January 24, 2019

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Denies Claim About Behavior in High School

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh vigorously denied claims involving an alleged high school incident made in an undisclosed letter and turned over to FBI by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh, 53, said in a statement Friday.

Feinstein ignited controversy Thursday by releasing a statement saying she turned information about Kavanaugh over to the FBI. She did not detail the accusation, and Republicans accused her of trying to orchestrate a last-minute smear.

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in her surprise statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

Fox News confirmed that the letter involved an allegation about Kavanaugh while a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland in the 1980s. A woman, who was also in high school at the time, accused Kavanaugh in the letter of holding her down and trying to force himself on her during a party, before she got away. The details were first reported Friday by the New Yorker.

The woman also claimed Kavanaugh was joined at the time by a friend who turned up music to conceal her protests. But that unnamed classmate reportedly told the New Yorker, “I have no recollection of that.”

Meanwhile, the Judiciary Committee on Friday received a letter from 65 women who said they knew Kavanaugh from high school and vouched for him as a “good person.” The letter was addressed to Feinstein and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

“We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983,” the letter, obtained by Fox News, reads. “For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the committee at this time.”

The White House blasted the charge on Thursday as a last-minute gambit.

“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

The accusation comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee already grilled Kavanaugh and other witnesses and prepares to vote on sending his nomination to the full Senate.

A source familiar with the confirmation proceedings told Fox News that Feinstein received the letter back in July, but did not make its existence known publicly until Thursday.

The letter reportedly was given to Feinstein by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., but has not been publicly disclosed by senators who have seen the document.

Feinstein met privately with Kavanaugh on August 20 and also questioned him repeatedly in open and closed session during the Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination last week. There is no indication that the matter came up in either the private meeting or the closed committee session.

The FBI conducts background checks on all major government appointees, including Supreme Court nominees.

“Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process,” the FBI said in a statement. Fox News has learned that the White House would have to request that the bureau follow up on the letter for the matter to be investigated further. It was not clear whether the White House had done so as of Thursday evening.

The woman referenced in the letter has yet to be identified, but is being represented by Debra Katz, a whistleblower attorney who works with #MeToo survivors, according to The Intercept.

Despite the turmoil over the letter, a spokesperson for Grassley said there is no plan to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Grassley set the panel’s vote on Kavanaugh for Sept. 20 and Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh by the start of the new court session Oct. 1.

 

Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Mike Emanuel and John Roberts contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.

Dem Chaos – Sen Booker Vows to Violate Senate Rules to Release Privileged Kavanaugh Emails

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker injected chaos into Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing Thursday as he vowed to release a confidential Kavanaugh email with the backing of Democrats in violation of Senate rules, calling it an act of “civil disobedience” and drawing condemnation from the Republicans on the committee.

“I am going to release the e-mail about racial profiling and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said at the beginning of the third day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

The New Jersey Democrat said he would “knowingly” violate the Senate rules to release the email. Other Democrats on the committee expressed their support for the effort.

A day earlier, in a dramatic exchange, Booker implied Kavanaugh had been open to racial profiling tactics, citing an email exchange between Kavanaugh and a colleague. However, Booker did not provide Kavanaugh a copy of the emails to review while questioning him about it, prompting another objection from Lee, who charged that it was inappropriate to “cross-examine” Kavanaugh about documents that he “can’t see.”

Booker said Thursady he would release it anyway, saying the document is a “great illustration of the absurdity of the process” because there’s nothing in it that’s “national security-related.”

“I come from a long line, as all of us do as Americans, that understand what that kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences,” Booker said.

Top Republicans mocked and denounced Booker, thought to be considering a 2020 campaign for president, for the move.

“Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn told Booker.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, dinged Booker for repeating his point.

“Can I ask you how long you’re going to say the same thing three or four times?” Grassley asked.

“I’m saying I’m knowingly violating the rules,” Booker replied. “Senator Cornyn has called me out for it.”

“How many times are you going to tell us that?” Grassley replied.

It came as Kavanaugh entered the final stretch of questioning in his confirmation hearing Thursday, with Democrats springing a series of cryptic questions – in an apparent attempt to box the nominee into an embarrassing admission or at least throw him off what has been a relatively steady performance.

He would not say Wednesday whether he thinks the president can be subpoenaed or whether the president can “self-pardon,” key questions amid the ongoing Russia probe.

Other lines of questioning were more mysterious, suggesting an effort to lay a trap.

In an especially combative moment late Wednesday, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Kavanaugh whether he ever had discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller or his Russia probe with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, a former personal attorney to President Trump.

“Be sure about your answer,” Harris warned. “I’m asking you a very direct question. Yes or no?”

“I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm,” Kavanaugh said. “I’m not remembering, but I’m happy to be refreshed.”

“How can you not remember whether or not you had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?” Harris asked, visibly exasperated. “This investigation has only been going on for so long, sir, so please answer the question.”

“I’m just trying to think — do I know anyone who works at that firm?” Kavanaugh eventually replied. “I’d like to know the person you’re thinking of.”

“I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us,” Harris shot back, sending the room into a few seconds of near-total silence.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee then interjected briefly to defend Kavanaugh, saying that “this town is full of law firms” and that they “are constantly metastasizing, they break off, they form new firms — they’re like rabbits. There’s no possible way we can expect this witness to know who populates an entire firm.”

A barrage of protesters erupted in a chant of “Answer the question” before being led out by police as Lee spoke. In all, 73 people were arrested and charged for unlawful demonstrations within Senate buildings on Wednesday, including 66 people who were removed from the hearing room during the day, according to Capitol Police officials.

Also Wednesday evening, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono pressed Kavanaugh at length about whether he was aware of inappropriate behavior by former 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski when he clerked for Kozinski from 1991 to 1992. Kozinski abruptly retired last year after several woman who had worked as law clerks or colleagues accused him of sexual misconduct that included touching, inappropriate sexual comments and forced viewings of pornography in his chambers.

Hirono, who repeatedly has asked other judicial nominees whether they ever sexually harassed anyone, noted that Kavanaugh and Kozinski had kept in touch after his clerkship, with Kozinski recommending Kavanaugh during his 2006 confirmation hearings for his current job on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“You saw nothing, you heard nothing, and you obviously said nothing,” Hirono said, even as Kavanaugh denied being aware of any misconduct by Kozinski and said he would have reported it if he had known.

For the most part, the hearings have focused on Kavanaugh’s writings and, in particular, key opinions he authored while serving on the nation’s most prestigious appellate court.

The confirmation hearing has been chaotic at times, with Democrats trying to delay the proceedings as they complain they haven’t received enough records from Kavanaugh’s past work.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., pressed Kavanaugh about what he knew about the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. Leahy also asked Kavanaugh if a president has a right to pardon himself, a power President Trump has said he believes he has.

“The question of self-pardons is something I have never analyzed,” Kavanaugh replied.

Outbursts from protesters have been a recurring feature since the hearings began. Moments after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley opened the hearing Wednesday, shouting could be heard from the back of the room: “Sham president, sham justice!” Ironically, at one point, protesters shouted as Kavanaugh discussed how he tried to be respectful in court. “I’ve tried to be a very collegial judge, I’ve tried to be civil,” he said.

Kavanaugh served for more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and, before that, for five years as a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s office in the George W. Bush administration. He also worked for independent counsel Ken Starr for three years during the probe that led to the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Kavanaugh’s elevation from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court would mark a generational rightward shift on the Supreme Court, raising the stakes beyond those of last year’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch.

The judge’s nomination, though, will ultimately succeed or fail depending on a handful of swing-vote senators, including vulnerable red-state Democrats and moderate pro-choice Republicans who have all said that they would withhold judgment on the nominee.

Republicans command a narrow 51-49 Senate majority. Party leaders have said they hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed by a floor vote by early October, when the next Supreme Court term begins.

 

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Judson Berger, Kaitlyn Schallhorn and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.

Dems Turn Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing Into Outrageous Senate Circus

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus went out of business last year, but it found a  successor Tuesday on Capitol Hill as Democrats and demonstrators performed at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, commenting on repeated outbursts by demonstrators and steady string of complaints by Democratic senators, said that “this is something I’ve never gone through before in 15 Supreme Court nominations.”

The political theatrics kicked into high gear right out of the gate. Grassley wasn’t more than three lines into his opening statement when, one by one, Democrats attempted to hijack the hearing with calls for more of Kavanaugh’s documents, and even a motion to adjourn the hearing altogether.

The Democratic objections were absurd. Judge Kavanaugh – currently serving on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – is the most transparent Supreme Court nominee in recent history.

As Grassley stated Tuesday, an astounding 488,000 pages of documents relating to Kavanaugh have been released.

For comparison, Justice Elena Kagan – who served in the Obama administration as solicitor general before she joined the high court – only had about 70,000 pages of documents released when she went through her confirmation hearing in 2010. About 182,000 pages of documents were released when the Senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last year.

Kavanaugh also submitted the most comprehensive bipartisan questionnaire in Senate Judiciary Committee history.

Also, as Grassley pointed out in the hearing, Kavanaugh has written 307 opinions as an appellate court judge and he was nominated on July 9.  Democrats have plenty of reading material, and they’ve had plenty of time to read it.

Many Democrats read enough within the first few days of Kavanaugh’s nomination to go on record opposing his nomination.  And you can bet they would have opposed whoever President Trump nominated for the Supreme Court opening created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A woman stands and voices her opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination for Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democrats are engaged in nothing more than a desperate effort to delay a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh until next year, when they hope to control the Senate by winning a majority in the November midterm elections. Their stalling tactics have nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s qualifications – they have everything to do with the anti-Trump resistance and turning out the Democratic base to vote in November.

But Democrats up for re-election in November in states carried by President Trump in the 2016 election – and where he remains popular today – are under pressure to support Kavanaugh’s nomination to keep their jobs. Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota could wind up supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation for this reason.

All three senators voted to confirm Gorsuch when President Trump nominated him. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., whose top goal is to elect a Democratic majority in the chamber, would be foolish to pressure them to vote against Kavanaugh if it led to their electoral defeat two months from now.

Depending on Kavanaugh’s performance this week, pressure could also build on Democratic Sens.  Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Bill Nelson of Florida to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, since both are in tight re-election races.

For other Senate Democrats, this week will be less about defeating Kavanaugh and more about raising their profile for the 2020 presidential election.

Among the pool of likely Senate Democratic presidential hopefuls are Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who both serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Look for them to use the hearings as a launching pad for their possible presidential campaigns.

It’s widely speculated that Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will also run for president in 2020. She’ll likely be headed for a TV camera every time there’s a break in the hearing. It’s guaranteed the media will be happy to give her the free ad time.

Call it fearmongering or desperation, but the outrage among Senate Democrats began months ago. In the case of Harris, it was before Kavanaugh was even chosen as the nominee. On MSNBC’s “Hardball” she said of whoever President Trump would pick: “We’re looking at a destruction of the Constitution of the United States.”

No need to know the nominee’s name or look at his record. Harris knew enough. Yet, she was the first one to obstruct the hearing and feign outrage Tuesday morning because 488,000 documents weren’t enough reading material for her. No irony to see here.

In a July press conference Booker said of those supporting Judge Kavanaugh: “You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.” He then had a kumbaya moment and instead called for everyone to love one another.

Still, barring anything unforeseen happening at his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed by the end of the month and seated when the Supreme Court reconvenes in October.

So get the popcorn ready and expect to see more political theater throughout this week. Democrats will move on to Act II with their political posturing and outrage on full display.

Who needs the Ringling Bros. circus when we have the Senate circus?

 

Lauren DeBellis Appell, a freelance writer in Fairfax, Virginia, was deputy press secretary for then-Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in his successful 2000 re-election campaign, as well as assistant communications director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee (2001-2003).

Facebook Liberal Bias – Donald Trump Jr. Supports Social Media Alternative for Conservatives

President Donald Trump has been heavily criticizing social media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter this week for unfair bias against social and political conservatives.

‘I’d love to do it’

Donald Trump Jr. also announced today that he will lend his support to a new social media platform that will be fair to conservatives.

The new social media platform is being launched to give conservatives a full opportunity to share their pro-American, Pro-Constitution, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Pro-God values with the world. The site is PlanetUs.com, and is a conservative-friendly social media platform.

Set up your free account with PlanetUs.com now>

PlanetUS administrators say that the new conservative-friendly social media website is ready to use, and is expected to launch in mid September.

“Everyone is welcome to get their accounts set up early, and to begin posting and communicating, even before the day of the official launch. Many leading conservatives have already reserved their names and organizational names.” – PlanetUS.com

When asked about it Donald Trump Jr. said today that he would back such a “conservative, Facebook-like social network” created to compete with Facebook and other social media platforms. He also demonstrated interest in leveraging his enormous social media presence in order to publicize the solution to the liberal bias from the left-leaning silicon valley social media companies.

PlanetUs is a conservative-friendly social media platform

“I’d love to do it,” Trump Jr. said. “I’d help promote the platform and be all over that.”

Trump Jr. has over 3 million followers on Twitter, and over 1.3 million followers on Instagram.

An adviser to President Trump has suggested that the president will use his Twitter presence to help publicize such a conservative social media forum.

‘They have it RIGGED, for me & others’

Conservatives and allies of the president have decried the left-wing bias in many of the companies controlling the biggest and most influential social media and online companies. Trump himself has been criticizing Twitter and Google by pointing to instances of what many critics see as evidence of the liberal agenda in online companies.

The president threatened on Tuesday that the situation would soon be “addressed.”

“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” Trump tweeted. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation…”

President Trump says Facebook is biased against “large portions of the population:

“I don’t think [this issue] is going away,” said Donald Trump Jr. of the bias in social media platforms, “because I don’t think it’s changing.”

PUBLIUS / With materials written by The Blaze

Chinese Hacked Clinton’s Server, Watched Every Email in Real-time

A Chinese state-owned company reportedly hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, then inserted code that forwarded them a copy of virtually every email she sent or received after that — a revelation President Trump is demanding be investigated.

The Daily Caller reported that the firm operating in the D.C. area wrote code that was then embedded in the server and generated a “courtesy copy” for almost all her emails — which was then forwarded to the Chinese company.

The code reportedly was discovered in 2015 by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), which then warned FBI officials of the intrusion.

A source briefed on the matter confirmed to Fox News the details of the Caller’s reporting, and said that the ICIG was so concerned by the revelation that officials drove over to the FBI to inform agents — including anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok — of the development after it was discovered via the emails’ metadata.

The source told Fox News the hack was from a Chinese company, describing it as a front for Chinese intelligence.

A second source briefed on the matter told Fox News that officials outside of the FBI indicated code on the Clinton server suggested a foreign source was receiving copies of emails in real time.

The hacking report caught the attention late Tuesday of President Trump, who warned that the FBI and DOJ should act or “their credibility will be forever gone.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to Trump’s tweet, saying: “This isn’t the first time we’ve heard similar kinds of allegations.”

“China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. We firmly oppose and crack down on any forms of internet attacks and the stealing of secrets,” she said, according to Reuters.

The ICIG and the FBI declined to comment.

Clinton’s office did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman told The Daily Caller, “The FBI spent thousands of hours investigating, and found no evidence of intrusion. That’s a fact.”

Fox News reported in March that Strzok was advised of an irregularity in the metadata of Clinton’s server that suggested a possible breach, but no follow-up action was taken.

Further, a May 2016 email from Strzok, obtained by Fox News earlier this year, said “we know foreign actors obtained access” to some Clinton emails, including at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, asked Strzok in a House Oversight Committee hearing in July whether he was briefed about an anomaly on Clinton’s emails found by ICIG officials.

“You were given that information, and you did nothing with it,” Gohmert told Strzok in July.

Strzok said he remembered meeting with the ICIG officials, but did not remember the contents of the meeting and that every allegation was forwarded to experts who looked at it carefully.

“If there was a lead, I gave it to the team,” Strzok said as part of a heated back-and-forth between the two. Strzok was fired this month after controversy surrounding anti-Trump texts he sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Gohmert told Fox News on Tuesday that the emails were obtained by a foreign country’s intelligence, but he declined to name the country in question. He said there was no sign that Strzok and the FBI had taken any action when informed by the ICIG, and no indication that they even informed Clinton.

He told Fox News he was surprised that his questioning about it in the Strzok hearing in July didn’t generate more media attention, but noted that the press seized on a comment he made shortly afterward when he asked Strzok, “How many times did you look into your wife’s eyes and lie about Lisa Page?”

“It’s critically important,” he said, when asked about the significance of the server revelation. “There are countries that would pay a tremendous amount of money to know what Clinton was saying, doing and thinking through her emails, what she’s doing, who she’s going to meet, what she thought about meetings, not necessarily classified but critically important and those emails were compromised and people like Strzok, when they were briefed, knew this would devastate her chances of being elected and they weren’t about to do anything to hurt those chances.”

Then-FBI Director James Comey concluded the FBI’s investigation into Clintons emails in July 2016, saying that while Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information, he would not recommend charges to the DOJ.

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News. He can be reached here.

Sen John McCain Dead at 81

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a war hero who survived five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, served three decades in Congress and went on to become the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2008, died Saturday. He was 81 years old.

In his last hours, McCain turned down further treatment, his family announced in a statement.

McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017. Doctors discovered the tumor during a medical procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. He remained upbeat after the diagnosis, flying back to Washington days after surgery with a large scar visible above his eye to partake in the Senate’s health care debate.

“I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support – unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!” McCain tweeted on July 20 after his diagnosis.

On Friday, his family issued a statement saying,“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.”

John S. McCain III is escorted by Lt. Cmdr. Jay Coupe Jr., public relations officer, March 14, 1973, to Hanoi's Gia Lam Airport after the POW was released.  (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

John McCain escorted to Hanoi airport on March 14, 1973 after being released from prison  (AP Photo/ Horst Faas)

They added, “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

McCain was born in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father was stationed in the Navy. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958, McCain went to Vietnam.

In 1967, his A4 Skyhawk was hit by a surface-to-air missile over Hanoi. McCain was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured and beat him for more than five years. He was in solitary confinement for several of those years.

“My room was fairly decent-sized – I’d say about 10 by 10,” McCain would later write. “The door was solid. There were no windows. The only ventilation came from two small holes at the top in the ceiling, about 6 inches by 4 inches. The roof was tin, and it got hot as hell in there.”

His captors offered him early release after learning his father was a notable naval officer. But McCain refused to leave before the other prisoners. He was released in 1973.

McCain’s injuries from his imprisonment were visible the rest of his life, most noticeably the restricted movement of his arms.

McCain got a taste of politics in 1976, when he served as the Navy’s liaison to the Senate.

In 1982, McCain was elected to the House of Representatives. Only a few years later, in 1986, he won the race to replace Arizona’s conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater.

He was implicated in what became known as the Keating Five Scandal in 1989, accused with several other lawmakers of helping the owner of the Lincoln Savings and Loan, who had donated to his campaign.

McCain ran twice for president. In 2000, he ran for the Republican nomination for president, winning New Hampshire’s primary but losing the nomination to George W. Bush.

In 2008, he defeated a host of Republican candidates to win the GOP nomination for president.

He was responsible for introducing then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to a national audience by tapping her as his running mate. The McCain-Palin ticket went on to lose the general election to Barack Obama, who became the country’s first black president.

For years, McCain declined to call his choice of Palin a mistake. But in his upcoming book, “The Restless Wave,” McCain reportedly writes that he regrets not choosing his friend, then-Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, as his running mate, calling it “another mistake that I made.” Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic nominee for vice president, was an independent who caucused with Democrats.

After the 2008 loss, McCain returned to the Senate, embracing his role as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

During his last years in politics, he had a complicated relationship with President Trump, who infamously attacked McCain during the GOP primary. In May, the McCain family was offended when it was reported that Trump aide Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s opposition to the president’s choice for CIA director by quipping during a private meeting, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

According to the New York Times, McCain has made clear to the White House he doesn’t want Trump to attend his funeral, and would instead prefer Vice President Mike Pence at a service.

McCain is survived by his wife Cindy, seven children and five grandchildren.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.

John McCain Discontinues Cancer Treatment

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, the self-styled “maverick” of the Senate who has served three decades in Congress, will discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer, his family said in a statement Friday.

The Vietnam War veteran, who survived five years as a prisoner of war and went on to become his party’s presidential nominee in 2008, was diagnosed last July with a brain tumor following a procedure earlier in the year to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

He has not voted since last December. In Friday’s statement, his family revealed how the disease has worsened:

“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.”

They said, “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

Reaction poured in after the family’s announcement.

“John McCain is an American hero, always putting country before self. From Vietnam to the halls of the U.S. Senate, the spirit of service and civility that has guided Senator McCain’s life stands as a model for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted: “Very sad to hear this morning’s update from the family of our dear friend @SenJohnMcCain. We are so fortunate to call him our friend and colleague. John, Cindy, and the entire McCain family are in our prayers at this incredibly difficult hour.”

The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix last summer said that the original blood clot was associated with a primary brain tumor, known as a glioblastoma.

McCain, 81, has served in the U.S. Senate for more than two decades and ran for president twice. He lost the GOP nomination to George W. Bush in 2000 and was the Republican nominee in 2008 before losing to Barack Obama in the general election.

McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years. Injuries from being tortured left him unable to lift his arms above his head.

Last December, McCain returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer diagnosis. He delivered powerful remarks on the Senate floor addressing the need for bipartisanship amid gridlock in the chamber.

“Make no mistake, my service here is the most important job I have had in my life. And I am so grateful to the people of Arizona for the privilege—for the honor—of serving here and the opportunities it gives me to play a small role in the history of the country I love,” McCain said, acknowledging senators he’s “known and admired.” “But they knew that however sharp and heartfelt their disputes, however keen their ambitions, they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively.”

McCain has criticized the Senate’s deliberations in the last year, calling them “more partisan, more tribal” than any time he remembered.

McCain blamed “both sides” for the lack of cooperation.

Earlier this year, McCain penned a memoir titled “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations,” written by himself, and Mark Salter, who had collaborated with McCain on all seven of his other books.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this. My predicament is, well, rather unpredictable,” he wrote. “But I’m prepared for either contingency, or at least I’m getting prepared. I have some things I’d like to take care of first, some work that needs finishing, and some people I need to see. And I want to talk to my fellow Americans a little more if I may.”

McCain, who has repeatedly been at odds with President Trump and criticized his rhetoric and leadership, said this year that he doesn’t want the president to attend his funeral, and prefers that Vice President Pence be there instead.

Last week, Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill, titled “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019,” though did not mention the senator.

 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Illegal Alien Murdered Mollie Tibbetts, Makes Court Appearance

Mollie Tibbetts murder suspect makes first court appearance, Tibbetts family releases statement

An Iowa judge ordered Cristhian Rivera, the 24-year-old illegal immigrant accused of murdering Mollie Tibbetts, held on $5 million cash-only bond Wednesday — with Rivera’s first court appearance coming just minutes after Tibbetts’ family members broke their silence about their broken hearts.

Rivera was mostly stoic and looked straight ahead in the courtroom. He wore headphones and used an interpreter when the judge spoke, only answering “Yes” when asked if he understood the proceeding.

Later, given another chance to speak, Rivera declined.

Rivera’s lawyer, Allan Richards, filed a motion for a private hearing, after an earlier defense motion for a gag order was rejected. Richards argued the case had already become too politicized.

Cristhean Rivera, 24, is accused of murdering Mollie Tibbetts.

“The government has weighed in at the highest levels,” Rivera’s lawyer said.

If convicted of murdering the Iowa University sophomore, Rivera faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“Christhian is a young man who has been working a number of years for a respectable business in this community,” Richards said before bail was set. “No criminal record. we urge in court to be fair.”

A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Aug. 31 at 2 p.m.

Less than a half hour before Rivera walked into court, Tibbetts’ family members issued their first statement since Mollie’s body was found in an Iowa cornfield.

“Our hearts are broken,” the statement said. “On behalf of Mollie’s entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl.”

The statement continued: “We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever. At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private. Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name. We remain forever grateful.”

Fox News’ Melissa Chrise and Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.

Naive Liberal Couple Murdered by ISIS

‘Evil is a make-believe concept’: US couple trumpets global goodness on bike trek. ISIS kills them.

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, quit their Washington, D.C., jobs a little over a year ago and embarked on a bicycle trip around the world. By April, their journey well underway, Austin wrote in the couple’s blog, Simply Cycling, that they were embracing something beyond a mere great adventure.

“You watch the news and you read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” he wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. People are axe murderers and monsters and worse.”

He continued:

I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it’s easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this.

 

Image source: YouTube screenshot

But in their very next blog entry, Austin described a driver in Spain trying to run him over amid a traffic jam.

It was a chilling portent of things to come.

Austin and Geoghegan were killed July 29 — just a few days into the second year of their journey — in what CBS News said was an ISIS-inspired attack as they rode through Tajikistan, which is predominantly Muslim and borders Afghanistan.

A car rammed into the couple and other bicycle tourists, after which five men exited the vehicle and attacked the group with knives, the network reported. Two others bicyclists — one from the Netherlands and one from Switzerland — also were killed.

The Islamic State initially claimed responsibility and then released a video showing the five purported attackers pledging allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, CBS News added. In the clip they sat before the ISIS flag and vowed to kill “disbelievers,” the New York Times said. Authorities told CBS News they tracked down the five suspects and killed four of them.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

A friend of the couple, Molly Scalise, told CBS News that Austin and Geoghegan were “such an example of an intentional and a principled life and had so much love to give.”

Embracing ‘vulnerability’

As for why bicycles were the chosen form of transportation for their globe-hopping trip, Austin noted the “vulnerability” they brought.

“With that vulnerability comes immense generosity: good folks who will recognize your helplessness and recognize that you need assistance in one form or another and offer it in spades,” he wrote, the Times said.

Austin, it appears, was driven by more than just putting his trust in others’ goodness. When he quit his job prior to the bike trip, Austin wrote that he’d “grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige. I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed,” the paper reported.

He also was a vegan, built one of those tiny houses — 140 square feet — and lived a minimalist life, the Times said.

Jay Austin lounges in his tiny house he built — and dubbed “The Matchbox.” (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

In addition, he repeatedly opted for more paid leave as opposed to more money from his government job — and used his vacations for off-the-beaten-path travel, the paper said.

After Austin met Geoghegan — the pair were both graduates of Georgetown University, where she worked in the admissions office — his principles began rubbing off on her. She took up bicycling, too, and became a vegetarian. Then finally their trip was planned.

When Geoghegan’s friend Amanda Kerrigan found out about the trip, she told the Times she was concerned: “I said, ‘This is not the Lauren I know,’” Kerrigan recalled to the paper. “Jay changed the trajectory of Lauren’s life.”

That trajectory landed the pair in South Africa to begin their bicycle trip, CBS News said, and they headed north. Their blog describes the day-to-day struggles — harsh weather, rough terrain, tired and sometimes sick bodies — but also people helping them along the way.

More from the Times:

They continued north, crossing deserts where the sand was so deep they had to dismount and push their bikes. In Botswana, a concerned man stopped his car to offer them ice water as they pedaled in 95-degree heat.

They cycled on dirt paths, through dry riverbeds and on cracked asphalt, going days without a shower. In Morocco, a family offered the couple a room, and then sent them off the next morning with homemade bread.

Days turned to weeks, and then into months. Their bodies began to break. An ear infection landed Ms. Geoghegan in the emergency room in France. They both contracted pinkeye. They shouldered on through upset stomachs and sore throats.

It was winter by the time they reached Europe last December. Torrential rain soaked through their waterproof gloves. “Utterly hopeless, wet and cold,” they posted from Spain.

A few hours later, a couple in a white van stopped, handed them a towel and insisted on driving them to their house, where they dried their sopping clothes in the dryer.

Then came their final ride last month, in which a video purportedly showed the carload of attackers passing them, making a sharp U-turn, doubling back, and heading right for them, the Times said.

“There’s magic out there,” Austin wrote, the paper noted, “in this great big beautiful world.”

(H/T: Pluralist)

By Dave Urbanski

 

The Devil’s Bargain – when prosecutors suborn perjury to force false testimony against an innocent defendant

President Trump Praises Mormon Settlers on Pioneer Day

President Donald Trump issued a statement Tuesday sending his best wishes to those celebrating Pioneer Day in Utah.

The statement celebrates the efforts of Mormon settlers who settled in Utah in 1847 as well as others who “endured frontier hardships.”

“Melania and I send our best wishes to all those celebrating Pioneer Day.

On this day in 1847, Brigham Young and the first group of Latter-day Saint pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley to begin building a new home for their families.  Fleeing persecution, these families undertook a difficult journey spanning more than a thousand miles from Illinois to the Utah territory.  In the years that followed, nearly 70,000 men, women, and children charted similar paths across windswept plains and rugged mountains in search of religious freedom and a better way of life.

Our Nation honors the ingenuity, industry, and unwavering commitment to faith of all those who endured frontier hardships.  These pioneers worked tirelessly to transform the arid desert landscape into a blossoming new home where their families could live in peace and prosperity.  The legacy they helped build across the American West lives on through hundreds of cities and towns that continue to thrive in the 21st century.

Today, we remember the extraordinary pioneers who uprooted their lives and undertook an incredible leap of faith into the unknown.  Their stories and accomplishments are lasting reminders of the importance of religious freedom and the enduring strength and spirit of the American people.”

by

Mainstream Media Meltdown – Trump Derangement Syndrome

A raging epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome broke out among reporters covering the summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, as journalists gave the American president hellish reviews for his performance in Helsinki at a joint news conference.

No reporters knew what actually transpired in the main event of the day – the private meeting between the two presidents. So journalists put themselves in the position of critics, grading President Trump’s news conference performance.

The critics provided the most outlandish and hyperbolic reactions to Trump since election night 2016 – making the president sound like he was following in the footsteps of the despised Revolutionary War turncoat Benedict Arnold.

Yes, unbelievably, the newest charge against President Trump was treason.

Treason, by the way, is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: “the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.”

So President Trump was trying to overthrow the government he leads or trying to kill or injure himself or his family?

USA Today reported in a front-page story: “Every nation has an infamous traitor. … And now, after a news conference Monday in Finland, the term is being used in relations to the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump, master of the political insult, finds himself on the receiving end.”

The New York Daily News screamed “OPEN TREASON” on its cover page with a cartoon showing Trump holding Putin’s hand and holding a gun in his other hand and shooting Uncle Sam in the head. Really.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria wasn’t satisfied with “treason” as a descriptor. “I feel like treasonous is too weak a word, because the whole thing has taken on an air of such unreality,” he said.

Zakaria had lots of company: CNN analyst Max Boot, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, and, of course, former CIA Director John Brennan, who now works for NBC and MSNBC.

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said “the spirit of what Trump did is clearly treasonous,” and declared that the president “came off as being a puppet of Putin.”

MSNBC brought on presidential historian Jon Meacham and he agreed that, with the Russia connection, “the definition it meets is the first word of the impeachment article in the Constitution, which is, treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Even when news organizations weren’t talking treason, they were still hyperventilating about America going to hell in a presidential handbasket. Check out this video of highlights of anchors and commentators on MSNBC and CNN erupting with anti-Trump fury.

CNN was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 level panicked, devoting 87 percent of its evening coverage (more than seven hours) across three nights to fire-and-brimstone reports designed to inflame its viewers.

The network’s team responded just as the boss wished. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper called the Trump news conference “perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader certainly that I’ve ever seen.”

And CNN anchor Chris Cuomo – the son of one New York Democratic governor and the brother of another who may seek his party’s presidential nomination to run against President Trump – continued his longstanding feud with the president by claiming a Trump tweet bashing the media was an “admission that you hate your country.”

MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle let his anger take over. He called for a complete abandonment of the republic. “Rewrite the Constitution and have another president take over right now,” he told the audience, failing to explain just how that happens without a military overthrow of the government.

MSNBC legal expert Jill Wine-Banks piled on the outlandish historical comparisons, actually claiming Trump-Putin news conference “will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht.” She added it was the same as “Cuban missile crisis in terms of an attack, or the 9/11 attack.”

Even ABC wanted a ride on the “Highway to Hell.” Anchor George Stephanopoulos, who used to work for President Bill Clinton before becoming a “newsman,” urged retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to back his criticism of Russia “with action.” Stephanopoulos wanted the anti-Trump Flake to withhold his vote to support the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This no doubt thrilled Team Clinton.

“The View” co-host Joy Behar bedeviled Trump by comparing his actions to ignoring “when they bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II.” (She also said it “rises to the level of treason,” but that was hardly original at that point.)

The hellish outrage over the Helsinki news conference had its desired effect … for now. Newsweek posted a story on an opinion poll that declared: “According to a new Ipsos poll, 49 percent of Americans said Trump was “treasonous” during the summit and ensuing press conference, with only 27 percent disagreeing.”

2. Tomorrow Is Another Day: Even in a hot summer made hotter with fiery politics, things can always get worse. Remember, we are less than four months to the midterm elections. And when those finish, the presidential election heats up.

That also means the More Stupid Than Usual Season is upon us. (It’s like a leap season that only happens election years.) Despite several Democrats calling to “abolish ICE,” the broadcast networks weren’t interested when a vote on ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) took place.

None of the three – ABC, CBS and NBC — covered Democrats doing their best “Run away!” Monty Python impersonations. This, even though lefty Vox was critical of the fact that Democrats weren’t “ready to actually vote for an ‘Abolish ICE’ bill.”

Since it is political season, you’d think media outlets would send their A-listers to do the top stories. You’d be … completely wrong.

The New York Times assigned a massive, 8,700 word magazine piece on the left’s own Daddy Warbucks (Daddy Globalist Bucks?) George Soros to a guy who writes about tennis and wine. Author Michael Steinberger is also a blatant liberal partisan who voted for Hillary Clinton, freaked out election night when Trump won and called the president the “Orange Menace.”

CBS used some seasoning itself as host Gayle King (the Democratic donor) defended possible Democratic 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden against President Trump’s criticism. She whined that Trump’s attacks were “nasty,” “condescending,” and “hurtful,” while downplaying one of the biggest gaffes in Biden’s career.

 

Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.

Anthony Bourdain Slammed Hillary Clinton and ‘Gropey, Disgusting’ Bill Clinton in Newly Released Interview

In an interview, published more than a month after his death, Anthony Bourdain called former President Bill Clinton a “gropey, grabby disgusting” person and slammed the Clintons for how they handled the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The celebrity chef and “Parts Unknown” host, who hanged himself in a French hotel in June, sat down with journalist Maria Bustillos from the magazine Popula before his death. The sit-down was published on Sunday.

Bourdain, one of the most outspoken supporters of the #MeToo movement, told the magazine it was shameful how the Clintons handled the scandal involving Lewinsky.

PHOTOS: Remembering Anthony Bourdain

“Bill Clinton, look, the bimbo eruptions—it was f—ing monstrous. That would not have flown today,” Bourdain said about the scandal. “[Bill Clinton is] a piece of s—. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he — and she [Hillary] — destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this!”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives with her husband former President Bill Clinton during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking - HT1ED1K18ZBUA

Bourdain slammed the Clintons for how they handled the political sex scandal.  (Reuters)

The 61-year-old went on to say it was “unforgivable” the way the couple had shut down the accusers.

“The way they efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited these women for speaking their truth,” he said.

When asked if Clinton should have been kicked out of the office, Bourdain said no.

“I would look at this way. I would never under any circumstances vote for Bill Clinton today,” Bourdain told the magazine. “But I think impeaching the guy over Lewinsky was ridiculous. Particularly given today.”

Bourdain said it was “unforgivable” how the Clintons handled the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky and other accusers.  (Reuters)

He added, “It was the shaming, discrediting, undermining the women that made both of them unsuitable for any future endeavors. I don’t think they should’ve pulled him from office.”

HOLLYWOOD STARS DEFEND ASIA ARGENTO AFTER SHE’S BULLIED FOLLOWING ANTHONY BOURDAIN’S DEATH

Bourdain also said he was frustrated by Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, but when he tweeted as such, he said his words were twisted.

“I was really disappointed with the statement. But even by expressing that, the way that my comment was turned, very neatly—suddenly I wasn’t expressing disappointment in her statement; I was blaming her for Harvey Weinstein’s crimes. The way that turned very nicely was a good bit of artistry and deeply frightening to me and really, really…” he said.

When speaking about Weinstein, the celebrity chef detailed how he wants the film producer to die.

“My theory of how he goes is, uh, he’s brushing his teeth in a bathroom, he’s naked in his famous bathrobe, which is flapping open, he’s holding his cell phone in one hand because you never know who on the Weinstein board has betrayed him recently, and he’s brushing his teeth,” Bourdain said.

Bourdain added that he imagines Weinstein getting a “massive f—ing stroke,” before falling backwards into a bathtub.

“He finds himself, um, with his robe open feet sticking out of the tub, and in his last moments of consciousness as he scrolls through his contacts list trying to figure out who he can call, who will actually answer the phone,” the celebrity chef said.

“And he dies that way, knowing that no one will help him and that he is not looking his finest at time of death,” Bourdain said.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST AND CELEBRITY CHEF, CAUSE OF DEATH REVEALED

The TV host also spoke about his daughter Ariane, his relationship with girlfriend Asia Argento and how he would vote for Barack Obama despite finding him “very unconvincing in public.”

“Asia said this to me. Children create themselves independently of us. All you can do is show, like in my case, my daughter feels loved. She knows she’s loved. She has good self-esteem. Very important,” Bourdain said.

Chef Anthony Bourdain poses at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 12, 2015.

Anthony Bourdain often spoke out against Harvey Weinstein. He detailed how he envision how the fallen movie mogul will die.  (Reuters)

Bourdain was found unresponsive on June 8 in the bathroom of a luxury hotel in the small town of Kaysersberg. He was in France working on an upcoming episode of “Parts Unknown.”

 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Trump Announces Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Pick

President Trump nominated appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Monday night to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, ending a days-long guessing game that began the moment Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27.

In televised remarks from the East Room of the White House, the president praised what he called Kavanaugh’s “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”

“There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,” Trump said.

The four finalists – Kavanaugh and fellow appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge – were drawn from a list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups.

A clue to Kavanaugh’s nomination emerged hours before the announcement when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in which the judge sided with the majority. The D.C. court does not typically issue opinions on Mondays except in response to emergency petitions, suggesting that the case had to be disposed of before Kavanaugh was nominated for the high court.

Kavanaugh, a former law clerk to Kennedy in 1993, was elevated to the powerful federal appeals court in the District of Columbia by President George W. Bush, under whom he had served as a White House lawyer and staff secretary. Kavanaugh, 53, also won the confidence of key players in the Bush circle such as strategist Karl Rove.

This, however, had risked being something of a double-edged sword for Kavanaugh in the Trump era, raising concerns among some Trump supporters that he was too much of a D.C. insider and too closely associated with the Bush circle.

The Bush connections also harmed him with Democrats at the time of his initial nomination, who delayed his confirmation. But despite the criticism, he wore his support for Bush on his sleeve. It remains to be seen if those ties will complicate his confirmation process now — both with Democrats and Trump’s base.

Trump, though, may have been swayed in part because of Kavanaugh’s record of being a reliable conservative on the court – and reining in dozens of administrative decisions of the Obama White House. There are some question marks for conservatives, particularly an ObamaCare ruling that signaled his implicit support of the law.

In a 2011 case, Kavanaugh acknowledged in his dissent that the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate provision” could fit “comfortably within Congress’ Taxing Clause power.” His detractors say that language helped provide the road map for the Supreme Court to uphold the mandate a year later.

However, supporters of Kavanaugh have pushed back against that argument. Justin Walker, a former Kavanaugh clerk, argued that the judge’s “hypothetical discussion” about the Taxing Clause has been misinterpreted and is actually “a road map to the conclusion reached by the dissenters—that the individual mandate is unconstitutional under the Taxing Clause.”

Further, it’s also unclear how Kavanaugh would rule on abortion, as he has never directly confronted the issue as a judge. Last year, Kavanaugh dissented from a decision allowing an illegal immigrant to receive an abortion, but pro-life conservatives have criticized him for not going far enough. Specifically, they have expressed concern about language where Kavanaugh wrote “the unlawful immigrant minor is assumed to have a right under precedent to an abortion.”

Despite potential conservative grumbling, the White House is gearing up for a combative confirmation process. The administration announced earlier Monday that former Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona would guide the nominee through the Senate confirmation process. Before retiring in 2013, Kyl was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be the first to consider the nomination. He now works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. The White House hopes Kyl’s close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for Kavanaugh.

In addition, the conservative group Judicial Crisis Network will launch a $1.4 million ad buy in support of Kavanaugh, running advertisements in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia – states with Democratic senators on the fence about supporting Trump’s nominee.

A senior White House source told Fox News that five Democratic senators – Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Doug Jones of Alabama, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia – were invited to attend the nomination announcement. All five declined.

Of the five, Donnelly, Heitkamp, and Manchin are up for re-election in November. All three voted to confirm Gorsuch last year. Jones, who was elected to the Senate in a December 2017 special election after Gorsuch was confirmed, is not up for re-election until 2020. He told CNN on Sunday that he was “not an automatic, knee-jerk no” on any of the potential nominees.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both of whom have been seen as most likely to vote against a Trump nomination, also declined invitations to attend.

 

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Bill Mears, Chad Pergram, John Roberts, Serafin Gomez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Top Senate Dem Tells Colleagues to Oppose Trump’s Supreme Court Pick, Suggests Sacrificing Senate Seats

Just one day before President Trump is set to announce his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in a primetime address from the White House, a top Democratic senator suggested that stopping the nominee is more important than the upcoming midterm elections.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., acknowledged that so-called red-state Democrats may be tempted to vote for Trump’s selection out of political necessity, but urged his colleagues Sunday to consider more than their political careers.

“Beyond the procedure, beyond the gamesmanship, it is a life-and-death important decision to be made by this court on so many issues,” the Senate minority whip said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The men and women that I work with on the Democratic side really take this seriously,” he added, after host Chuck Todd raised the possibility that Democrats could lose their bid to retake the Senate by opposing the nominee. “They understand it’s an historic decision. It’s about more than the next election. It’s about what future the United States of America is going to chart.”

“They understand it’s an historic decision. It’s about more than the next election.”

– Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called the situation a veritable “nightmare” for Democrats hanging onto their vulnerable seats in states that largely support Trump.

Those Democrats — including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly — must choose between alienating their constituents, or trying to halt a conservative nominee who may ultimately prove unstoppable anyway because of the GOP’s slim Senate majority.

Only 50 votes are needed to confirm a justice, because Senate Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court justices last year — widely seen as a retaliation for Democrats’ decision to get rid of the filibuster to ensure that President Barack Obama’s nominees were seated on the D.C. Circuit.

WATCH: SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM SAYS SCOTUS SITUATION A ‘NIGHTMARE’ FOR RED-STATE DEMOCRATS

Durbin charged that it was “totally inconsistent” for Republicans to press for a vote on Trump’s nominee after stalling the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016. GOP Senate leaders refused to vote on Garland’s selection, saying it was inappropriate to consider a nomination during a presidential election year — a principle Durbin claimed must logically apply to midterm election cycles as well.

But Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Sunday he would still be willing to meet with Trump’s nominee, even as he echoed Durbin’s complaints about Garland’s treatment.

After rampant speculation that has reached a fevered pitch, Trump is believed to have narrowed his shortlist to four candidates: federal judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

Graham called the hyper-partisan Supreme Court nomination process “dysfunctional,” but said Republicans should be happy with those four candidates.

“If you’re a conservative Republican, the four people named — particularly Thomas Hardiman, I’m glad he’s on the list — are all winners, and all Republicans should embrace these picks,” Graham told host Dana Perino.

Hardiman, a newer arrival on Trump’s shortlist, is a 3rd Circuit judge with blue-collar appeal who married into a prominent Democratic family. He was a front-runner for the Supreme Court seat that went to Neil Gorsuch last year, and was reportedly recommended to Trump by his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, who served on the bench with him.

DID SEN. ORRIN HATCH JUST GIVE A BIG CLUE ABOUT TRUMP’S SCOTUS PICK?

Hardiman’s stock was rising as some conservatives have soured on Kavanaugh in recent days, saying he has too much baggage from his work related to the Ken Starr investigation that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Kavanaugh has also taken criticism for writing an opinion on the D.C. Circuit that used an obscure jurisdictional argument to avoid ruling at all on the constitutionality of ObamaCare — a rationale ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court, which opted to take the case and uphold the law on other grounds.

But Leonard Leo, a top Federalist Society executive and key adviser to Trump on Supreme Court picks, on Sunday downplayed those concerns.

“Every potential nominee before announcement, every potential nominee before announcement, gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them,” Leo said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“People aren’t always familiar with their records,” he added. “Sometimes people say things about one nominee because they favor another.”

In fact, Leo said, the lack of a lengthy paper trail can be a detriment on its own, even if it can lead to less complicated confirmation hearings.

“Well, I think that first of all with regard to Ray Kethledge and Tom Hardiman, they’re a little bit less known by conservatives,” he said. “And their records are a little bit lighter.”

Republicans have long expressed regret over President H.W. Bush’s nomination of David Souter to the court, and vowed to more carefully screen future nominees. Predicted to be a conservative justice, Souter instead turned out to be a reliably liberal vote.

The White House has reportedly prepared advance information packages on four potential nominees. Trump’s announcement of his ultimate pick is expected at 9 p.m. ET on Monday.

 

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.

‘Their Party Has No Future’: Former Democrat Urges Liberals to ‘Walk Away’ From Democratic Party

The creator of a social media campaign urging liberals to detach themselves from the Democratic Party said that the future of the party is over.

Brandon Straka started the “#WalkAway Campaign,” which shares video stories of people who decide to dissociate themselves from liberalism.

According to the movement’s Facebook page, it’s meant to “encourage and support those on the left to walk away from the divisive tenets.”

Straka appeared on The Ingraham Angle Tuesday and said that negative rhetoric spoken by the left and intolerance it has shown has been a big reason as to why he’s walked away.

“What do these people stand for? What is there platform? All I can figure out so far is ‘We hate Trump’ and ‘We love illegal immigrants,'” Straka said.

Straka said that his campaign is proving that politicians like the self-proclaimed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) are the reasons why people are leacing the Democratic party.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez gave Ocasio-Cortez high praise on Tuesday, dubbing her “the future of our party.”

“Their party has no future, it’s over,” Straka said in response.

The one reason Straka was initially a Democrat was because he is gay.

“I think that if you’re a minority in America … there’s sort of this assumption that you are not wanted on the right,” he said.

He added that he believes the left takes minorities for granted and makes people feel that President Trump’s administration is looking to “hurt” them.

“If you’re a minority, you have a choice,” he said.

As seen on The Ingraham Angle

BREAKING: Justice Kennedy Retires from High Court, Giving President Trump Another Pick

Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring, giving President Trump a critical opportunity to move the Supreme Court more solidly to the right in what promises to be an epic confirmation fight.

The 81-year-old senior associate justice informed the White House in a letter of his intention to step down from the high court after 30 years, effective July 31. Rumors of another vacancy have reverberated across Washington in recent months, and it comes a year after Kennedy’s former law clerk Justice Neil Gorsuch, took over the seat occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Arguably the most powerful member of the Supreme Court, Kennedy’s moderate-conservative views often left him the “swing” — or deciding — vote in hot-button cases ranging from abortion to gay rights to political campaign spending.

A Supreme Court vacancy will likely become a key issue in a midterm congressional election year, when control of the Senate is at stake.

That body will consider Trump’s latest high court nominee, requiring only a simple majority for confirmation. GOP leaders changed the rules when Gorsuch was being considered, to get rid of the 60-vote procedural filibuster threshold.

But Democrats are expected to try and transform the court opening into a broader political referendum on Trump’s leadership, and the future of social issues like immigration, gun rights, and race.

Republicans, for their part, hope Kennedy’s replacement helps them in the November elections.

 

SCOTUS Rules for Workers, Against Union Bosses

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch tipped the scales on another landmark decision on Wednesday, joining the conservative majority for the 5-4 ruling against so-called “fair share” union fees.

It was the latest example of President Trump’s nominee delivering a win for the administration’s agenda and conservative causes, coming on the heels of the 5-4 ruling upholding Trump’s “travel ban.”

Fox & Trends with Carley Shimkus.

In the union case, Gorsuch’s impact was strikingly evident.

Justices split 4-4 on the issue in a similar case following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. After Gorsuch was confirmed to fill the seat, he played it close to the vest during arguments in February — offering no comments or questions from the bench during nearly 70 minutes of oral arguments.

But in the end, Gorsuch sided with a conservative majority ruling that state government workers cannot be forced to pay “fair share” fees to support collective bargaining and other union activities.

The decision, which dealt a blow to unions, said that a union’s contract negotiations over pay and benefits were inextricably linked with its broader political activities, and concluded workers had a limited constitutional right not to underwrite such “speech.”

The case specifically examined union fees paid by non-members.

“The procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmembers wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

The court now ends its session with Gorsuch’s impact on full display.

Gorsuch also sided with conservative justices this week to uphold Trump’s so-called travel ban — the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy. The 5-4 ruling upheld selective travel restrictions for certain Muslim majority countries. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the order was “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” under federal law.

Liberal justices and advocates lamented the outcome of both the travel ban and union cases.

On the former, Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested the policy remained discriminatory: “Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.”

Writing the dissent for the court’s four liberal members in the union case, Justice Elena Kagan said the majority succeeded in its “crusade” by “turning the First Amendment into a sword.”

But conservatives cheered.

After the travel ban decision, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign arm tweeted a photo of him and Gorsuch — a reminder that it was McConnell who stalled on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, and later helped confirm Trump’s nominee last year.

McConnell and his staff have touted the Gorsuch confirmation as a major GOP win.

Gorsuch had kept observers guessing. In April, he sided against the Trump administration in a case involving government efforts to deport foreigners convicted of serious crimes in the U.S., aligning with the court’s four more liberal justices.

 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews. Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.

SCOTUS: President Wins Travel Ban

 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Trump’s controversial travel ban affecting several mostly Muslim countries, offering a limited endorsement of the president’s executive authority on immigration in one of the hardest-fought battles of this term.

The 5-4 ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy. It upholds the selective travel restrictions, which critics called a discriminatory “Muslim ban” but the administration argued was needed for security reasons.

At issue was whether the third and latest version of the administration’s policies affecting visitors from five majority Muslim nations – known as travel ban 3.0 – discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion, in the government’s issuance of immigrant visas.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who authored the conservative majority opinion, wrote that the order was “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” under federal law.

“The sole prerequisite set forth in [federal law] is that the president find that the entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The president has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here,” he wrote.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was among the court’s four liberals that wrote a dissent.

“This repackaging does little to cleanse [the policy] of the appearance of discrimination that the president’s words have created,” she said. “Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.”

While the policy was upheld, the case was sent back to the lower courts, which were told to rely on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of executive authority.

It was the first significant legal test so far of Trump’s policies and power and could lead to a precedent-setting expansion on the limits of presidential power, especially within the immigration context.

Federal appeals courts in Virginia and California in recent months had ruled against the administration. The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court last December concluded Trump’s proclamation, like the two previous executive orders, overstepped his powers to regulate the entry of aliens.

But the justices had allowed the current restrictions to be enforced at the Justice Department’s request, at least until the case was fully litigated.

The Trump administration also seemed to enjoy a favorable reception before the court during arguments in April.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito, during those April arguments, noted that of the 50 or so mostly Muslim majority countries, only five were on the current banned list, or about 8 percent of the population, he said.

The White House had framed the issue as a temporary move involving national security.

Sixteen state leaders led by Texas were among a number of coalitions backing the Trump administration. But Hawaii officials, who filed the appeal contesting all of the president’s orders, said the president’s policies violate the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom:

“Any reasonable observer who heard the president’s campaign promises, read his thinly justified orders banning overwhelmingly Muslim populations, and observed his administration’s persistent statements linking the two, would view the order and each of its precursors as the fulfillment of the president’s promise to prohibit Muslim immigration to the United States.”

A coalition of groups in opposition called the order blatant religious discrimination, since the countries involved have mostly Muslim populations: Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Chad was recently removed from the list after the administration said that country had beefed up its information-sharing.

FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

The Asylum Crisis Is a Security Challenge, Not a Legal Problem

Our government’s first duty is to secure the border.

This weekend, Washington mourned the iconic Charles Krauthammer’s passing. It seemed a pause in the bedlam on the border, about which he would surely have had something wise to say. As someone who knew Dr. K mainly through his scintillating columns and television commentary, I suspect his thoughts on the refugee tide would be shorn of hubris about what Washington’s laws can accomplish.

The futility of dictating to the tide, rather than shoring up against it, was an occasional Krauthammer theme. He was wont to invoke an apocryphal tale about Canute the Great (see, e.g., here), who ruled a North Sea empire a millennium ago. In this, as in innumerable other ways, Charles was singular among commentators because he got the story right. His throne moved to the coastline, Canute audaciously orders the incoming tide to halt. But this is not a cautionary tale about the delusional arrogance of power. It is about humility: The king was showing his sycophantic courtiers that the law — in this instance, the writ of a purportedly omnipotent monarch — is limited, sometimes impotent, against such phenomena as the forces of nature.

The “rule of law” is not a magic wand. It is possible only in a community that has agreed to live under its provisions. Even within such a community, it must enforced by the power of the state. Law enforcement is manageable as long its resources are commensurate with the reasonably expected degree of law-breaking.

The situation is different when we are dealing with outsiders who seek entry into the community. By nature, that is more of a security challenge than a legal one. If the outsiders are not legally entitled to enter, or if their claim to such entitlement is dubious, the situation can masquerade as a legal problem only as long as it can be addressed by the resources the society has dedicated to enforcement. But what generally happens when a security challenge is handled as if it were a mere law-enforcement issue is that the bureaucracy gets overwhelmed and we find that enacting laws is no solution.

Congress cannot enact a law that prevents Central American migrants from flooding the border. Or, one supposes, it can enact a thousand such laws and look on in Canute-like futility as the incursion continues. Passing laws is not a serious response to a security challenge, and an unserious response always emboldens the challenger. Outsiders can overwhelm a national border by armed force or, if the nation is not willing to defend its border, by sheer numbers. Either way, the challenge can be answered only by the deployment of physical barriers and armed force sufficient to deny the onslaught and discourage others from coming.

Only after the crisis is over, after the security threat is contained, can we establish a legal process backed by resources scaled to handle the number of outsiders realistically expected to petition for entry.

We are a litigious society, so our first impulse in any crisis is to hurl our laws at it. It rarely works. For one thing, our law is always a step behind new crises – which is part of what makes them crises.

In 1993, I was assigned to prosecute a jihadist cell that had bombed the World Trade Center and plotted to carry out similar attacks on other New York City landmarks. Our country had had little experience to that point with international terrorism as a sustained threat. That was fortunate, but it also meant our law was not prepared for it.

Congress eventually overhauled anti-terrorism law in 1996. The new laws (e.g., terrorism conspiracy, material support, offenses involving the construction and use of mass-destruction weapons) specifically targeted jihadist organizations as they operate in modern times. But in the interim, we had to prosecute with the laws we had (using a rarely invoked Civil War–era sedition statute that made it a crime to conspire to levy war against the U.S.). The strategy worked for purposes of our case, and the new laws were a significant legal advance.

Yet the ability to convict the occasional handful of enemy operatives did not change the nature of the threat. It was still a national-security challenge, not a law-enforcement problem. It would not be addressed effectively until a catastrophic event, 9/11, snapped us from our security slumbers. Only then were military and intelligence assets deployed to attack the threat at its source. Only then did we accept the limited support role that domestic law enforcement can play in meeting a foreign threat to national security — or at least most of us did.

In the matter of refugees’ flooding the border, our law is again behind the curve. As a society based on individual liberty, we subscribe to the precept that guilt is personal — we don’t convict a person for being a member of a suspect group. That is fine in the realm of domestic law enforcement. It does not transfer well to security against outsiders.

And sure enough, if you look at federal asylum law, it addresses the individual migrant, not a systemic incursion. It dwells on what a migrant must establish to qualify for relief, and on what conduct the government may rely to deny or withdraw asylum status in any specific case. It does not address what could happen if thousands of migrants simultaneously seek asylum, abetted by the Lawyer Left’s insistence that our asylum law entitles them to due process — even if this means that, as a practical matter, a high percentage of them will be released into the United States, they will never show up for their legal proceedings, and they will settle here illegally while Washington agitates to bring them “out of the shadows” and formally make them Democrats, er, I mean citizens.

We can have humanitarian sympathy for the plight of migrants fleeing dystopian societies while still recognizing that the United States government exists to protect the American people.

It has become a favorite progressive talking point that the number of migrants seeking entry has plummeted in the last 20 years — the 300,000 captured attempting illegal entry last year is a fraction of the over 1.6 million captured trying in 2000. This misses — or, rather, distorts — the point.

The demographics of the migrant population have drastically changed — no longer mainly Mexican men but large numbers of women and children from Central America (especially Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). The latter are more difficult to turn away because of a law enacted in 2008 — called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, though a better title would have been “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” The point, in any event, is that the number of migrants need not approach historic highs to prompt a crisis. It need only overwhelm the resources we have allocated to deal with asylum claims and the attendant complication of detaining family members while the claims are processed. This creates a security problem our law has not anticipated and is not fit to answer.

The current crisis is the fallout of a category error. We have a security problem that has been exacerbated by laws that, depending on your perspective, are either foolish or cynically designed to enable illegal immigration. The fact that bad laws make the security challenge worse does not mean that good laws would solve it. Better laws cannot transform a security challenge into a legal problem.

We can have humanitarian sympathy for the plight of migrants fleeing dystopian societies while still recognizing that the United States government exists to protect the American people. Our government should do as little harm as is practical under the circumstances. Its first duty, however, is to secure the border.

Michael Anton-Why do we Need More People in this Country, Anyway?

As Capitol Hill Republicans attempt for — what, the eighth? ninth? — time in the past two decades to jam through an amnesty that their voters have explicitly, loudly and repeatedly said they do not want, it’s worth asking a question that is rarely raised:

Does the United States — population 320 million and rising — need more people? If so, why?

To most ears, the question sounds blasphemous, which illustrates the rottenness of our immigration debate. Actually, “debate” is far too generous. One side has made sure that there is no debate. Good people want more immigration, and bad people object or raise questions. An inherently political issue has been effectively rendered religious, with the righteous on one side, sinners on the other.

The basic question remains. The pat answer over the past 20 years — “to do the jobs Americans just won’t do” — may seem to have some salience with a 3.9 percent unemployment rate. But that only further raises the question. After at least two decades of wage stagnation and even decline, now that we’ve finally reached the nirvana of full employment (and who knows how long it will last), why not take advantage of this tight labor market to raise wages across the board? Especially for the working and middle classes that got nowhere or even lost ground during the housing, finance and tech booms of recent years?

Just about everyone knows the answer: because the business community does not like tight labor markets and the concomitant necessity to raise wages. That’s bad for the bottom line. The solution? More workers! And so the Chamber of Commerce annex — a.k.a. Capitol Hill Republicans — dutifully attempt to do their donors’ bidding at the expense of their voters’ interests.

Critics of the Trump immigration policy that leads to separating families say it is “un-American.” They’re wrong.

Economists in league with big business got good at torturing data to “show” that immigration benefits the economy. But as demonstrated by Harvard University’s George Borjas, one of the nation’s leading economists on the topic, immigration is a net economic benefit to immigrants and to their employers. To workers already here, not so much.

No matter, because the Democrats are no longer the party of labor. Back when they were — in the prelapsarian Clinton years — they sought tight labor markets precisely for their efficacy in boosting lower-end wages. But today’s Democrats are the party of high class, high tech and high capital.

This glamour coalition is not big enough by itself to win elections. So the left has hoodwinked some (but, as the 2016 election shows, by no means all) low-income voters into thinking that their interests align with those of Wall Street and Silicon Valley oligarchs.

It’s clear what the oligarchs get out of an endless influx of cheap labor. What the Democratic Party gets is also clear: more voters, and with them the tantalizing possibility of turning the country as irreversibly blue as Democratic policies have already done to New York, California and many other states.

Democrats used to be coy about this. The 2002 blockbuster “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” by John B. Judis, presented demographic change as an inevitability, not a deliberate plot to rig elections. But now, for the first time facing real pushback from those whose interests more immigration does not serve, the left is more open in exhorting their side and demonizing the other. Hence this year’s “How Democracies Die,” by Steven Levitsky, states openly that immigration favors Democrats, so the more the better. It also construes any opposition as (of course) racist.

Another argument for more people is to point to falling birthrates among the native-born. In fact, the United States remains near the top of birthrates in the developed world. Regardless, consider that immigration not only lowers wages but also raises housing prices by increasing demand and stresses public schools by adding non-English-speaking students. And as such factors worsen, research suggests that people are putting off marriage — which reduces birthrates.

Related is the claim that more people are necessary to solve our looming entitlement crisis. This quickly falls apart once you think it through. In 1967, future Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson favorably compared Social Security to a Ponzi scheme, arguing that it will be sustainable because younger people will always outnumber retirees. But does anyone really believe the United States — or any country — is capable of sustaining population growth without end? Somehow, the United States needs to find a way to meet its fiscal commitments without stuffing the land beyond the bursting point.

So again: Why do we need more people? For the extra traffic congestion? More crowded classrooms? Longer emergency room and Transportation Security Administration lines? Higher greenhouse-gas emissions?

We know how more immigration benefits big business and the Democratic Party. No one has yet convincingly explained how it benefits the American people as a whole. That’s the foremost consideration that should drive our immigration debate, and that’s what should determine our immigration policy.

June 21 at 3:29 PM

Michael Anton is a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College and a former national security official in the Trump administration.