Ex-Clinton adviser: Trump aiming for 'right-wing takeover' of the courts
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Neera Tanden, president of the progressive Center for American Progress, says President TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE is trying to orchestrate a "right-wing takeover" of the judiciary.

“We ... have a president who attacks the integrity of our judiciary, whether it is questioning the ability of a Mexican-American to serve as a federal judge, or working to achieve a right-wing takeover of the courts,” said Tanden, who was also an adviser to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 is not a family affair, for a change New York Democrat pens op-ed on why he opposes impeaching Trump Rob Zombie on canceling 'The Hunt': 'A bulls–-- sacrificial lamb that solves nothing in society' MORE during her 2008 campaign, on Monday.

Tanden was speaking at a conference hosted by UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic advocacy group in the country, and hours before President Trump was slated to announce his pick at 9 p.m. to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.


Tanden told the conference that controlling the courts was essential to protect the rights of minorities.

“When this power is placed in the wrong hands, our justice system can also take our country backwards, whether it’s upholding the Muslim ban, attacking the basic civil rights around the right to vote or weakening our protections for immigrants,” she said.

Tanden said Trump “wants to pit us against each other,” and referenced his attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel during the campaign.

Trump questioned if Curiel would be fair in a case about the now-defunct Trump University because of the judge's Mexican-American heritage, comments that attracted criticism from both parties.

Trump in recent days has narrowed his shortlist for the high court. A report earlier Monday said Trump was focused on Circuit Court Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Thomas Hardiman.

Trump has called the Supreme Court pick “the most important decision a U.S. president can make,” and advocates say that nominating a conservative justice to replace Kennedy could overturn long-standing decisions such as Roe v. Wade.

Kennedy was the swing vote on many landmark decisions, including those involving abortion and same-sex marriage.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, which is affiliated with Tanden’s group, is among the groups taking part in a rally at the Supreme Court tonight to protest Trump’s pick.