Posts tagged with "Amy Coney Barrett"

Dozens of Amy Coney Barrett’s Notre Dame colleagues call for halt to nomination

October 15, 2020

In a powerful showing of unity, 88 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame, where Amy Coney Barrett is a law school professor, said she should call for a halt to her Supreme Court nomination until after the November 3 presidential election, The Huffington Post reports. 

In a letter dated October10—but posted online on Tuesday, October 13—Barrett’s colleagues congratulated her on her nomination, adding: “It is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election.”

The signatories hailed from the university’s political science, sociology, history and other departments—with none from the law school.

“We ask that you take this unprecedented step for three reasons.” Barrett’s professional colleagues said:

First, voting for the next president is already underway. According to the United States Election Project (https://electproject.github.io/Early-Vote-2020G/index.html), more than seven million people have already cast their ballots, and millions more are likely to vote before election day. The rushed nature of your nomination process, which you certainly recognize as an exercise in raw power politics, may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice. You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination. Nor are you complicit in the Republican hypocrisy of fast-tracking your nomination weeks before a presidential election when many of the same senators refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing a full year before the last election. However, you can refuse to be party to such maneuvers. We ask that you honor the democratic process and insist the hearings be put on hold until after the voters have made their choice. Following the election, your nomination would proceed, or not, in accordance with the wishes of the winning candidate.

Next, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her seat on the court remain open until a new president was installed. At your nomination ceremony at the White House, you praised Justice Ginsburg as “a woman of enormous talent and consequence, whose life of public service serves as an example to us all.” Your nomination just days after Ginsburg’s death was unseemly and a repudiation of her legacy. Given your admiration for Justice Ginsburg, we ask that you repair the injury to her memory by calling for a pause in the nomination until the next president is seated.

Finally, your nomination comes at a treacherous moment in the United States. Our politics are consumed by polarization, mistrust, and fevered conspiracy theories. Our country is shaken by pandemic and economic suffering. There is violence in the streets of American cities. The politics of your nomination, as you surely understand, will further inflame our civic wounds, undermine confidence in the court, and deepen the divide among ordinary citizens, especially if you are seated by a Republican Senate weeks before the election of a Democratic president and congress. You have the opportunity to offer an alternative to all that by demanding that your nomination be suspended until after the election. We implore you to take that step.

Senate hearings for Barrett’s confirmation began Monday and continued into Tuesday, with the nominee dodging Democrats’ questions on health care, marriage equality and abortion rights, the HuffPost reports.

Senate Republicans appear to have the necessary majority to confirm Barrett to the nation’s most powerful court. If she’s confirmed, it would cement conservatives’ hold on the court likely for years to come, with major rulings expected soon on health care, abortion, LGBTQ rights, and more.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Going viral: McEnany tests positive for COVID-19

October 6, 2020

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for COVID-19, she said on Monday morning; making her the latest person in President Donald Trump‘s orbit to contract the virus. McEnany has given at least two White House press briefings—without wearing a mask—during the past week, even after she knew that the White House had become a hot spot for the pandemic.

“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms. No reporters, producers or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit,” McAnany said in a statement that was distributed to the press pool.

Late Thursday, the White House announced that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive, just hours after top Trump had been informed that close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Hicks had been part of the team that traveled with Trump to the presidential debate in Cleveland last week, The Hill reports. .

By Friday evening, Trump already had been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Throughout the weekend, White House officials gave conflicting information about the president’s condition, appearing to try to downplay the severity of the virus.

A growing number of officials, from GOP lawmakers to White House aides and members of Trump’s reelection campaign, have since tested positive for the virus—and the ceremony in the Rose Garden on September 26 for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has since been identified as a “super-spreader event.”  The attendees were gathered with no masks and did not attempt to socially distance.

Members of Trump’s family were also seen flouting mask-wearing guidelines during the debate, The Hill reports—even after they were asked to put on their PPE.

Trump, who has perpetually downplayed the severity of the coronavirus — even as more than 200,000 Americans have died from it — has repeatedly ridiculed Democratic opponent Joe Biden for wearing face masks during campaign events. During the debate last week, Biden pointed out that Trump rarely wears masks in public. Trump mocked Biden for doing so, despite widespread scientific consensus that wearing masks greatly reduces the spread of the coronavirus.

Others in the president’s circle who have tested positive include his campaign manager, Bill Stepien; three Republican U.S. senators; and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who assisted Trump with preparation before last week’s presidential debate.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has tested negative thus far, including on Monday, acknowledged Friday that there were likely to be more coronavirus cases among White House officials following Trump’s diagnosis.

McEnany did not travel with Trump to a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday after learning of Hicks’s test result, but she denied in her statement that she knew Hicks had tested positive when she spoke to reporters from the briefing room podium on Thursday morning. McEnany did not quarantine despite being a close contact of Hicks’ and Trump’s after both tested positive for the highly contagious virus that has killed roughly 210,000 people in the United States.

The press secretary was seldom spotted wearing a mask for the last several months, even as public health experts said it was one of the most effective ways to limit transmission of COVID-19. After Trump revealed he had tested positive, McEnany was spotted with a mask on waiting for him to depart for the hospital on Marine One.

But on Sunday, McEnany briefly fielded questions on the White House driveway without wearing a face covering.

Research contact: @thehill