Politics Schumer urges Biden to tap voting rights experts for N.Y. judgeships amid escalating election fight

00:20  08 june  2021
00:20  08 june  2021 Source:   nydailynews.com

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Some, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer , are actively working to suppress an investigation into the laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden . "We write regarding press reports concerning materials allegedly describing activities by Hunter Biden , and found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop," the New York Democrat "We are deeply concerned," the Thursday letter continues, "about the possibility that in response to these reports the Trump Administration will take actions before Election Day that would seek to damage the Democratic presidential candidate and undermine the rule of law."

Schumer ’s requests for the Senate to consider the amendments come amid bipartisan acknowledgement of Russian interference in the 2016 election , described in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The National Defense Authorization Act, an annual Pentagon policy bill that the Senate is expected to begin considering this week, “has always been about protecting national security and if protecting our elections from foreign interference isn’t a national security issue, then what the heck is?” Schumer (D- N . Y .) said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged President Biden on Monday to tap a couple of prominent voting rights attorneys for federal judgeships in New York, signaling Democrats are hoping to bring the national battle over election access into the judicial arena amid partisan gridlock in Congress.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he first wants Biden to nominate Myrna Perez, the director of New York University Law School’s voting rights and elections program, for an open seat on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan.

Dale Ho, the director of a similar program at the American Civil Liberties Union, should get the Biden nod for another opening on the federal court for the Southern District of New York, also based in Manhattan, Schumer said.

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Votes that were cast legally on or before Election Day are still being counted in Michigan and in other battleground states, as is routine for presidential elections and unsurprising in a pandemic. Experts have warned for months that results could be slowed by the high use of mail-in ballots. A number of tweets claimed that Biden received a suspicious, potentially fraudulent influx of 138,339 votes in Michigan overnight while other candidates received none. The update that appeared to show large numbers of ballots delivered to Biden all at once was the result of a data error, the spokesperson for

“Ms. Perez and Mr. Ho are two of the foremost voting rights experts in the country. With the national focus on voting rights right now, their elevation is timely. Their perspective will be invaluable,” Schumer said.

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden (left) and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (right) © Patrick Semansky President Joe Biden (left) and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (right)

President Joe Biden (left) and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (right) (Patrick Semansky/)

The recommendations come as Senate Republicans appear likely to later this month block passage of the “For the People Act,” a Democratic bill that would drastically expand voting rights on a federal level at a time when GOP legislators are enacting laws to make it harder to vote in several key battleground states.

In picking Ho and Perez, Democrats are hoping to provide a judicial counterweight to such voting restrictions, which are mainly being implemented by lawmakers inspired by former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

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Amid Biden 's review, there's also growing pressure on the administration to not withdraw U.S. forces without first securing the release of American Mark Frerichs, who went missing one year ago in Afghanistan and is believed to be held hostage by a Taliban-affiliated group. "We urge you to examine this case and ensure that the release of Mark Frerichs and other American hostages be prioritized in future negotiations with the Taliban and that any further troop reductions be conditioned upon their safe return," the Democratic senators added.

They urge Biden to delay new work on the Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system by capping production of the Aegis SM-3 Block IIA interceptors and BMD-capable vessels, “as a first step to restoring strategic stability and stopping a nuclear arms race.” “You were right then, and you have the power to walk us back from the brink now,” the letter reads. Despite these expectations by the signatories, Biden ’s budget proposal moves in the exact opposite way, increasing funding. Any such decision would be opposed by many Republicans and Democrats, that is beyond a doubt.

Perez would also be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the federal appeals court in Manhattan since Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor left the panel in 2009.

a person posing for the camera: Myrna Perez © Provided by New York Daily News Myrna Perez

Myrna Perez

As Senate majority leader and New York’s top congressional Democrat, Schumer’s recommendations carry significant weight. The Democrat-controlled Senate, meantime, is likely to confirm any judicial nominations passed on by Biden, putting Ho and Perez on a glide path to their new jobs.

Last month, Schumer also recommended Biden nominate Eunice Lee, a public defender in New York, for another opening on the federal appeals court in Manhattan.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Dale Ho, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. © Provided by New York Daily News Dale Ho, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Dale Ho, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. (J. Scott Applewhite/)

In his floor remarks Monday, Schumer said Lee, as well as Ho and Perez, would provide sorely-needed diversity to the federal judiciary.

“Diversity on the federal bench is very important to me, both demographic diversity and diversity of experience,” he said. “The courts have long been packed with former prosecutors and corporate lawyers. It’s about time that civil rights attorneys, voting rights attorneys, and federal defenders start getting the nod.”

Progressive judicial advocates hailed Schumer’s latest recommendations.

“There could not be a more fitting moment to elevate two of the nation’s top voting rights lawyers to the federal bench,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice. “With his recommendations to the Biden administration so far, Chuck Schumer is showing a truly impressive commitment to diversifying the ranks of federal judges.”

‘Poor Chuck’: Schumer confronts midyear mess .
Defections are looming. The clock is ticking. But the majority leader is projecting confidence: "Unity brings us strength and success."It’s enough to invoke a bit of pity for the voluble New Yorker who holds the reins of a 50-50 Senate. There's a growing feeling on the Hill that Democrats are already running out of time to deliver on years of promises.

usr: 1
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