Franken: Time for the Left to Start ‘Fighting Back’ for the Judicial System

Al Franken (C) ) leaves the U.S. Capitol with his wife after announcing his intention to resign from Congress / Getty Images
• September 7, 2018 12:41 pm


Disgraced former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D.) on Friday wrote an op-ed in USA Today calling for the left to fight back against conservatives who have "destroyed" judicial independence in America.

"It’s time for all of us on the left to recognize that Republicans have already destroyed the independence of our judicial system and turned it into yet another partisan battlefield — and then figure out how we’re going to start fighting back." Franken wrote.

The op-ed, titled "Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings showcase Republican partisanship, hypocrisy," claims Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lied when he said President Donald Trump consulted widely to select him for the nomination. Franken said that alone should disqualify Kavanaugh from the bench.

"If judgment matters, and if we want judges who make their judgments based on a full and fair understanding of the facts, a big, fat, easily debunked lie like Kavanaugh’s should have been instantly disqualifying," Franken wrote.

He went on to claim that the judicial system is a "partisan battlefield" under the GOP despite the fact that he called a ruling by current Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch "absurd" during his confirmation hearing. Franken participated at the time as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Franken is no longer a member of that committee or of the Senate. He resigned in January after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and groping.

Leeann Tweeden first came forward to allege Franken, then working as a comedian, forcibly kissed and groped her when they were performing for a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006. There was a picture taken of Franken where he appears to grope Tweeden's breasts while she was asleep. The senator apologized to Tweeden for his actions.

After the allegations came out, more than 20 of Franken's Democratic colleagues called on him to resign. The first to call for his resignation was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), who was joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).

Franken's op-ed did not provide any concrete recommendations for how liberals should fight back for the judicial system.