Trump Tapped a Stephen Miller Acolyte to Be a Federal Judge. Immigrant Rights Groups Aren’t Having It.

Steven Menashi has worked alongside Miller on the administration’s cruelest policies.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty

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A coalition of 28 immigrant rights groups sent a blistering letter Tuesday to members of the Senate judiciary committee to criticize federal judge nominee Steven Menashi’s “disturbing and long track record” of shaping and implementing harsh anti-immigrant policies during his time in the White House. Specifically, the group pointed to Menashi’s work with Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s immigration hawk senior adviser, on policies like “Remain in Mexico,” the recent public charge rule, and more while serving as associate White House counsel.

“Mr. Menashi has worked to erode critical rights and legal protections while serving in the White House Counsel’s office advising on the administration’s inhumane and cruel anti-immigrant measures,” they wrote.

On Thursday, the judiciary committee is expected to vote on Menashi’s controversial nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which oversees six districts in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. During a hearing before the committee earlier this month, Menashi refused to specify exactly what role he played in shaping those policies, stating only that he “provided legal advice” on many of the administration’s plans.

Menashi also refused to answer questions during his hearing about his time in the White House, angering Democrats and Republicans alike. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) appeared particularly frustrated during his questioning of Menashi; when Menashi asked if Kennedy had any follow-ups after repeatedly dodging the senator’s questions, Kennedy replied, “I’m out of time. You took up a lot of it by not answering my questions.” 

Meanwhile, Menashi has also ignored questions from Democrats like California Sen. Dianne Feinstein about his knowledge of Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They gave him until October 7 to respond, but he never did.

“Steven Menashi has left questions unanswered about his work at the White House, including his involvement in the White House’s response to the whistleblower complaint,” Feinstein told HuffPost at the time. “Mr. Menashi is seeking a lifetime appointment to the court, so his record must be thoroughly examined. The committee shouldn’t vote on his nomination without all of the facts. He must stop evading our questions.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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