Trump’s unofficial judicial adviser runs ‘dark money’ operation using nonprofit system to influence judicial appointments

By | May 21, 2019

The Washington Post reports:

Leonard Leo stepped onto the stage in a darkened Florida ballroom, looked out at a gathering of some of the nation’s most powerful conservative activists and told them they were on the cusp of fulfilling a long-sought dream.

For two decades, Leo has been on a mission to turn back the clock to a time before the U.S. Supreme Court routinely expanded the government’s authority and endorsed new rights such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Now, as President Trump’s unofficial judicial adviser, he told the audience at the closed-door event in February that they had to mobilize in “very unprecedented ways” to help finish the job.

“We’re going to have to understand that judicial confirmations these days are more like political campaigns,” Leo told the members of the Council for National Policy, according to a recording of the speech obtained by The Washington Post. “We’re going to have to be smart as a movement.”

“No one in this room has probably experienced the kind of transformation that I think we are beginning to see,” Leo said.

At a time when Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are rapidly reshaping federal courts by installing conservative judges and Supreme Court justices, few people outside government have more influence over judicial appointments now than Leo. [Continue reading…]

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