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Mo Brooks attacks Trump’s judicial appointees, Britt defends 

Recently, Brooks criticized two Trump-appointed federal judges, calling them “liberal” and “activist.” 

Left: Rep. Mo Brooks (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images) and right: President Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Once again, U.S. Senate candidate Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, has disparaged his chief supporter, former President Donald Trump. Recently, Brooks defamed two Trump-appointed federal judges, calling them “liberal” and “activist.” 

This latest attack by Brooks has been met with a challenge by U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt, who is defending Trump. 

What was a sin so great that Brooks felt a need to call in to question not only Trump’s leadership but his ability to make conservative appointments? 

Last week, a federal three-judge panel issued a preliminary injunction, blocking Alabama’s plan to redraw congressional districts. 

Two of the three judges, Judge Anna Manasco of the Northern District of Alabama and Judge Terry Moorer of the Southern District of Alabama, were appointed by Trump.

In a press release from his official congressional office, Brooks said: “It’s a bad day for Alabama when liberal, activist federal judges discard a Congressional district map drawn by Alabama’s elected legislators.”

Brooks further inferred that the panel’s decision was racist, knowing that judge Moorer is Black. 

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“Alabama and federal judges should reject, not promote, racism,” Brooks said.  

Moorer is Trump’s first African American nominee to be confirmed to the federal bench. He is also the first African American appointee to the Alabama federal bench named by a Republican president and the first-ever African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

Manasco previously served as a law clerk to Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

She holds her undergraduate degree from Emory University, a Ph.D. from Oxford University and her JD from Yale University.

Manasco was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2020 in a bipartisan 71-21 vote. No Republican voted against Manasco’s confirmation.

Why Brooks felt a need to weigh in on the judge’s ruling is unclear, but since his original statement, he has turned his ire from Trump’s appointees to his rival Britt.

Days after his press release slamming Trump’s appointees, Brooks told FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” that Britt was to blame for the two judges’ appointments because she had vetted the nominees as part of her duties as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

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Britt’s campaign responded to the allegations, saying: “Brooks in a Friday radio interview falsely claimed that both Manasco and Moorer ‘were vetted by Katie Britt.’ While Britt proudly played a leading role working alongside the Trump Administration in the judicial confirmation process as chief of staff to Senator Richard Shelby, Manasco was nominated 14 months after Britt left her job as chief of staff, underlining the demonstrably false nature of Brooks’ latest rant.” 

Britt personally addressed Brooks’ latest broadside against Trump by coming to the 45th president’s defense.

“Congressman Brooks has once again launched an attack on President Trump by wrongly claiming he appointed ‘liberal, activist federal judges,’” said Britt. “The people of Alabama can clearly see Mo Brooks and his band of do-nothing career politicians will throw anyone under the bus when they think it serves their own selfish purposes.”

Those with close ties to Trump World say Trump is growing weary of Brooks’ fumbling campaign and his lack of fundraising power. They also question Brooks’ loyalty, a fatal mistake inside Trump’s inner circle.  

Britt also addressed that issue when firing back at Brooks: “We’re seeing that play out in classic permanent politician style here. Alabamians know that Mo Brooks is not loyal to them, to President Trump or to anyone not named Mo Brooks. The embarrassing lie that President Trump would appoint liberal activists to the federal bench is simply Mo Brooks’ latest half-cocked episode. I will not apologize for standing with President Trump to get constitutional conservatives confirmed to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. I’m proud that President Trump’s historic success filling judicial vacancies with tremendous appointments will help preserve the country we know and love for our children and our children’s children.”

Acute political observers in Alabama and Mar-a-Lago ask how many slights Trump will endure before pulls the plug on the Brooks campaign. Hotline’s Josh Kraushaar noted in a tweet: “Not everyone is convinced Freedom Caucus Rep. Mo Brooks will proceed with his Senate bid. Rumors are flying Donald Trump will un-endorse Brooks.”

In the past, Brooks has questioned Trump’s character, fitness to serve as president, policies on immigration, and other issues. 

Brooks’ campaign once again seems in disarray, and it looks as if he is trying to find a reason to remain relevant even if it means attacking Trump’s judicial appointees.  

Editor’s note: Bill Britt is not related to Katie Britt or her husband, Wesley. 
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

DIG DEEPER

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The most recent polls show Brooks a distant third, trailing behind Britt and Durant by more than 14 points.

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Alabama needs a Ronald Reagan conservative as its next U.S. senator.

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“The ad is an embarrassing lie and a sign of a crumbling, desperate campaign,” Sean Ross, Britt’s spokesman, told APR.

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The Republican primary is scheduled for May 24.