reached to discuss a recent hearing in the Arizona Legislature that examined freedom of expression at the taxpayer-funded institution.

Anderson, who is also a pastor at the Historic Christian Church of Phoenix, told The Sun Times ASU uses “DEI questions in hiring to screen candidates,” which Anderson said “means only candidates that agree with their left wing agenda are hired.”

Read the full story

Arizona Lawmakers Hold First Committee Hearing Investigating Free Speech at State Public Universities

Republican lawmakers led the first legislative committee hearing on Tuesday to investigate the freedom of speech in Arizona’s public universities and to look into the events surrounding a program titled “Health, Wealth and Happiness,” presented by Arizona State University (ASU)‘s T.W. Lewis Center.

The formation of the committee follows officials at ASU allegedly firing university administrator and director of the T.W. Lewis Center, Ann Atkinson, for bringing conservative speakers Dennis Prager and Charlie Kirk onto campus earlier this year for the “Health, Wealth and Happiness” program which focused on professional development and networking.

Read the full story

Feinstein Asks Schumer for Temporary Replacement on Judiciary amid Long Absence, Calls to Resign

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Wednesday that she intends to return to the Senate upon recovering from shingles, but she also asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to meanwhile appoint a temporary replacement for her on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Her absence from the committee, and her vote, has stalled the confirmation of President Biden judicial nominees – the biggest political concern among fellow Senate Democrats regarding her absence. 

Read the full story

Commentary: Gender Ideology is Losing and the Equal Rights Amendment Should, Too

Medical professionals and the public are pushing back against radical gender ideologies that have claimed the minds, bodies, and lives of too many children. Those at war against biological sex are losing — but only if the ERA is defeated, too.

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee hosted its latest hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment. This time, to consider the merits of removing the amendments’ pesky expiration date.

Read the full story

AG Merrick Garland Faces Republicans on Senate Judiciary Committee Over Weaponization of DOJ Against Parents, Catholics, and Pro-Life Activists

Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to face tough questions from Republican senators Wednesday regarding what many in the nation say has been the purposeful weaponization of the Department of Justice against parents of schoolchildren, Catholics who live their faith in the public square, and activists who fight for the vulnerable unborn.

Read the full story

Democrats Celebrate 100 Federal Judicial Nominee Confirmations But Michael Delaney ‘Problematic’ for Biden and Schumer

The Democrat-controlled Senate is celebrating the confirmation of 100 of Joe Biden’s judicial nominees, approved by radical left-wing organizations, but Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing saw Biden nominee Michael Delaney struggling against an onslaught of confrontation over his move in 2015 to publicly release the name of a minor female victim of sexual assault while he represented her school.

By nominating representatives of these radical positions, Biden is “paying back the left-wing dark money groups who spent over a billion dollars to help elect him and Senate Democrats,” Carrie Severino, president of JCN, formerly known as Judicial Crisis Network, told Fox News Digital.

Read the full story

New Bills Coming from Republican State Senators Seek to Give Greater Protection to Arizona Children and Victims of Abuse

Three new Senate Bills (SB) have been introduced between State Senators Sine Kerr (R-Buckeye) and Janae Shamp (R-Suprise), which aim to provide more protections to children and victims of abuse. Kayleigh Kozak, the Arizonan behind the state’s new “Kayleigh’s Law,” called on residents to support these bills’ passage.

“Prioritize protecting children, victims and our communities,” Kozak shared. “Attend the Arizona State Senate this Thursday, February 9th at 8 am in Senate Hearing Room 1. Sign up to speak or simply show up.

Read the full story

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill to Localize State Agency Licensure Appeals

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would transfer the conflict over state licenses that have been suspended or repealed to local county courts as opposed to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Senate Bill (SB) 21 sponsored by state Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) would provide legal challenges to licenses issued by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the State Medical Board, the State Chiropractic Board, the Board of Nursing, and the Liquor Control Commission to take place in the county where that person or company is based.

Read the full story

Feds Raid the Home of Former Trump DOJ Official Who Wanted to Investigate Allegations of Voter Fraud

In a pre-dawn raid Wednesday, armed federal law enforcement agents searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Trump Justice Department official who has emerged as a central figure in the partisan House Select Committee’s investigation into the January 6 riot.

Clark’s name was expected to come up in the Jan. 6 Committee hearing on Thursday.

Read the full story

Commentary: Make the Judiciary Great Again by Holding Senators Accountable

Following four days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in late March, the full Senate voted 53-47 last week to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate justice of the Supreme Court—fulfilling Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to name a black woman to the high court. Three Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to confirm Jackson—Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, Maine’s Susan Collins, and Utah’s Mitt Romney.

Imagine a slightly different scenario: a Republican president nominates someone to serve on the Supreme Court and asks a 50-50 Senate to confirm that person. You can be absolutely sure that Democrats would force the vice president to break the tie to get that nominee on the bench. Remember when, in 2016, President Trump nominated Betsy Devos to be secretary of education   and Vice President Mike Pence had to break a tie, even without an evenly split Senate?

Read the full story

40 Pro-Life Leaders Expose Biden Supreme Court Justice Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ‘Pro-Abortion Extremism’

Ketanji Brown Jackson

A coalition of nearly 40 national pro-life leaders sent a letter to the chairs of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Monday specifying the radical pro-abortion record of Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Led by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), the coalition’s letter was addressed to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as confirmation hearings began for Jackson, who was chosen by Biden following the announcement of his commitment to nominate a black woman to the nation’s highest court.

Read the full story

Republicans Focus on Jackson’s Positions on Terrorists, Sex Offenders as Nomination Hearing Opens

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Republicans are stressing the need to closely review Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record as the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin hearings on Monday for the first black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.

The GOP is already facing accusations of racism from outlets such as the Daily Kos, Slate and Vanity Fair for questioning whether Jackson should be confirmed.

Jackson has been criticized for her vehement defense of terrorism suspects as a public defender. She has also faced concerns over a paper she wrote in the 1990s criticizing “excessiveness” in punishments for sex offenders.

Read the full story

Commentary: Election Overseer Found Democratic National Committee, Chalupa Broke Rules over Ukraine, Then Reversed Its Finding After January 6

Though ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was never charged with conspiring with Russia, he did go to jail for, among other things, failing to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine. The Democratic National Committee operative who helped get him booted from the campaign should be investigated for the same violation, Republican Senators say.

Former DNC contractor and opposition researcher Alexandra “Ali” Chalupa not only worked closely with the Ukrainian Embassy and Clinton campaign, trading dirt on Manafort and Trump, but also Congress and the Obama White House, State Department and even the FBI. “At the center of the [Ukraine foreign influence] plan was Alexandra Chalupa,” GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asserted.

Read the full story

Arizona Could Stop Cities from Seeking Union Labor Preferences Before Granting Permits

New legislation in Phoenix would keep cities from nudging private businesses and others into a union shop before giving permission to build.

Although explicitly requiring union labor is illegal in Arizona, an amendment to Senate Bill 1191 would block cities from limiting a zoning permit, zoning variance, rezoning application, general plan amendment or other permit or land use requirement to those who promise to use union labor or only use contractors paying union wages. If enacted, it also would ban public works projects from having similar requirements or disclosing union ties in a bid.

Read the full story

Virginia House of Delegates Passes Locality Gun Control Repeal

The House of Delegates passed a bill to repeal the 2020 law authorizing localities to ban firearms on locality property. Delegates debated the bill on Wednesday before the vote Thursday.

“House Bill 827 returns our code back to its prior position,” Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) said on Wednesday. “Other portions of the bill: it eliminates the requirement to destroy firearms that are confiscated and rather allows them to be offered for sale through a licensed dealer. And it also limits the ability of localities to sue firearm manufacturers.”

Read the full story

State Senate Committee Kills Bill That Would Have Expanded Virginia Attorney General Miyares’ Prosecuting Power

The Senate Judiciary Committee killed a bill that would have expanded the power of the Office of the Attorney General to conduct its own criminal prosecutions if requested by local law enforcement. The bill was on Attorney General Jason Miyares’ wishlist and would have allowed Miyares to intervene in cases where Miyares and the chief local law enforcement officer don’t like the way the local Commonwealth’s attorney handles a case.

Under Virginia law, the governor can already ask the attorney general to conduct criminal prosecutions, but otherwise the attorney general’s local prosecutorial power is limited to some specific types of cases. Progressive prosecutors in some jurisdictions have pushed for more lenient sentences, or declined to prosecute certain kinds of cases; that’s frustrated conservatives who say prosecutors should represent the interest of the state, not the accused person.

Read the full story

Senator Marsha Blackburn, Other Republicans Demand Answers over Attack on Texas Synagogue

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and several other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, demanding more information on the man who took several hostages in a Texas synagogue.

Malik Faisal Akram, a British national, entered Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, Texas, earlier this month and took four individuals captive.

Read the full story

Amazon and Facebook Spent More Money Than Ever Lobbying in 2021

Amazon and Facebook parent company Meta spent more money in 2021 lobbying lawmakers and officials than any year before, according to lobbying disclosure filings.

Amazon spent $20.3 million on lobbying while Meta spent $20.1 million in 2021, according to a review of lobbying disclosure filings by MarketWatch. The figures are record totals for both tech companies, who spent $18.9 million and $19.7 million on lobbying in 2020, respectively.

Google’s lobbying spend for 2021 clocked in at $11.5 million, while Microsoft spent $10.3 million and Apple spent $6.5 million, according to MarketWatch’s review.

Read the full story

FBI Refuses to Explain Its Role in January 6

A top official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation repeatedly refused to disclose how many FBI agents and informants were involved in the Capitol protest on January 6, 2021.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning, Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, cited privileged protocols as to why she would not tell Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) the number of FBI assets that “actively participated” in the protest. “Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into sources and methods,” Sanborn, who served as assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division when the protest erupted on January 6 and would have full knowledge of FBI undercover operations, told Cruz.

The Texas senator also demanded to know if FBI agents committed any violent crimes or incited any violent crimes on January 6. Sanborn again declined to answer. Presenting photos of Ray Epps, a man caught on video on both January 5 and 6, imploring people to “go into the Capitol” but has not been charged with any crime, Cruz asked Sanborn whether she knew Epps. “I’m aware of the individual, sir, I don’t have the specific background to him,” Sanborn replied.

Read the full story

Justice Department Planning to Form Special Domestic Terrorism Unit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to form a special unit focused on the threat of domestic terrorism, a top official told lawmakers Tuesday.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced the creation of the new unit in his opening remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

“I decided to establish a domestic terrorism unit to augment our existing approach,” Olsen said. “This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country.”

Read the full story

Senator Blackburn Joins Fellow Republican Senators in Calling on Attorney General Garland to Testify on School Board Memo

On Tuesday, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting that he return to the committee to provide additional testimony regarding his school board memo, according to a press release.

Read the full story

Commentary: The Data Mining of America’s Kids Should Be a National Scandal

As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down for his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, denying a conflict of interest in his decision to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism,” there is a mother in the quiet suburb of Annandale, N.J., who found his answers lacking. And she has questions she wants asked at Garland’s hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.

On a recent Saturday night, Caroline Licwinko, a mother of three, a law school student and the coach to her daughter’s cheerleading squad, sat in front of her laptop and tapped three words into an internet search engine: “Panorama. Survey. Results.”

Read the full story

Attorney General Garland Grilled by GOP Senators over Department of Justice Memo Targeting Parents at School Meetings

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.

Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.

Read the full story

Senate GOP Releases Post-Election Report on Trump-Justice Dept, Contradicting Findings from Dems

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday released their review of President Trump’s management of the Justice Department after the 2020 presidential election, concluding the former president’s fears about election fraud were based on “legitimate concerns” – one day after Democrats who lead the chamber said their findings show Trump tried to install a loyalist atop the agency to investigate unfounded fraud claims.

The GOP’s 140-page review, titled, “In their own words: A factual summary of testimony from senior Justice Department officials related to the events from December 14, 2020, to January 3, 2021” offers starkly different conclusions from those reached by chamber Democrats.

Read the full story

Senate Judiciary Committee to Review Supreme Court’s ‘Abuse’ of Shadow Docket

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Supreme Court’s use of the so-called “shadow docket” — a method of issuing brief late-night rulings on key cases like the Texas abortion law.

“The Supreme Court must operate with the highest regard for judicial integrity in order to earn the public’s trust,” Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, who is also the Senate majority whip, said in a statement. “This anti-choice law is a devastating blow to Americans’ constitutional rights — and the Court allowed it to see the light of day without public deliberation or transparency.”

Read the full story

General Assembly Elects Eight Judges to Fill Newly-Expanded Virginia Court of Appeals

RICHMOND, Virginia – The General Assembly approved eight new judges for the Court of Appeals of Virginia Tuesday. Although tradition kept Republicans from voting against the candidates, votes on individual candidates varied as Republican legislators abstained. That completed the General Assembly’s goals for the special session: allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and filling court vacancies.

“I thought it was an historic session,” Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) told The Virginia Star. “What just happened with the Court of Appeals was the largest number of judges to go on the Court of Appeals since 1985, and we gave Virginians the same right to appeal their legal matter that every other American has.”

Read the full story

Stacey Abrams Spars with Republicans over Whether Georgia’s Elections Law Is Racist During Senate Hearing

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee sparred with Stacey Abrams Tuesday during a hearing on Democrats’ voting rights bill and election reforms that Republicans have introduced in states across the country.

The hearing consisted of testimony from officials on opposite sides of the issue, including Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens and Jan Jones, the Republican speaker pro tempore of the Georgia House, but most questions from lawmakers on both sides were directed towards Abrams. Democrats largely focused on GOP-led policies that they likened to those from the Jim Crow era, while Republicans blasted the comparison and said that the bills’ goals were to make it harder to cheat, not to vote.

Read the full story

Ohio Prosecutors Support Bill to Force Convicted Rioters to Pay for Damages

Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.

Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.

State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently.

Read the full story

State Senate Advances Measure That Changes the Way Tennessee’s Attorney General Is Selected

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a resolution Tuesday that would change the way the state’s Attorney General and Reporter for Tennessee is selected.

Senate Joint Resolution 1 would make the current process for nominating the attorney general more transparent and give the Tennessee General Assembly a say in the selection through a change to the Tennessee Constitution.

Read the full story

Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee Kills Ban on Cyber Flashing

Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler’s (D-Virginia Beach) HB 2254 passed with unanimous support in the House of Delegates. The bill would ban people from sending unsolicited obscene images to others. But after the House sent the bill to the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted eight to five to table the bill February 17, citing concerns that the bill could be applied too broadly.

Read the full story

Legislation Abolishing Death Penalty Advanced by Virginia Senate Committee

Legislation to abolish the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Virginia was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning.

Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), Senate Bill 1165 was reported out of the committee by a vote of 10-4, mostly along party lines with Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County), chief co-patron on the measure, the only Republican who voted in support.

Read the full story

Barrett Urges Senate Judiciary Committee Not to Assume She Will Judge Like Scalia

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett urged the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday not to assume that she will judge like the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Supreme Court nominee repeatedly emphasized to senators in Tuesday’s hearing that though Scalia was one of her mentors and an “eloquent defender of originalism” and that Scalia’s “philosophy is mine,” that doesn’t mean she would always reach the same conclusions as Scalia.

Read the full story

Senator Lindsey Graham Teases: The FBI ‘Lied Their Ass Off’ to Congress About the Steele Dossier

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday teased the release of evidence showing that the FBI “lied their ass off” to Congress regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier, which the bureau used as part of its investigation of the Trump campaign.

“I will tell you next week what I found,” the South Carolina Republican said in an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

Read the full story