ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted to advance a Notice of…
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CFIF Applauds FCC Vote to Advance NPRM to Restore Internet Freedom

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted to advance a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal championed by Chairman Ajit Pai and Commisser Mike O'Reilly that would return federal internet regulatory policy to the light-touch approach that prevailed from the 1990s onward, until the Obama Administration FCC moved to reclassify the internet as a "public utility" in 2015.

In response, Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee issued the following statement:

"Beginning in the 1990s, the internet flourished and transformed our world like no innovation in history for a simple reason:  Administrations of both political parties over two decades, beginning…[more]

May 18, 2017 • 12:36 pm

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Making Courts Great Again: Trump Nominates 10 More Conservative Judges Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 11 2017
This week's nominees received immediate and widespread praise from conservatives, and for good reason.

Conservatives can breathe another sigh of relief. 

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, liberal scolds and Donald Trump skeptics assured the American electorate that he couldn't possibly reach the White House, and even if he somehow did, he would cruelly cast aside promises to govern as a conservative and nominate conservative judges in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. 

"Trump is just playing you," they said. 

But then the seemingly impossible Trump victory came to pass, followed soon thereafter by the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, perhaps the most intellectually and jurisprudentially ideal candidate conceivable. 

And now, Trump has demonstrated that Gorsuch wasn't simply an isolated bone to placate voters who placed their trust in him. 

This week, answering concerns that he wasn't acting swiftly enough to fill appellate and district court vacancies, Trump revealed ten nominees - five at the appellate level and five at the district court level - with impeccable conservative credentials.  Two of those nominees were selected from Trump's existing list of twenty-one potential Supreme Court nominees released during last year's campaign, which received universal praise from conservative and libertarian judicial experts. 

Although Supreme Court appointments are obviously important for their role as final arbiter of judicial disputes, appellate and district court appointments can be just as critical for a different reason.  Namely, most cases obviously never reach the Supreme Court, but are instead settled at the lower levels.  Whereas the Supreme Court decides dozens of cases each year, the lower courts decide thousands. 

Also consider that Obama during his tenure appointed 329 judges, which accounts for over one-third of the judicial branch.  When he entered the White House in 2009, only one of the circuit courts was staffed by a majority appointed by Democratic presidents, but today nine of those thirteen are. 

This week's nominees received immediate and widespread praise from conservatives, and for good reason.  Every one of them should impress anyone who voted for Trump on the basis of power to appoint judges. 

For instance, Justice Joan Larsen, whom Trump nominated to sit on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, currently serves on the Michigan Supreme Court, and is a former law clerk to Justice Scalia.  Similarly, current Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett clerked for Justice Scalia, and current Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, whom Trump nominated for the Eighth Circuit, was once a clerk for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.  As just one additional example, nominee John Bush for the Sixth Circuit currently serves as president of the Louisville, Kentucky, chapter of the Federalist Society. 

To be sure, even the most impressive conservative credentials cannot guarantee fidelity to strict constructionist principles once a lifetime judicial appointment is confirmed.  But providing further assurance that conservatives and libertarians can take relief in Trump's new slate of nominees was the immediate reaction from the political left. 

Consider Jay Michaelson of The Daily Beast, and his jeremiad entitled "Trump Fills 10 More Judicial Seats Mitch McConnell Stole from Obama": 

There are over 120 vacancies in the federal judiciary, and Obama had nominated people to fill 81 of them.  But by the end of his two terms, 59 of those nominees were still in limbo, because Mitch McConnell's Senate confirmed only 22.  This week, ten new nominees were announced to take their seats - as promised, mostly conservative firebrands picked by the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society - with many more sure to come.  The Republicans' strategy of unprecedented obstructionism has, once again, paid off in spades.  If you think Judge Merrick Garland's Supreme Court seat was stolen, well, here's 59 more of them... 

The result will be a decades-long transformation of the federal judiciary. 

Marge Baker of the hyper-left and mis-named People for the American Way resorted to complaining that Trump's nominees were too white, and "will use their positions to shift the law dramatically in favor of corporations and the wealthy at the expense of ordinary people."  Ms. Baker, of course, has it backward.  Arrogant and activist judges from the left, not conservatives, are the ones who habitually cast aside common sense and the interests of ordinary Americans in favor of their pet causes that cannot get enacted via the democratic process. 

And the best part of all?  Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D - Nevada) scheme to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations below the Supreme Court level means that liberals now cannot block these Trump nominees, or similarly conservative nominees in the future. 

For that we continue to thank you, Harry Reid. 

And we'll thank you again when Trump announces nominations to fill the remaining and future appellate and district court vacancies. 

Question of the Week   
Who was the first U.S. President to travel abroad while serving in office?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"While it's impossible to predict any given terror attack, there are two laws of terrorism that work together to guarantee that attacks will occur, and they'll occur with increasing frequency. First, when terrorists are granted safe havens to plan, train, equip, and inspire terror attacks, then they will strike, and they'll keep striking not just until the safe havens are destroyed but also until…[more]
 
 
—David French, National Review
— David French, National Review
 
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