NBC News was criticized on Thursday over a headline that claimed that GOP lawmakers were “court-packing” and not simply filling vacancies as they have been during the Trump presidency.
In an article published on Wednesday evening, Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a report condemning the conservative influence over the judicial confirmations, including conservative lawyer and activist Leonard Leo, who oversaw President Trump’s Supreme Court appointees Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“Our report exposes a twisted web of dark money, and special interest groups who behind the scenes are investing millions and millions to plant ideological activist judges completely remake the courts, and ultimately rewrite the Constitution,” Schumer wrote.
However, NBC News’ headline read, “Senate Democrats take on GOP court-packing in blistering new report,” which was shared on Twitter by Democratic activist Brian Fallon.
Court-packing was a topic of conversation during the Democratic primary where many candidates favored having the presidential power to expand the number of judges on the bench, particularly on the Supreme Court, in order to outweigh the incoming conservative-leaning confirmations with liberal judges.
Critics slammed NBC News for conflating the term with vacancy fillings.
“This NBC article just blithely asserts that GOP is ‘packing’ the courts. Uh, no. They’re filling vacancies under the current structure of the judiciary. Dems are trying to obscure the definition of court packing so their proposals seem less radical. Some in media happy to help,” author James Hasson reacted.
“The leader of a Democrat dark money group sharing a story about Democrats fighting against dark money is the most 2020 Democrats thing I can imagine. And getting reporters to conflate “filling vacancies” with ‘court packing’ might be Brian’s sole accomplishment in that role,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Matt Whitlock wrote.
“Was going to criticize Fallon for describing the Senate Dem report as “blistering,” but then I realized this is somehow word NBC reporters used. Sad!” Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher tweeted.
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