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U.S. Supreme Court building. U.S. Supreme Court building. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

The man leading President Donald Trump’s revamp of our nation’s judiciary once boasted to a private gathering of wealthy donors that America is on the brink of a right-wing “revival” of the Constitution. That man is Leonard Leo. And he sits at the center of an almost $250 million network of dark money groups working to fill our courts with men and women (but mostly men) who will roll back the clock on our laws and our democracy all the way to the robber baron era.

This movement, which Leo now has termed the resurrection of the “structural Constitution,” has a long history and deep roots. But you can really see it emerging in the Reagan years, following the rejection of the ultra-conservative Robert Bork’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. And you can see it in the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas when then-Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thomas was unfit for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court because he embraced this extreme agenda.

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