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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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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