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  • Ashley Baker

Media Roundup

In the past week, the Committee for Justice had interviews and commentary featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Week, The Hill, The Daily Signal, SCOTUSblog, and elsewhere.

Links and quotes can be found below:

Interviews & Commentary

SCOTUSblog: Commentary on Kavanaugh’s nomination comes from Ashley Baker, in an op-ed for The Hill, who defends Kavanaugh’s past rulings in administrative law: Baker argues that Kavanaugh “consistently stressed the importance of the three-part separation of powers envisioned by the founding fathers.”

The Los Angeles Times: Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, a conservative-leaning judicial advocacy group, said that “most of us on the conservative side of the debate are looking for a conservative judicial philosophy rather than conservative outcomes.”

He called [U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Ho] “a rock-ribbed conservative when it comes to the law,” and said he could “understand why the left has flagged him.”

But he said a judge’s personal riffs are not the binding opinions that matter from a legal point of view and pointed out that Ho is still bound by Supreme Court precedent, even if he disagrees with it.

“At the end of the day, all judges have to follow [Supreme Court rulings] on abortion whether they like it or not,” Levey said

The Daily Signal: Large vacancy rates have a big impact on the administration of justice, noted Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, a conservative legal group.

In the past year and a half, district judges also played a significant role in blocking much of the president’s policies on border enforcement, restricting travel into the United States from certain countries, and restricting funding for cities that don’t assist in federal immigration enforcement, he said.

“District judges can yield enormous power against everything President Trump does, and slow down his policies for a couple of years,” Levey told The Daily Signal. “More confirmations mean there is less chance of a ‘resistance’ judge.”

The Week: To help seed the system with conservatives, judges who belong to the Federalist Society give prestigious clerkships to fellow members, who then have a better shot at one day becoming judges themselves. "You have to have that army before you can credential them," said Curt Levey, whose Committee for Justice is closely allied with the Federalist Society.

The Wall Street Journal: [letter to the editor] Curt Levey asks “Why Should We Fear Russian Political Ads?" (op-ed, Aug. 17) when evidence is crystal clear that the entire Russian effort to manipulate the American electorate couldn't have been more than a drop in the ocean. The answer is equally as clear: The entire case against the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency rests on Russian interference and Russian collusion with the Trump campaign narrative. Pull that rug out from under the Trump resistance and the media would have had to fill airspace and columns with more stories about the economy gaining steam after eight years in the doldrums.

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center (blog): The author, president of the Committee for Justice, writes: “Alarm bells rang in the media and on Capitol Hill last month when Facebook announced its discovery and removal of a new wave of malicious political ads of probable Russian origin … Some perspective is in order. Facebook's announcement concerned the deletion of 32 pages and accounts that made ‘inauthentic attempts to influence political discourse’ by running some 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram between April 2017 and June 2018. The cost of the ads was $11,000, even less than the $46,000 … spent on Facebook ads during the 2016 campaign. Whether viewed in monetary terms (the official Clinton and Trump campaigns alone spent $81 million on Facebook ads) or reach (28 of the 32 removed pages and accounts had fewer than 10 followers), the deleted pages' influence on the American electorate could not have been more than a drop in the ocean. Likewise with the 2016 phase of the attack. For every 25,000 items the typical Facebook user saw in his news feed, only one came from the Russians. … There is no doubt the Russian ads are intended to stir up controversy rather than bring Americans together, but the same can be said about many domestically produced political ads … We don't like the divisiveness, name-calling, wild accusations and other heated rhetoric that increasingly dominate that discourse. Blaming the Russians is seductive because the unpleasant alternative is to blame ourselves.”

The Hill: On August 27, Committee for Justice director of public policy Ashley Baker published an op-ed entitled "Kavanaugh’s administrative law opinions should be given due deference."

(Note: This op-ed also appeared in the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center's Regulation Digest. You can subscribe here.)


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