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 criticised 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”.
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’Connell8 April 2022 02:30
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’Connell8 April 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’Connell8 April 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 April 2022 00:15
Voices: Democrats abandoned Ketanji Brown Jackson. Black women came to bear witness
“The absence of Kamala Harris was sorely felt during a vicious set of confirmation hearings,” writes Eric Garcia.
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 23:30
Senator Susan Collins tests positive for Covid
Senator Susan Collins of Maine has tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after casting her vote to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on the floor of the Senate.
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 22:58
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 22:53
Biden applauds UN kicking ‘international pariah’ Russia off Human Rights Council
The White House released the following statement from President Joe Biden after the vote by UN member states to remove Russian from the body’s Human Rights Council.
I applaud the overwhelming vote today in the General Assembly of the United Nations to kick Russia off the UN Human Rights Council. This is a meaningful step by the international community further demonstrating how Putin’s war has made Russia an international pariah.
The United States worked closely with our Allies and partners around the world to drive this vote because Russia is committing gross and systemic violations of human rights. Russian forces are committing war crimes. Russia has no place on the Human Rights Council. After today’s historic vote, Russia will not be able to participate in the Council’s work or spread its disinformation there as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry investigates Russia’s violations and abuses of human rights in Ukraine.
The images we are seeing out of Bucha and other areas of Ukraine as Russian troops withdraw are horrifying. The signs of people being raped, tortured, executed—in some cases having their bodies desecrated—are an outrage to our common humanity. Russia’s lies are no match for the undeniable evidence of what is happening in Ukraine. That’s why nations in every region condemn Russia’s unprovoked and brutal aggression against Ukraine and support the brave people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom. And we will continue to work with responsible nations around the world to gather evidence to hold Russia accountable for the atrocities being committed, increase the pressure on Russia’s economy, and isolate Russia on the international stage.
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 22:45
Alabama legislators pass nation’s first bill making gender-affirming care for trans youth a felony
Alabama’s state legislators gave final approval to a bill that could imprison doctors for up to to a decade for prescribing medical treatments to transgender youth.
The bill criminalising gender-affirming care for transgender people younger than 19 years old is the first in the US to make healthcare for young transgender patients punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 22:29
Man accused of posing as federal agent mentioned ties to Pakistani intelligence
A man accused of impersonating a federal agent mentioned ties to Pakistani intelligence and had visas for Pakistan and Iran .
One of the two men arrested for allegedly impersonating federal officials and giving real Secret Service agents gifts and free apartments in Washington, DC claimed to have links to Pakistani intelligence.
He also had visas showing that he travelled to Pakistan and Iran, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.
Gustaf Kilander has been following the story in Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell7 April 2022 22:15