Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first Black woman Supreme Court justice
President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has been confirmed by a vote on the Senate floor. Having garnered the support of three Republican senators – Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney – she also received the support of all 50 Democrats, becoming the court’s first Black woman justice.
The vote comes after a seven-week nomination process that saw her heavily criticized by Republicans who focused on her supposed record of leniency towards sexual offenders who targeted children. That criticism was in turn widely rejected as a distortion of her past decisions.
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced she has tested positive for Covid-19, this just having appeared next to President Biden, Chuck Schumer, and other senior figures at a bill signing.
Ms Pelosi’s diagnosis means that three of the top 10 people in the presidential line of succession are currently known to be infected with the virus. The speaker’s team say she is currently asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, in Thursday’s White House press briefing, Jen Psaki dismissed Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to bus migrants from the southern border to Washington DC as a “publicity stunt”.
White House dismisses Covid risk for Biden after Pelosi meet
The White House has dismissed concerns over Joe Biden being at the risk of contracting Covid after he met with speaker Nancy Pelosi, who tested positive earlier in the day on Thursday.
“The way a close contact is defined, it’s not arbitrary, it’s not something made up by the White House, it’s CDC guidelines, and how they define it is being within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“They weren’t. All of their interactions were publicly available, I think you saw them, and that’s how that assessment is made,” Ms Psaki added.
The two were at the White House, at times in very close proximity, before Ms Pelosi tested positive during an event marking the Affordable Care Act at which former president Barack Obama was also in attendance.
Shweta SharmaApr 8, 2022 05:03
History made: Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first Black woman Supreme Court Justice
Ketanji Brown Jackson made history on Thursday when the Senate voted 53 to 47 to make her the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice in the country’s history.
Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a historic first as the first Black and Asian American woman vice president, was on hand to preside over the confirmation vote. Ms Jackson’s ascent to the highest court in the land was a moment of celebration for many Democrats.
Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Capitol Hill.
Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 04:45
Biden federal employee Covid vaccine mandate upheld by US court
A US appeals court on Thursday reinstated president Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that federal civilian employees be vaccinated against coronavirus.
In what is seen as a rare win for the administration, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed a lower court lawsuit challenging the mandate.
The appeals court has 17 active judges dominated by Republicans, including six Trump appointees.
It was after US District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by Donald Trump, had issued a nationwide injunction against the mandate in January by a 2-1 vote.
“The injunction seriously harms the public interest by impeding efforts to reduce disruptions from Covid-19 in federal workplaces,” the government’s lawyers said in their court filings.
Shweta SharmaApr 8 2022 04:43
Psaki: Governor Abbott has no authority for ‘publicity stunt’ plan to bus Texas migrants to DC
White House press secretary accused Texas Gov Greg Abbott of promising an illegal “publicity stunt” on Thursday after the Republican governor vowed that he would place undocumented migrants on chartered buses to Washington DC.
Ms Psaki was asked about the governor’s announcement at her daily news briefing by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy. In her response, she pointed out that no Texas official, including the governor, had the legal authority to forcibly move persons out of their state, enforce federal immigration law, or even take any official actions across state lines.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 04:00
Video: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House
‘I like what you’ve done with the place’: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House
Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 03:30 am
Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 03:15 am
Voices: The most ridiculous questions asked of Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings
Andrew Feinberg recalls some of the mystifyingly absurb questions asked in Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate hearings, including: “Do you think we should catch and imprison more or fewer murderers?”
Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 02:30 am
ICYMI: US will boycott G20 meetings if Russia allowed to attend
Ms Yellen raised questions about Russia’s future in the G20 at a US House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 01:45
Congress votes to suspend trade relations with Russia and Belarus and ban energy imports
In a 420-3 vote, the House of Representatives passed legislation suspending permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously 100-0 earlier on Thursday and it now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to sign it.
The three no votes in the House were: Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga), Thomas Massie (R-Ky), and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla).
In addition, in a 413-9 vote, the House passed legislation to ban imports of Russian oil, gas, and other energy products to the US.
The Senate also unanimously passed the bill 100-0 earlier in the day and Mr Biden is likewise planning to sign it into law.
The nine no votes were Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene, Thomas Massie, Matt Gaetz, Dan Bishop, Andy Biggs, Chip Roy, and Paul Gosar; and Democrats Ilhan Omar, and Cori Bush.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 01:00
US warns Xi Jinping of ‘what might come his way’ if China supports Russia
A top US state department official has warned president Xi Jinping of “what might come his way” if China supports Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
China could face sanctions similar to Russia if it supported Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion, said Wendy Sherman, the state deparment’s deputy secretary and second-most senior official, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports.
Oliver O’Connell8 Apr 2022 00:15