Tony Perkins / January 6, 2022

SPLC: Give Them a Bench, They’ll Take a Mile

They haven’t managed to kill the filibuster or ram through their federal election takeover (yet), but Democrats still have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to sabotage the vote. Their latest idea? Stacking the courts with wildly extreme political activists. While everyone’s distracted with COVID and the pile of other crises this president has created, the White House is hoping to slip a who’s who of radicals onto one of the most powerful courts in the country. And almost no one has noticed.

Nancy Abudu isn’t a household name, but her employer — the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — certainly should be. The disgraced “civil rights” organization, whose fall from grace sent shockwaves through the Leftist establishment a handful of years ago, turned out to be a hive of racist scam artists that exploited its donors, pretending to be America’s “arbiters of justice.” By 2019, when an ugly internal war went public, destroying SPLC’s already fragile façade, it became clear to everyone that the so-called hate watcher was the biggest hater of them all.

Biden’s pick for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was at the “poverty palace” when the mask was ripped off — when men at the highest pinnacles of leadership were exposed as sexist, prejudiced crooks — and yet she stayed. Since then, Abudu has been part of the rebuilding effort — desperately trying to give SPLC some scrap of credibility to hold onto. Democrats must have been foolish enough to buy into their rehabilitation project if the President of the United States is willing to take a senior member from one of America’s most disreputable organizations and give her a vote on our country’s most important cases.

And while the SPLC’s phony overhaul might have duped the media, the reality is, they’re still the same old SPLC — demonizing opponents, inciting violence, and attacking perfectly decent human beings like Ben Carson, a man they once labeled an “extremist.” Abudu has been at the helm of that work where election subversion is concerned, spending her days fighting common-sense laws like voter ID. She even supports ludicrous ideas like pre-clearance, which would require states to get approval from the U.S. Justice Department before they change their election laws. In fact, before her time at the SPLC (when she was at another radical stronghold — the ACLU) she equated proof of citizenship rules to “voter suppression” and compared voting bans for felons to “slavery.” These are safeguards everyone should support — like making sure only legal voters are voting and they’re only voting once. And yet, these are the common-sense rules Abudu has spent her career fighting.

“This is an organization,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) reminded our listeners on “Washington Watch,” “that said you were the head of a terrorist organization, which maybe speaks to the point about why somebody like Nancy Abudu should not be on the 11th Circuit Court.” As Grassley pointed out, the SPLC has a long history of targeting conservatives, and the simple fact that she works for them shows that Abudu has an agenda.

And let’s not forget, the court that she’s been nominated to has jurisdiction over Alabama (home of SPLC), Florida, and Georgia. And, like all appellate courts, they’re the final stop for 98 percent of cases in America. Very few — if any — of her decisions would be taken to the Supreme Court, meaning that she would have a tremendous amount of influence over the most explosive issues of the day — like voting rights. “It’s extremely dangerous,” FRC’s Mary Beth Waddell warned. “If she’s the one to have the final say over [laws like Georgia’s], you could see greater election fraud in certain places if these laws to institute integrity aren’t allowed to stand.”

A number of organizations like FRC have joined together to sound that alarm, sending a letter to the ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Grassley and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) — urging them to oppose Abudu’s nomination. “Ms. Abudu works for a disreputable organization that has no business being a feeder for positions to any judicial office — not even of a traffic court — let alone the second highest court system in the United States. She is a political activist not a jurist and is unfit to serve at the federal appellate level.”

Unfortunately, Grassley said Tuesday, the Senate is running into this with almost every one of Biden’s nominees. That’s why Republicans have voiced so much concern these last several months — voting against more of this president’s judges through one year than Barack Obama’s. “[We] want on the court a person who is going to interpret law the way Congress intended it to be written and the Constitution according to original intent… If you want to change the Constitution, you don’t have judges do it. You amend the Constitution… But when somebody like Nancy Abudu gets on the court… it’s all about their personal views when they make a decision.”

At the end of the day, the fact that she would accept a management role “inside America’s largest political defamation factory” tells us all we need to know about Joe Biden’s nominee. It ought to automatically disqualify her from any role that requires impartiality. If you agree, join FRC Action in stopping her nomination. Send a message to your senators urging them to vote no on Nancy Abudu.

Originally published here.


Students Left out of the Cold in Windy City Classrooms

Chicago parents woke up to a surprise Wednesday morning, and it wasn’t a snow day. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of the 22,000-member Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teachers’ union voted Tuesday night to cancel in-person classes and resume virtual learning out of fear. The school district doesn’t have authority to reinstitute virtual learning, explained CPS CEO Pedro Martinez; only the governor can do so. Therefore, he announced that if teachers refuse to work on Wednesday, he “will have to cancel classes” altogether, but other school facilities would remain open. A student could eat lunch in the cafeteria, but not learn arithmetic in the classroom. So parents had to go to work, but their kids couldn’t go to school, and they apparently received overnight notice to procure emergency childcare.

The union vote sets up an entirely avoidable showdown between teachers and local officials. The teachers’ union rebuffed Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s offer to negotiate, although striking teachers would be placed on no-pay status. They chose instead to demand schools meet a laundry list of new health and safety requirements, on top of those they made when they refused to return to in-person teaching in December 2020. Lightfoot, who imposed her own crazy mandates on Chicagoans during the first wave of COVID, accused teachers of “politicizing the pandemic.” She exclaimed, “there is no basis in the data, the science or common sense for us to shut an entire system down when we can surgically do this at a school level.”

Do you remember, only months ago, when making such evidence-based arguments against shutdowns earned conservatives ridicule and censorship? Yet a year of harm done to children now places the question beyond argument. “It’s better for our students to have them in class,” agreed Illinois’s Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker. Even former Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen urged, “We need all schools to be in-person, now.” The consensus against school closures is international. So overwhelming is the pressure to reopen schools that even the Chicago teachers’ union was forced to pay it lip service. “Educators of this city want to be in buildings with their students,” they intoned.

So why can’t Chicago’s teachers get with the program? If they really want to be with their students, why are they fighting so hard to stay at home? How come everyone else has to go back to work except them? America gave teachers a priority spot in line to get the vaccine because we recognized how critical it is to have kids educated in person. Now, many children are also vaccinated (although the clinical data showing children even need the vaccine is still lacking). It’s almost as if the teachers don’t believe the vaccine works. You would at least expect them to assist parents in following President Biden’s advice Tuesday, “surround your kids with people who are vaccinated” — that would be them. Yet they stubbornly — one might even say selfishly — refuse to give children the in-person instruction they so desperately need.

Teachers and their unions think they are leveraging their clout in the demands they are making, but in reality, they are communicating that they are non-essential, to which I would agree. Hopefully, this will once again motivate parents to consider better and more reliable options for their children than the indoctrination of government schools.

Originally published here.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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