President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court, and, if confirmed, Barrett would fill the vacancy created by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump’s nomination of Barrett was met with near universal praise among Alabama Republicans including Gov. Kay Ivey and a number of other elected officials.
“I commend President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Judge Barrett will be focused on interpreting the law, being an arbiter and not a lawmaker, as the Supreme Court demands of its justices,” Ivey said. “Based on her proven career and background, I am confident that Judge Barrett will be articulate and a fair supporter of issues important to Alabamians such as protecting the unborn and our Second Amendment rights, while applying the law impartially.”
Barrett has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2017. Before becoming a judge, she was a law professor at Notre Dame Law School and previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Ivey said Barrett will embody the precedent established by Ginsburg and further prove that a woman can be a wife, a mother, a person of faith and hold strong personal convictions while still effectively performing the duties required of a justice.
“The confirmation process is already proving to be another brutal fight, but I am certain that this is the job for a strong, conservative woman,” Ivey said. “The people of Alabama overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2016, and I commend him for performing his constitutional duty of nominating to the Supreme Court and getting the job done that we elected him to do. The late Justice Ginsburg herself noted that even in an election year, ‘a president doesn’t stop being president.’”
“I eagerly anticipate Judge Barrett’s confirmation, and I look forward to continuing to forge a strong relationship between President Trump and the state of Alabama during his next term,” said Ivey.
All but two Republican senators appear prepared to vote for Barrett’s confirmation, all but assuring her a seat on the court and solidifying a 6-3 conservative majority.
“I am extremely pleased with President Trump’s selection in nominating Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama. “From her clerkship for the late Justice Scalia to her tenure on the 7th Circuit, Judge Barrett has had a distinguished career and has proven her commitment to the rule of law. Our next Supreme Court Justice must be a steadfast supporter of upholding our nation’s Constitution. I have no doubt in Judge Barrett’s qualifications, and I look forward to supporting her nomination.”
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, has said he will not vote for any nominee until the results of the Nov. 3 election are decided.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan:
“President Trump has nominated a superior candidate for our nation’s highest court. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a solid constitutional jurist who has distinguished herself both on the bench during her time on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in academia as a law professor at the University Notre Dame and as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” Lathan said. “Judge Barrett’s focus on following the Constitution is apparent in her opinions, in cases ranging from the 2nd Amendment to immigration. Even three Democrat Senators – Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Joe Donnelly crossed party lines in 2017 to support her first nomination to the bench.”
“A mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti, Supreme Court nominee Barrett has been called a ‘powerhouse’ constitutionalist,” Lathan continued. “Her consistent rulings on applying laws to the words of our U.S. Constitution is the exact example of what the justices are tasked with in implementing their rulings. Based on qualifications and experience alone, Judge Barrett’s nomination merits a vote by the full United States Senate.”
Congressman Gary Palmer:
“President Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to her and her family,” Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Alabama, said. “Judge Barrett has a stellar record of faithfully interpreting the law, training young lawyers, producing brilliant scholarship, and upholding the Constitution. Her devotion to her family, and her dedication to her students during her years as a law professor, are also commendable. There is no question that she is highly qualified and will make a fantastic Justice. I urge the Senate to confirm her quickly.”
Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville:
“I am so excited about President Trump’s nomination today of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville. “She understands that’s it’s her job to interpret the Constitution as it’s written and not to manufacture new law from the bench. Her nomination opens the door to protecting unborn life, preserving our Second Amendment gun rights, and securing the religious freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution.”
“My opponent, Democrat Doug Jones has a very different opinion,” Tuberville continued. “He’s already announced his opposition to any candidate offered by President Donald J. Trump, and he said even meeting and listening to Judge Barrett would be useless. When it comes to giving fair consideration to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Doug Jones is a lost ball in high cotton. But that comes as no surprise. He voted against Brett Kavanaugh and said he would have opposed Neil Gorsuch if he’d been in the Senate at the time. Democrat Doug even voted twice to remove Donald J. Trump from office. Since becoming our placeholder senator, Doug Jones has opposed everything most Alabamians support and supported everything most Alabamians oppose. Instead of representing our conservative Alabama values, he’s represented the Hollywood and New York values of his high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”
“There’s no telling what kind of dishonest tactics Doug Jones, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris and the other Senate liberals will use against a woman who is imminently qualified to sit on our nation’s highest court,” Tuberville warned. “So I’ll close by asking you to join me in praying for Judge Barrett and her family as she faces what promises to be a tough and partisan confirmation hearing. With your prayers and support, America will soon have a strongly conservative Supreme Court, and Alabama will have a new senator who actually represents the citizens of this great state. May God bless Judge Barrett. May God bless President Donald Trump. And may God continue to bless the greatest nation mankind has ever known.”
Congressional candidate Barry Moore:
“I applaud the President for making this nomination now, as the Constitution mandates,” said Congressional candidate Barry Moore. “I’m confident that the Senate will also take up Judge Barrett’s nomination in a timely fashion and not delay the process until after the election. The Constitution doesn’t state anything about waiting until after an election to fill Supreme Court vacancies, despite what the Democrats want us to think.”
“I’m pleased that President Trump has chosen a strong pro-life woman for the Supreme Court,” Moore continued. “I’m also impressed by Judge Barrett’s credentials and experience. I am certain she’ll make an exceptional addition to the Supreme Court, and will serve us well for many years to come.”
“We, as a nation, must act now by praying for President Trump, Judge Barrett and their families,” Moore concluded. “They need to have a shield of favor and protection prayed over them. I truly believe we are in a spiritual battle for our nation and the Democrats will stop at nothing to destroy the character of Judge Barrett, as they’ve done for the last 4 years with President Trump.”
Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter:
“I join the members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus in praising President Trump’s decision to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville.
“Judge Barrett clerked for one of the court’s greatest conservative jurists, Judge Antonin Scalia, and she understands that her job is to interpret the Constitution as the founding fathers wrote it, not to invent new law out of thin air,” Ledbetter said. “The suit against Alabama’s strongest-in-the-nation pro-life law is currently working its way through the federal courts, and it could be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future. Having a conservative majority on the nation’s highest court will be essential to the Alabama Legislature’s efforts to protect unborn life from harm. We encourage the Senate to hold confirmation hearings as soon as possible and to hold an up-or-down vote on Judge Barrett’s nomination immediately after they conclude.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt:
“The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court is a big win for this country,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama. “She is a defender of free speech, a protector of the Constitution, and an advocate for the most vulnerable among us. I applaud President Trump for making such a great nomination, Amy Coney Barrett will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice.”
Congressman Mo Brooks:
“It is critical to a functioning republic that justices never substitute their policy beliefs for those of properly elected officials,” said Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama. “Judicial activist justices not only betray the Constitution and America when they substitute their own policy beliefs for those of elected officials who are tasked by our Constitution with making American law, they also betray their oaths of office. Amy Coney Barrett has an established record of upholding the Constitution and federal law without inserting her personal political views into her decisions. As such, I look forward to her quick confirmation by the Senate.”
“Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by the Senate to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2017. She has already been vetted. She should easily and quickly be confirmed again,” Brooks said. “America’s founding fathers brilliantly created three branches of government, with each being a check on the other two, and each having a defined role. Congress makes law, the Executive Branch implements law, and the Judiciary interprets and applies law. In my view, America is burdened with too many liberal, activist federal justices and judges who fail to abide by their role as limited by the Constitution. I am pleased President Trump nominated a judge who understands the importance of limiting her role to that intended by America’s founding fathers.”
Former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr.:
“I applaud President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Bassett to serve on the US Supreme Court,” said Trump National Victory Committee Member and former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. “Judge Bassett is an outstanding Jurist and a committed Constitutionalist. Judge Basset will be an excellent Supreme Court Justice. Senator Mitch McConnell has a solid 51 Republican Senate votes to confirm. I just hope that the members on the other side of the Aisle will give Judge Barrett a respectfully hearing.”
Vice President Mike Pence:
Vice President Mike Pence said, “President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She has an unquestionable record as a strong, conservative Constitutionalist who will uphold the rule of law. Unfortunately, the Democrats will no doubt launch a vicious campaign to smear her simply because she was nominated by a Republican President.”
“They’d rather play politics than let the President of the United States do his Constitutional duty,” Pence continued. “But the American People will no longer be silenced by Washington Elites. THIS is the moment we take back our Country.”
Congressman Mo Brooks says Speaker Pelosi is “unfit for office”
“Pelosi and Washington socialists are still trying to overthrow President Trump,” Brooks said. The proposed law would not give Congress the power to “overthrow” a president.
Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, said that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was “unfit for office” after the speaker announced that House Democrats were introducing legislation that would create a commission that would give Congress the power to assess whether the president is capable of carrying out his or her duties.
“Pelosi and Washington socialists are still trying to overthrow President Trump,” Brooks said. “Their first coup, impeachment, failed. Now, Pelosi is unconstitutionally attempting another coup. Pelosi is unfit for office. She should be removed as House speaker immediately. Her lawlessness is a serious threat to our republic.”
The proposed law would not give Congress the power to “overthrow” a president. Instead, it would create a commission in line with the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides Congress the authority to set out processes to determine whether the president is capable.
The amendment, ratified after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, lays out the presidential line of succession, but it also says a vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare that a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The same amendment gives Congress the power to appoint a group in place of the Cabinet to make the same declaration, though Congress has never outlined or created such a body and that part of the 25th Amendment has gone unused. The created commission would take over the power of the cabinet, and Congress would not be able alone to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The vice president would still need to sign on before the president could be declared incapable. The president could also declare himself capable and retake power unless the commission, vice president and two-thirds of both the House and Senate agreed he’s unable.
The commission wouldn’t have unilateral power.
President Donald Trump has recently recovered from COVID-19. Pelosi has suggested that the president is in an “altered state of mind” due to the treatments he is taking for the virus.
“The public needs to know the health condition of the President,” Pelosi said. “When was his last negative test to make a judgement about the actions that we take after that. Come here tomorrow, we will be talking about the 25th Amendment.”
Pelosi claimed on Friday that her legislation is not just about Trump.
“This is not about President Trump,” Pelosi said. “He will face the judgement of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”
Trump responded on Twitter, “Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!”
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
“In times of chaos, we must hold fast to our Constitution,” Raskin said. “The 25th amendment is all about the stability of the presidency and the continuity of the office.”
Brooks represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. He faces no Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 general election.
Doug Jones campaign: Alabama can’t wait for COVID-19 relief
Sen. Doug Jones’s Senate campaign blasted the president’s decision to cut off COVID-19 aid talks.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday on Twitter that he was cutting off negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus bill and will instead move forward to the election without addressing the issue of COVID-19 aid.
Sen. Doug Jones’s Senate campaign blasted that decision.
The president “will not accept the COVID-19 relief plan that’s been under discussion for the past few weeks – instead, Trump decided all negotiations over COVID-19 relief would be postponed until after the election,” the Jones campaign wrote.
“It’s bad enough to reject a comprehensive plan for COVID-19 relief – one that would have extended unemployment benefits, provided funding for testing and PPE for schools and health care heroes, and protected our struggling small businesses – simply because it was proposed by Democrats,” the campaign said in a statement. “But to give up on negotiations entirely, to hold relief hostage over the outcome of the election? Doug won’t stand for that, and none of us can sit on the sidelines and let it happen.”
“This is a perfect example of why we need Doug in the Senate. He promised to be an independent voice for Alabama, and he’s put people before party in every vote he’s taken,” the Jones campaign argued. “Doug will always vote with the President (no matter who it is!) when it’s good for Alabamians, for Americans, and against the President when it’s not. But Tommy Tuberville has said he ‘has Trump’s back, 100%,’ and he’s never expressed a single independent thought about anything the President has done or said. Now, the President’s political games with pandemic relief are no exception – Tuberville has Trump’s back, not ours.”
“People’s lives and livelihoods must always come before politics, especially when it comes to pandemic relief,” the Jones campaign said.
The Jones campaign also announced that they were collecting petition signatures to demand that the president take action now.
The stocks market dropped Tuesday afternoon after Trump ordered his staff and Republicans to end stimulus negotiations until after the November election.
The Dow Jones index dropped 376 points following the announcement. The DOW closed down 1.3 percent. The S&P 500 dropped 1.4 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite finished down 1.6 percent.
Before that statement, the market was soaring anticipating a deal on the coronavirus aid package. All of those gains were quickly erased and the markets plunged in to negative territory, a 600 point Dow drop from the day’s high.
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump said on Twitter.
The announcement comes just hours after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for more stimulus, saying it was necessary for an economic recovery. He said the risk of doing too little in terms of stimulus was far greater than the risk of doing too much.
“Our Economy is doing very well,” the president claimed. “The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment…also coming back in record numbers.”
Unemployment in September was 7.9 percent, down sharply from the peak during the COVID-19 forced economic shutdowns earlier this year but still extremely high. Hundreds of thousand continue filing for unemployment across the country, and food insecurity is growing.
Recent polling has Jones trailing former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville 54 to 42 percent.
Brooks introduces American Jobs First Act
Brooks said that some of America’s largest companies have engaged in the practice of American worker replacement, which Brooks called “unpatriotic.”
Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, last week introduced the American Jobs First Act to overhaul the H-1B visa program, which Brooks says too often harms American workers.
H-1B visas are used to employ temporary foreign workers in specialty fields that require bachelor’s degrees or equivalent work experience.
“The Tennessee Valley Authority callously gut punched tech workers this summer when they tried to replace Americans with cheap foreign H-1B workers,” Brooks said. “Thanks to President Trump, TVA board member heads rolled and TVA reversed course. But, changes in the law are necessary to ensure American workers don’t face replacement by cheap foreign labor in the future.”
The H-1B visa program is supposed to give employers a route to recruit high-skilled talent they need if, and only if, they cannot find a qualified American worker, Brooks said.
“Due to abuses, the H-1B visa program has become a cheap foreign labor pipeline that major companies abuse to increase profits, at American workers’ expense. Such H-1B abuse has happened at some of the country’s largest corporations,” Brooks said. “Disney, AT&T, Verizon and Bank of America are but a few players caught in the game of U.S. worker replacement. Due to intense pressure from big business, H-1B reform has been stalled for years, but Americans are hurting, and they cannot wait any longer for relief. Firing American workers only to hire cheap foreign workers to replace them is not only unpatriotic, it’s downright repulsive!”
Brooks said his American Jobs First Act will bring much needed reform and oversight to the H-1B visa program to ensure that U.S. workers are no longer disadvantaged in their own country.
“To end the allure of cheap foreign labor, the bill will require employers to pay any H-1B workers a minimum amount of $110,000,” Brooks said. “And to stop American worker replacement, my bill will require companies seeking H-1B labor to not have fired any American workers for at least two years without just cause and commit to not firing any workers without just cause for two years after. Commonsense H-1B reform measures like these, alongside ending the unfair Optional Practical Training (OPT) and diversity visa lottery programs, all serve to promote American interests when it comes to immigration.”
The American Jobs First Act is aimed directly at combatting American worker replacement like the Tennessee Valley Authority attempted this summer. As was widely reported, TVA planned to layoff at least 120 of its American technology workers with the intention of replacing them with lower cost foreign H-1B guest workers.
Chris Chmielenski is the Deputy Director of NumbersUSA, America’s largest grassroots pro-American worker advocacy group.
“When it comes to protecting American workers, there is no one better than Congressman Brooks. He understands the competition high-skilled Americans face from cheaper H-1B workers, and he finds solutions,” Chmielenski explained. “The American Jobs First Act makes a number of much-needed reforms to the H-1B program, including setting a wage floor of $110,000 for all H-1B workers so that employers who say they can’t find an American to take a job have to put their money where their mouths are. It ends the outrageous Optional Practical Training program that actually gives employers a tax break for hiring foreign workers rather than Americans. It also ends the Visa Lottery that hands out 50,000 green cards, with work permits, based on a randomized computer drawing, to people with no qualifications other than their national origin and a high school degree—or the equivalent, whatever that is. We applaud Congressman Brooks for reintroducing the American Jobs First Act, and we urge Congress to pass it. American workers deserve it.”
Brooks said that some of America’s largest companies have engaged in the practice of American worker replacement, which Brooks called “unpatriotic.”
In 2015, Disney fired 250 American workers only to replace them with lower cost foreign H-1B guest workers. Many of the American Disney employees actually had to train their foreign replacements. AT&T, Verizon and Bank of America have done the same thing.
The American Jobs First Act original cosponsors included Congressmen Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; Paul Gosar, R-Arizona; and Lance Gooden, R-Texas.
The American Jobs First Act stops employers from hiring foreign H-1B workers if they have recently, or plan to, furlough their U.S. workers. It would also require employers to pay their H-1B workers more than their American workers to ensure foreign labor is only used when absolutely necessary.
Additionally, the legislation would suspend the F-1 OPT program, which grants all foreign students extendable work permits and exacerbates job market competition among American graduates; and it ends the unfair diversity visa lottery program, which fails to serve U.S. interests by issuing 50,000 green cards to foreigners from around the world regardless of their qualifications
“Defending Americans from cheap foreign labor competition should be bipartisan,” Brooks said. “I urge my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to put their differences aside and stand up for American workers.”
Brooks is in his fifth term representing Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Brooks has no Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 general election.
Brooks votes against resolution condemning QAnon conspiracy theorists
To this point Brooks has not publicly explained why he voted against the resolution.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a resolution condemning the conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon, but Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was one of 17 Republicans who, along with Rep. Justin Amash, L-Michigan, voted against it.
H.R. 1154 passed on Friday 371-18 with one person voting present, and 33 Republicans abstaining.
QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy group that believes, among other things, that a group of powerful politicians is involved in a child sex-trafficking ring.
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Georgia, was one of the 18, but he later said that his no vote was an accident.
To this point Brooks has not publicly explained why he voted against the resolution.
“The resolution threatens protected speech (absurd as that speech may be), and its prescriptions for addressing QAnon aren’t appropriate for what we know about them & may make things worse,” Amash explained on Twitter. “These are conspiracy theorists who believe in a deep state that’s fighting against them.”
“In the middle of a global pandemic, while our cities are subjected to violence and hardworking Americans are watching their livelihoods be burnt to the ground by rioting, leftist groups,” Florida Rep. Daniel Webster told the Washington Examiner, “Democrats in Congress are giving legitimacy to fringe groups that peddle in conspiracy theories. I never thought I’d live to see this day — instead of passing a bill to renew the Paycheck Protection Program or condemning rioting, looting, and violence against law-abiding citizens, Democrats are railing against an internet group.”
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-South Carolina, said in a statement while he condemns “in the strongest terms QAnon, Antifa, KKK,” the resolution “was yet another worthless messaging bill that does absolutely nothing to address the violence taking place in cities throughout our nation. … For Congress to pass a resolution condemning QAnon by name, but make no such mention of other violent organizations, is shameful.”
Reps. Jodey Arrington of Texas, Brian Babin of Texas, Rob Bishop of Utah, Michael Burgess of Texas, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Drew Ferguson of Georgia, Bill Flores of Texas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Steve King of Iowa, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Thomas Tiffany of Wisconsin also voted no on the resolution.
Many QAnon supporters have claimed COVID-19 is a hoax to protect the deep state and the secret cabal of Satan worshiping elites involved in the alleged pedophile ring who seek to subjugate the American people through microchipping. Some of them have suggested that President Donald Trump is faking the illness in order to arrest Hillary Clinton and expose the deep state pedophile ring. Some also maintain that Bill Gates invented COVID-19 to advance a microchipping program.
APR has asked Brooks’ office for comment.
Brooks is in his fifth term representing Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. He easily crushed his Republican primary opponent 80 to 20 percent, even though his opponent was endorsed by Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon and the powerful Alabama Farmers Federation.
The Alabama Democratic Party was unable to recruit a general election opponent for Brooks.