US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Another Day, Another Liberal Power-Grab Attempt

Another Day, Another Liberal Power-Grab Attempt
By Sen. John Thune

In what is fast becoming a theme of his presidency, President Biden caved to the demands of the far left and officially established his court-packing commission. Yes, court-packing. An idea that had been consigned to the ash heap of history almost a century ago has been given new life by the far left, who are upset that a duly elected Republican president was able to get his justices confirmed to the Supreme Court.

The terrible crisis we’re facing is that a Republican president was able to fill three vacancies on the Supreme Court. I confess I had missed the part in the Constitution that said the Supreme Court is only legitimate if a majority of its members were nominated by a Democrat president – or at least reliably deliver liberals’ preferred outcomes. But Liberals didn’t. Now they’re eager to “restore balance” to the Supreme Court by expanding the number of Supreme Court justices and ensuring that a Democrat president fills the new spots.

President Biden – the same man who once called President Roosevelt’s failed court-packing proposal a “bonehead idea” and a “terrible, terrible mistake to make” – is apparently falling in with the far left’s demands. His commission – composed largely of left-leaning scholars, Democrat operatives, and a few conservatives as bipartisan window-dressing – will consider court-packing and other structural “reforms,” like term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Republicans – and a lot of independent and Democrat voters as well – will see this for exactly what it is: an attempt by Democrats to undermine an essential institution to ensure that Democrats get the Supreme Court rulings they want. Democrats can dress up their openness to court-packing proposals in lofty language and faux expressions of concern for the institution, but no one is fooled. This is about power, pure and simple. Democrats want power. They want to be able to impose the policies they want, when they want them. Justice Breyer, a reliable liberal vote on the Supreme Court, recognizes the extraordinary damage court-packing would do to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, recently stating that “[i]t is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution. And it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior-league politicians.  Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

Let’s suppose Democrats actually succeed in expanding the Supreme Court and adding more Democrat nominees. What do they think is going to happen next time there’s a Republican president and a Republican Congress? I can tell you. Republicans would make their own move to “restore balance” and add some more Republican Supreme Court nominees. Then I imagine when Democrats retook power they’d do the same thing. In a decade or so, the Supreme Court could be expanded to laughable proportions.

This may seem like all talk and no action from a few radical fringe Democrats, but recently, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and senior Senate Democrats stood on the steps of the Supreme Court to announce they had introduced legislation to expand the court from nine to 13. History will not look kindly on those who seek to intimidate the Supreme Court by threatening to pack it with partisans, in much the same way history does not look kindly on President Roosevelt’s effort to do the same thing back in 1937.

I understand Democrats’ passion for their political beliefs, as I’m also pretty passionate about advancing my political principles, but I believe we should be advancing our principles the democratic way, by persuading people to vote for us – not by undermining our democratic institutions to give our party an advantage.

I am deeply disappointed that President Biden found himself unable to stand up to pressure from the radical left. I hope that at least some Democrats will find the courage to oppose these dangerous attempts to undermine our system of government. The Biden court-packing commission is a solution in search of a problem – and an attempt at a raw power grab by Democrats. I will work to ensure it fades into the obscurity it deserves.

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Anti-Thune Candidate Mowry declares to Anti-Thune group that “We are not a fringe group” And then they demonstrate it.

Mary Mowry, one of the anti-Thune candidates who has sprung forth from the closed “Primary John Thune in 2022” facebook group to run in the 2022 Republican Primary declared in a facebook forum this morning to the group that from what he could see “we are not a fringe group.”

Which was all well and good.. until people in the group watching his presentation started claiming that mass shootings were staged, with the candidate agreeing that they “sure could be.”

So much for anyone dispelling the notion that they’re not a fringe group.

Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: Keep the Nine

Keep the Nine
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
April 16, 2020

At the start of the 117th Congress when control of the Senate and White House changed, I had concerns regarding legislation coming down the pipeline. I saw politically-motivated changes to the Supreme Court coming from a mile away – that’s why the first bill I introduced this year was to safeguard the Supreme Court by capping the number of justices at nine. We’ve had nine justices since 1869 – nine justices are the right number for deliberation – and in recent years both Justice Breyer and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have agreed.

Unfortunately, my intuition was correct and yesterday, prominent House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation to expand the Supreme Court to thirteen justices. I’m strongly opposed to this proposal – the size of the court shouldn’t bounce up and down based on who has won the most recent election. We’ve weaponized almost everything in our modern political system, but our courts have managed to stay somewhat above this fray. We shouldn’t endanger that tradition with court packing.

Speaker Pelosi said she would not bring the bill to pack the court to the House floor for a vote – that’s the right call. However, just this week, President Biden announced a commission to examine what impact expanding the court may have on our country. I’m hopeful this commission will follow the advice of Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, people who spent their lives adjudicating our laws, and recommend maintaining a nine-seat Supreme Court.

I won’t take that chance though which is why I’ve been building a coalition to protect the court in the House of Representatives. My bill to “Keep the Nine” has more than 140+ cosponsors has gained serious traction amongst like-minded conservatives.

Our Supreme Court can’t become a political football every time power shifts in Washington. We can’t risk compromising public trust of the highest court in the land, that’s why I support keeping the nine.

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SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman named Regional Co-Chair of Republican National Committee for Midwest region

RNC

RNC Regional Co-Chair Announcement

WASHINGTON —Today, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced four new RNC Regional Co-Chairs who will play key roles in supporting Chairwoman McDaniel as she continues her successful leadership of the party. Their duties will also include providing local support to RNC initiatives and advising RNC Chair of Chairs Jessica Patterson.

“I am proud to announce Caleb Heimlich, Dan Lederman, Demi Kouzounas, and Michael Whatley as our new Regional Co-Chairs,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “They are excellent, highly qualified additions to our team, and each of them boasts a wealth of experience as effective leaders at the grassroots and regional level. These Co-Chairs represent red and blue states alike, and possess unique knowledge about their respective regions that will be invaluable as we head into the 2022 midterms and beyond.”

Regional Co-Chairs:

Caleb Heimlich, Western Region
One of the youngest State Republican Party Chairmen in the country, Caleb has successfully helped many Republican candidates win elections in Washington State. Caleb graduated from Hillsdale College Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Economy. Upon graduation, he worked for Americans for Prosperity in Washington DC and then for AFP in Washington State organizing grass roots activists. That led to being hired as the Political Director of the WSRP in 2011, promoted to Executive Director in 2013 with the additional title of Chief of Staff in 2016. In January of 2018 he was elected Chairman of the State Republican Party with over 70% of the vote.

Dan LedermanDan Lederman, Midwest Region
Dan Lederman serves as the Chair of the South Dakota Republican Party. Prior to his service for the State Party, Dan served in the State Senate as Assistant Majority Leader and in the House of Representatives. Dan currently holds the Chair position for his home county, Union County and has been the county chair since 2005. Before his entry into politics, Dan served in the Army National Guard as a Combat Medic.

Demi Kouzounas, Northeast Region
Demi Kouzounas serves as chair of the Maine Republican Party. She is a graduate from University of Maine at Orono and graduated in 1981 from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She and her husband (Joseph G. Penna, DMD) then joined the U. S. Army, serving in the 86th Medical Detachment in Giessen, Germany from 1981-1984. They have practiced dentistry together for over 30 years and own two dental practices.

Michael Whatley, Southern Region
Michael Whatley currently serves as the Chairman for the North Carolina Republican Party. In addition, he is a partner at HBW Resources. Whatley previously served as Chief of Staff for Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Republican Conference Secretary Paul Coverdell (R-GA).

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Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: A Safer South Dakota

A Safer South Dakota
By: Governor Kristi Noem 
April 16, 2021

One of my main responsibilities as Governor is to keep South Dakota safe. It’s something that I take very seriously. After all, I love this state. I love the people who live here. In a small state like ours, we’re all really neighbors. We get to know one another. And we work together to take care of each other.

Part of that responsibility means calling out when other people are making our state less safe. If you look at our nation’s southern border right now, that’s exactly what’s happening. President Biden has undone years of progress securing our border, and it’s led to a massive surge of illegal immigration into our country.

We can’t possibly know who all these people are. In fact, media outlets have reported that Border Patrol has apprehended several individuals on the terrorism watch list coming into our country. The number of illegal drugs like fentanyl crossing the southern border are up by 233% compared to previous years. Border Patrol needs more help, and they aren’t able to catch everything, so we have no idea what else may be getting through.

When President Biden started asking states to take some of these illegal immigrants and house them, I told him “No way” before he asked South Dakota. Those illegal immigrants can call us when they’re an American. I wanted to make sure he got that message loud and clear. We don’t know who these individuals are, so taking them would make South Dakota less safe.

Over the past four years, President Trump took decisive action to make America safer. He worked to secure the border. He built hundreds of miles of border wall. And he improved the vetting of people coming into our country, especially in the refugee resettlement program.

In fact, I took some criticism two years ago for taking in refugees to our state. But I did so because I was confident that President Trump and his administration had vetted these people.  They’d weeded out the bad actors. We had a good idea who these folks were, and having them here would not make our state less safe.

Another part of keeping our state safe is attracting high quality law enforcement officers to protect and serve our communities. Over the past year, law enforcement has been attacked and demeaned in other communities across the country. We responded to these attacks by recruiting more law enforcement officers to move to South Dakota, and we’ve had tremendous success in those efforts.

In the wake of the recent riots in Minneapolis and other places, I am going to be relaunching that campaign to recruit law enforcement officers to move to our state. In South Dakota, we respect them. We won’t defund them. Instead, we’ll work with them to make South Dakota safer.

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Thune, Hassan Introduce Bills to Bolster the United States’ Leadership in Quantum Information Science

Thune, Hassan Introduce Bills to Bolster the United States’ Leadership in Quantum Information Science

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) recently introduced two bills that aim to better position the United States to be globally competitive in quantum information science (QIS). The Quantum Network Infrastructure and Workforce Development Act – led by Senator Thune – would strengthen national security by advancing U.S. capabilities in quantum networking and establishing a more comprehensive approach to workforce development. The Quantum for Universal Advancement in Nationwide Technology Use and Modernization (QUANTUM) for National Security Act of 2021 – led by Senator Hassan – wouldbolster the efforts of the Department of Defense (DoD) to engage in QIS by utilizing existing partnerships, scholarships, and research programs within the DoD.

“I’m proud to join Senator Hassan to introduce these two important pieces of legislation, both of which will better enable the United States to maintain its global leadership in quantum information science,” said Thune. “Since the bipartisan passage of the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) in 2018, the United States has continued to make great strides in both fundamental and applied QIS research. These bills build upon the success of the NQIA by supporting existing efforts and accelerating critical growth in the field.”

“Quantum mechanics play a critical role in our national security and economy—and will be at the forefront of innovative defense technologies that will help to maintain our military edge over China,” said Hassan. “I am glad to join Senator Thune in introducing these bipartisan bills that will strengthen Department of Defense and Department of Energy efforts in quantum research and help encourage more young people to get into this critical field so that we can create jobs and keep America safe, secure, and free.”

Specifically, the Quantum Network Infrastructure and Workforce Development Act would:

  • Focus federal research efforts and bolster interagency coordination on the advancement of quantum networking and communications technology
  • Integrate the principles of quantum mechanics and QIS into K-12 and higher education curricula
  • Establish a more comprehensive approach to QIS workforce development while prioritizing rural, tribal, and other traditionally underrepresented schools

Specifically, the QUANTUM for National Security Act of 2021 would:                                                                                      

  • Improve workforce development in quantum-related fields
  • Increase the pipeline of students graduating with quantum-related degrees
  • Recognize the importance of prioritizing funding for quantum research in light of the economic and national security threats posed by China’s own quantum technology research investments
  • Build on the National Quantum Initiative program by incorporating Defense Department research efforts within the broader program, which works to strengthen quantum science activities across government, academia, and the business community

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Congressman Dusty Johnson’s 2021 1st Quarter FEC Report: $149k raised, $55k spent, $1.14 Million cash on hand

Congressman Dusty Johnson has posted good numbers in his latest FEC Report as he builds his war-chest for the 2022 election cycle:

Dusty Johnson 1q FEC Report by Pat Powers on Scribd

The Republican Congressman started with $1,050,140.72 cash on hand, and added $148,601.37 in donations against $55,183.81 in spending, giving Dusty $1,143,558.28 total moving forward for the 2022 election.

Johnson’s “Keep the Nine” Constitutional Amendment Gains 100 House Cosponsors

Johnson’s “Keep the Nine” Constitutional Amendment Gains 100 House Cosponsors

Washington, D.C. – Today, as House and Senate Democrats unveiled legislation to expand the Supreme Court to thirteen justices, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) announced that his constitutional amendment to cap the Supreme Court at nine justices reached 100 cosponsors in the House.

“The idea to pack the court is no longer conceptual, it’s a legitimate threat to politicize our nation’s most sacred judicial institution,” said Johnson. “I’m proud that my constitutional amendment to safeguard the Supreme Court from partisan politics reached 100 cosponsors today. We can’t risk compromising the public trust of the highest court in the land.”

Click here to watch Johnson’s full video clip.

H.J. Res. 11 is supported by Freedom Works, Keep the Nine Coalition, the Republican National Committee, Americans for Limited Government (ALEC), National Federation of Republican Women, Americans for Limited Government and cosponsored by Randy K. Weber (TX-14), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Dan Meuser (PA-09), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Mike Kelly (PA-16), August Pfluger (TX-11), Fred Keller (PA-12), David Joyce (OH-14), Brian Babin (TX-36), John Katko (NY-24), Jerry Carl (AL-01), Randy Feenstra (IA-4), Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08) , John Rutherford (FL-4), John Curtis (R-UT), Jim Baird (IN-04), Ben Cline (VA-06), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), William Timmons (SC-04), Don Bacon (NE-02), Thomas P. Tiffany (WI-07), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Lisa McClain (MI-10), Tom Rice (SC-07) , Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Joe Wilson (SC-2), David B. McKinley (WV-01), David Rouzer (NC-7), Ralph Norman (SC-5), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Pete Stauber (MN-8), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Miller-Meeks (IA-02) , Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Pat Fallon (TX-4), Dan Bishop (NC-9), Yvette Herrell (NM-02) , Richard Hudson (NC-08), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Robert B. Aderholt (AL-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Young Kim (CA-39), Jim Banks (IN-3), Barry Moore (AL-02), Lance Gooden (TX-5), Tom Cole (OK-04), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Nancy Mace (SC-1), Adrian Smith (NE-03), Alex X. Mooney (WV-2), Stephanie Bice (OK-05), Burgess Owens (UT-04), Clay Higgins (LA-03), Van Taylor (TX-03), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ted Budd (NC-13), Carol Miller (WV-03), Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Greg Murphy (NC-3), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), Buddy Carter (GA-01), Michael Guest (MS-03), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Ken Buck (CO-04), Jody Hice (GA-10), Ann Wager (MO-02), David Valadao (CA-21). Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Garret Graves (LA-06), Scott Perry (PA-10), Tom McClintock (CA-4), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Diana Harshbarger (TN-1), Michael Waltz (FL-06), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Victoria Spartz (IN-5), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Mark Amodei (NV-2), John Joyce (PA-13), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Bob Good (VA-05), Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Fred Upton (MI-6), Austin Scott (GA-08), Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Tim Burchett (TN-02), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), and Mary Miller (IL-15).

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