This piece was originally published in the October 27, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“Do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the GOP’s illegitimate confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett
We’re eight months into this pandemic, and things are only getting worse.
As cases rise, countless Americans still don’t know how they’re going to make rent or put food on the table. And millions of people are still out of work with nowhere to turn.
This shouldn’t be happening.
Share this on Twitter and Facebook to get the facts out.
IN THE NEWS
- Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice last night. Her addition to the court cements a 6–3 conservative majority — a dark future of which we’ve unfortunately gotten a preview in the form of various rulings handed down since Justice Ginsburg’s death.
- We’ve known with near certainty since Barrett’s nomination was announced that she would be confirmed. We’ve also come to expect this kind of undemocratic, rushed, and unprecedented process from Senate Republicans. But the significance of her actual confirmation last night — just one week out from Election Day — forced a lot of us to reflect on the future of the progressive movement and how our goals can ever be accomplished — or existing progress protected — with such a long-term, right-wing stranglehold on the federal judiciary.
- The 48 senators who voted against Barrett’s confirmation represent 13.5 million more people than the 52 senators who voted to confirm her. It’s not fair, it’s not okay, and it’s not changing any time soon unless progressives step up and fight for significant, structural changes to fix the anti-democratic flaws in our system that allowed this to happen.
- Every vote for Barrett should be taken as a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and the protections it guarantees for Americans with preexisting conditions. As Senator Ed Markey said yesterday, “we can have the ACA or we can have ACB. But we can’t have both.” It’s never been clearer where Senate Republicans stand on this issue. And yes, that does include Susan Collins, who despite voting against Barrett has already voted three times to gut protections for Mainers with preexisting conditions.
- The rushed nature of this confirmation process left little time for a thorough assessment of Barrett’s views on basic legal questions, some of which she could rule on any day now. But the limited time that senators did have to question Barrett didn’t yield much insight. Barrett repeatedly refused to offer any answers to questions about presidential power, voting rights, and other issues of major concern as we enter the final stretch of the election. Check out this piece from CAP Action for a comprehensive list of all the questions Barrett still hasn’t answered.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Trump was in Wisconsin today, where he was met with this powerful memorial of 600 chairs to represent the 600 people who have died from COVID-19 in Milwaukee County.
- The Supreme Court issued another ruling on election procedures that will prevent Wisconsin from accepting ballots after Election Day. In another clumsily executed but alarming setback for free and fair elections, Brett Kavanaugh attempted to justify the decision by claiming that states need to declare a winner on election night — a baseless and ahistoric idea that Trump himself floated on Twitter hours earlier.
- In the wake of this decision, experts are again sounding the alarm about the sharp right-wing turn of the Supreme Court just days before an election. Many cite the conservative majority’s complete lack of constitutional basis in recent rulings on electoral processes as a major red flag. And all this was before Barrett’s confirmation.
- It’s been two years since a white supremacist entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and murdered 11 worshippers in what would become the deadliest anti-semitic attack on American soil. We now know that the shooter was involved in a number of white supremacist online forums where he and others shared anti-semitic views and encouraged the type of armed violence he went on to commit.
- Local leaders say this year’s remembrance of the 2018 attack has been especially difficult for the community because they are unable to mourn together during the pandemic. “It has retraumatized many people,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who himself survived the shooting. Our hearts are with the families and neighbors of the victims today. May their memories be a blessing.
- Police in Philadelphia shot and killed a Black man yesterday afternoon. Based on witness reports and footage, 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was reportedly carrying a knife when police fired at him from a distance. Wallace’s parents say their son had a history of mental illness, and are demanding to know why police used lethal force. Protesters gathered to demand justice for Wallace last night, and police seem to have only further agitated the situation with their response. You can chip in here to help protesters make bail.
- The Washington Post is reporting that Trump has racked up $8.1 million in revenue to his own companies since taking office. This includes both the millions in expenses funded by taxpayer dollars as well as business from his supporters. Among the receipts? Multiple $3 glasses of water.
- Jared Kushner seems to think that Black people simply don’t “want to be” successful. In an interview with “Fox and Friends” yesterday, Kushner touted his father-in-law’s policies, claiming (incorrectly, I might add) that they are great for Black Americans. But, he said, “[Trump] can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.” This is, of course, racist.
WHAT WE’RE READING (AND WATCHING)
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