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During Monday’s episode of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, host Lawrence O’Donnell described the judge who voided the U.S. travel mask mandate for COVID-19 as “Donald Trump as a federal judge.”
O’Donnell and his two guests, MSNBC political analyst Claire McCaskill and associate editor for The Washington Post Eugene Robinson, slammed U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s qualifications and her decision ending the federal mask mandate.
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The segment began with O’Donnell talking about when Mizelle was a “33-year-old nominee to the federal bench who never set foot in a courtroom as a lawyer.”
O’Donnell snarked about the judge a bit more, stating the 35-year-old judge “suddenly becomes a public health expert today, and no more masks required on most airlines.” He added that he “will be” continuing to wear masks “on any future airline flight.”
“This shows you once again the importance of having that power to appoint federal judges,” O’Donnell added.
Former Senator McCaskill, D-Mo., began by saying the only qualification Trump needed to nominate Mizelle was her membership in the top conservative legal society. “I think the qualification that this very young woman had, was that the same year that she graduated law school, which was a mere eight years before she was given a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, she also joined the Federalist Society.”
“So, she was young, she was Federalist Society, therefore she could become a judge,” McCaskill added.
The former senator then claimed she “was startled by the language in this opinion, where, without sourcing, she makes these pronouncements about the good that masks do or don’t do, when she is obviously clueless.”
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“And the vast majority of scientific evidence is, masks have saved millions of lives,” she added.
O’Donnell then pivoted to Robinson, prompting him by saying, “This was basically Donald Trump as federal judge today.”
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Robinson agreed, “It absolutely reads like Donald Trump as a federal judge – just making these sometimes non-sequitur pronouncements that are not based on any discernible fact, or not referenced – no facts referenced at least in making these conclusions.”
Robinson added, “[Trump’s] party went ahead and on a party line vote, confirmed a judge he had nominated who was rated non-qualified.”
Last week, the CDC extended the mask mandate for an additional 15 days, until May 3. The White House has not yet announced if they will appeal Monday’s ruling.