Posts tagged with "senate"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Cassandra Yany

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.

During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University. 

Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.

At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.

After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.

During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women. 

Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.

Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.

Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements. 

This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”

After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”

Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

politics, business, red, tie, blue

Continued Protection For DACA Recipients

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was unlawful. This is a huge victory for 700,000 people protected by DACA who have only known the United States as their home and will not have to immediately fear being deported to countries where they have no connections.

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling recognized that this administration’s rescission of DACA was nothing more than an outrageous abuse of power to attack DREAMERs and immigrant communities. It should come as no surprise that Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch dissented given their massive support for broad executive power and willingness to allow abuses of that power to go unchecked.

DACA recipients are an integral part of America’s tapestry. Amidst the global pandemic, DACA recipients have been on the front lines; they are medical workers caring for our families, educators rising to the challenge of distance learning, and service industry workers keeping open essential businesses. Today’s ruling grants temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of DREAMers to ensure they can continue contributing to their communities and living out their lives.

The fight to protect them is not over, however. Senate Republicans have advanced nearly 200 of Trump’s ultraconservative judges, including two dozen they knew to have egregious anti-immigrant records.

We must continue to fight for a justice system that protects all our rights, regardless of immigration status.”

Stock Market could predict Trump’s impeachment?

Those who want President Trump to stay in office should hope the stock market rises, and those who want him ousted should hope it crashes.

Why? History shows that the stock market is a useful indicator of people’s attitudes toward the president. Socionomic theory proposes that society’s overall mood regulates both stock prices and the public’s perceptions of its leaders. Positive social mood makes society feel optimistic, bid up stock prices and credit leaders for their good feelings. Negative social mood makes society feel pessimistic, sell stocks and blame leaders for their bad feelings.

These tendencies are evident in presidential re-election outcomes. Presidents Hoover and Carter, for example, lost bids for re-election during trends toward negative social mood as reflected by declining stock prices. In fact, the stock market is a better re-election indicator than inflation, unemployment and GDP growth combined, as my colleagues at the Socionomics Institute demonstrated in a 2012 paper.

Social mood’s influence is also evident in the results of U.S. presidential impeachments and near-impeachments. Twice in history, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to impeach a president. In both cases, social mood was trending positively, as reflected by rising stock prices, and in both cases, the Senate voted for acquittal.

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Figure 1

Figure 1 illustrates the timing of the first presidential impeachment. On March 2, 1868, the House of Representatives formally agreed to eleven articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson. The Senate took three separate votes, and each fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority necessary to remove Johnson from office. The Senate acquitted Johnson on May 26, 1868, during a stock rally that added to the 250% increase since October 1857.

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Figure 2

Figure 2 shows that a substantial trend toward positive social mood preceded President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the House and subsequent acquittal in the Senate. Note that some of the most serious events in the Monica Lewinsky scandal coincided with the largest downturn in the Dow during Clinton’s presidency. Yet, as the Dow recovered, so did Clinton’s approval ratings. And despite a $70-million prosecution of Clinton’s related perjury and obstruction of justice charges, the Senate acquitted the president as positive social mood lifted the Dow, Dow/gold and Dow/PPI to important peaks.

 

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Figure 3

President Richard Nixon’s near-impeachment and resignation from office serves as a textbook case of how social mood influences the fortunes of public figures. Figure 3 shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average surrounding his time in office. The soon-to-be-infamous Watergate break-in occurred toward the end of a strong 67% rally in the Dow from May 1970-January 1973. That trend toward positive mood helped Nixon win re-election in a landslide. But as mood trended toward the negative, the public’s view of its leader darkened, its appetite for scandal increased, the investigation accelerated, and Nixon’s fortunes changed. With almost certain impeachment looming, Nixon became the first president to resign from office on August 9, 1974.

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Figure 4

What does this history tell us about the probability that President Trump will serve a full term in office? We considered this question in the June 2017 issue of The Socionomist. Figure 4 is a chart from that issue, updated to the present. It depicts the trend of social mood as reflected by the Dow. We left the gray arrows showing our 2017 analysis in place, and we added red arrows to indicate the possibilities going forward. In July 2017, Congressman Brad Sherman formally introduced an article of impeachment against the president in the House of Representatives. Yet as the market rose during 2017, President Trump—despite low approval ratings, tremendous staff turnover, unrelenting criticism from the political left and numerous indictments and charges of Trump associates in the ongoing Mueller investigation—did not face an impeachment vote. After the stock market peaked on January 26, 2018, however, the tone changed, and even some on the political right became more critical of the president.

Since the October 3 stock market peak, disapproval of the president has grown steadily louder and more strident. At the same time, the Mueller investigation has implicated more and more of the president’s inner circle in illegal activities. The Democrats won control of the House in the 2018 midterms. A November 26 Gallup poll revealed Trump’s disapproval rating had hit an all-time high. On December 10, Fox News’s senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said Trump could be charged with “three separate crimes and could be indicted while serving as president.” By December 17, the Mueller investigation had issued more than 100 criminal counts and charged 34 people, 10 of whom have been found guilty. That same day, Wired published its list of “All 17 (Known) Trump and Russia Investigations” and said, “it’s increasingly clear that, as 2018 winds down, Donald Trump faces a legal assault unlike anything previously seen by any president.”

In the weeks since the Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis and diplomat Brett McGurk have resigned. On December 24, Time reported, “National Christmas Tree to Stay Dark During Holiday Due to Government Shutdown,” and several news organizations ran stories with versions of The Atlantic’s headline, “President Trump’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” as the stock market plunged. Of course, stalwart supporters of the president remain. Yet the number of oppositional voices is rising. A December 19 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 41% of Americans favor impeachment hearings.

We don’t know what the Mueller investigation will ultimately reveal, but for Trump, the facts may not matter as much as the social mood. Fasten your seatbelt and keep your eyes on stock market indexes, our best reflection of the trend of social mood.

ABA × Congress

ABA urges Congress to apply pass-through tax reductions to professional service businesses on nondiscriminatory basis

American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass sent a letter today to House and Senate conferees for H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” urging them to adopt the Senate’s version of “pass-through” business tax relief.

The ABA’s letter also urged the conferees to apply the tax relief to all pass-through entities — including law firms and all other types of professional service businesses — on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis.

The full letter can be found here.

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

First NYC Mayor Open Debate

** TUESDAY 7PM ON NY1: FIRST-EVER BOTTOM-UP MAYORAL OPEN DEBATE **

De Blasio, Malliotakis, & Dietl Face Off in First-Ever Mayoral Open Debate in NYC

Fresh Off Major Success in 2016 Presidential Debates, Open Debate Coalition Partners with NY1, Politico, Others for First-in-the-Nation Open Debate for Mayor

50% of Questions to be Chosen from Top Questions Submitted and Voted On By the Public at OpenDebateQuestions.com

Tuesday at 7pm on NY1 News, New York’s mayoral candidates will face off in the first-ever, bottom-up mayoral Open Debate. The October 10 debate will be between New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), Nicole Malliotakis (R), and Bo Dietl (I). Moderators will dedicate half of the 90-minute debate to top questions submitted and voted on by the public at the bottom-up platform, OpenDebateQuestions.com.
Over 33,000 votes have been cast on user-submitted questions. Some of the top questions cover issues like homelessness, housing issues, Vision Zero, police reform, and recycling.

Lilia Tamm Dixon, director of the Open Debate Coalition said: “The Open Debate Coalition is very excited to bring our bottom-up format to the local level after great success in having questions from the public included in presidential, governor, and senate debates in 2016. New York City will help us prove that Open Debates should be the new norm in American politics — inserting the will of the people more into races for President, Congress, Governor, Legislature, Mayor, and other offices.”

WHAT:

  • First bottom-up Open Debate ever held at the city level, for New York mayor.

WHO:

  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D)
  • Nicole Malliotakis (R)
  • Bo Dietl (I)


WHEN:

  • 7pm ET, Tuesday, October 10


WHERE:

  • Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025


LIVESTREAM:

  • Available at NY1.com.

The same platform will also be used to source questions from the public for next week’s public advocate and comptroller debates, on Oct. 16 and 17, respectively.
The cross-partisan Open Debate Coalition is partnering with NY1 News, Politico, WNYC, Citizens Union, Intelligence Squared, the Latino Leadership Institute, and Civic Hall on this historic project.

Question submission and voting is now open at OpenDebateQuestions.com and lasts through 12 noon on Monday, October 16, just before the public advocate debate. Anyone across the nation can submit and vote on questions. Only New York City votes will be counted when selecting the top 40 questions, but others nationwide can cast votes to impact which questions are trending on the site — influencing which questions voters see and vote on most.

The Open Debate Coalition made history last year when it was prominently credited as a source of questions in two presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. After 3.6 million votes were cast online, ABC’s Martha Raddatz and Fox’s Chris Wallace cited the Open Debate Coalition by name during the live debates in front of their combined audience of more than 100 million people, and asked questions from the coalition’s voting platform. Open Debates for Senate and Governor were also held last year.

The cross-partisan Open Debate Coalition was formed during the 2008 election cycle, and includes Americans for Tax Reform, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, FreedomWorks, MoveOn, Faith & Freedom Coalition, the National Organization of Women, Young Republicans, Young Democrats, craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Electronic Frontier Foundation President Cindy Cohn, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and many more (See full list of coalition members here).

Prominent national and local promotion of NYC Open Debate voting: