inhofe lankford (copy)

Republicans Jim Inhofe (left) and James Lankford (right) object to a friend of the court brief filed by five Democratic senators in a New York lawsuit over the transportation of unloaded handguns. The Republicans say the letter threatens to "pack the court" if the justices do not rule as the Democrats wish. Tulsa World file photos

Courtsmanship: Senate Republicans, including Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, released a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Supreme Court complaining about what it said about Democratic efforts to influence the court through intimidation.

Specifically, the Republicans object to a friend of the court brief filed by five Democratic senators in a New York lawsuit over the transportation of unloaded handguns. The Republicans say the letter threatens to “pack the court” if the justices do not rule as the Democrats wish.

The passage in question does not mention packing the court — a term for changing the court’s ideological makeup by adding justices — but does say the public may demand “restructuring” if the court does not “heal itself.”

In another case, Inhofe and Lankford were among more than 50 Republicans signing onto a friend of the court brief opposing a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The suit’s three plaintiffs claim protection under the federal sex discrimination ban.

“Title VII’s sex discrimination provision prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sex; it does not prohibit discrimination because of an individual’s actions, behaviors, or inclinations,” the brief says.

None of Oklahoma’s House delegation endorsed the brief.

Dots and dashes: The House of Representatives returns from its August recess on Tuesday to consider gun legislation. The Senate remains out until next week. ... Inhofe praised the Trump administration’s plans to eliminate Obama era regulations on methane gas emissions from oil and gas drilling. .... In an email to constituents, 2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin reiterated his opposition to an increase in the minimum wage. ... Inhofe endorsed this week’s official implementation of the U.S. Space Command, saying it is “an important step to support the space warfighting domain and ensures our strategic competitors, Russia and China, realize we are serious about implementing our National Defense Strategy.”


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