Latest News 12-05-2024 12:04 12 Views

Schumer may let controversial Biden nominee with ‘problematic’ ties quietly expire: expert

A controversial judicial nominee proposed by President Biden will expire at the end of the 118th Congress in just months, and some experts are speculating that this is just what the president and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are planning for. 

'This nominee has lost all hope from the Biden White House of getting a floor vote, given we are months away from the election,' explained Ron Bonjean, a former spokesman for former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former chief of staff of the Senate Republican Conference. 

'They are more than likely going to let him twist in the wind hoping he withdraws on his own,' he continued. Bonjean ran communications for the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch while working in the upper chamber and has experience with the process. 

Neither the White House nor Schumer's office provided comment to Fox News Digital regarding their plans for Mangi's nomination and whether it would ever see the chamber floor for a vote, where it would likely fail.  

'Having a vote and losing it, due to members of your own party, would only serve to advertise the problems the president is having related to the Israel-Hamas war,' said Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University. 

Ross Baker, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, suggested, 'If there is any way in which a member of Congress can avoid taking a controversial vote, that would be the course that they will take on this nomination.'

One of the significant critiques of Mangi's nomination has been his association with the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), where he served on the board of advisers from 2019 to 2023. CSRR has been accused of antisemitism, particularly in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel and subsequent war.

Critics have pointed to an event held on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that hosted controversial speakers such as Hatem Bazian, who in 2004 called for an 'intifada,' according to video from an anti-war protest in San Francisco. 

Another speaker was Sami Al-Arian, who, In 2006, pleaded guilty to 'conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,' according to the Justice Department. 

Noura Erakat, a human rights attorney, Palestinian-American activist and associate professor at Rutgers, has also been a speaker for CSRR. It was uncovered that she had separately been advertised as a panelist for an event alongside Hamas commander Ghazi Hamad. 

CSRR did not provide comment to Fox News Digital.

'That's not a message you want six months out from an election,' Reeher added. 

The political science professor concluded that the odds of Mangi's confirmation are low, noting, 'Three Democrats have publicly said they would vote no, and it's unlikely that he will get any Republican votes.'

Both Democratic Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen came out against Biden's nominee, citing concerns from law enforcement constituents and Mangi's connection to a controversial and allegedly anti-law enforcement group. 

Mangi is a current advisory board member of the Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ). The group's founding board member was Kathy Boudin, who notably pleaded guilty to the felony murder of two police officers in 1981 after they died following an armored truck robbery. 

The robbery was carried out by the Weather Underground Organization, an FBI-designated domestic terrorist group, of which Boudin was a part.  

'If religion, by itself, should not be an obstacle to confirmation, association with a controversial organization would probably be fatal,' Baker explained.

'Judges, especially, should be seen as free of problematic associations,' he added. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has emerged as the fiercest proponent for Mangi, even as his confirmation likelihood looks dim. 

A spokesperson for the committee told Fox News Digital, 'Sen. Durbin will continue to point out the false, baseless nature of Senate Republicans’ accusations against Mr. Mangi, a historic nominee who is well-qualified for the federal bench. These guilt-by-association smears are blatantly hypocritical coming from Senate Republicans and their dark money allies, who worked to confirm objectively unqualified nominees to the federal bench during the Trump Administration.' 

Durbin did not provide comment on whether he thinks Biden and Schumer are waiting for the nomination to expire and whether he would be frustrated by this. 

His office also did not say if he would like to see it come to the floor for a vote. 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a member of the committee, claimed, 'Adeel Mangi’s credible ties to antisemites and terrorist sympathizers make him wholly unqualified to serve as an appellate judge.'

'By refusing to pull his nomination, President Biden is choosing to play electoral politics with our country’s judiciary,' he said. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addressed the still-active nomination of Mangi in floor remarks on Thursday, criticizing Democrats for mounting 'an all-out campaign to gin up left-wing support for Mr. Mangi.' 

He claimed they 'can’t rebut these disqualifying associations because they’re facts.'

'For the past few months, Democrats have paraded Mr. Mangi in front of liberal interest groups in order to secure their endorsements,' McConnell explained, referring to a number of endorsements the Biden administration has rolled out to shore up support for the nominee, who would be the first Muslim circuit appellate court judge. 

The minority leaders suggested the meetings with these groups call into question Mangi's ethics. 

Mangi did not return a request for comment to Fox News Digital. 

While Biden doesn't appear to be publicly pushing Mangi's nomination in the wake of Democratic defectors, 'There is always a chance that there could be another push to confirm him during the lame duck session before the next Congress,' said Bonjean.   


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