Senate Republicans are getting behind President Trump’s decision to pick a nominee to replace the recently-deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but because Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have already said they were against the pending nomination, the final vote could come down to either Sen. Mitt Romney or a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.
Both Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott say they back the president, with Scott recently saying he thinks that “we (Senate) ought to do it as quickly as we can.”
“I will review the record of President Trump’s nominee, and I will provide my consent if I find they are qualified and will respect the law as written,” Rubio said. “If I conclude they do not meet this standard, as I did in 2016, I will withhold consent. And unlike President Obama in 2016, President Trump is on the ballot and can be rewarded or held accountable for his choice in November.” READ MORE
Defunding Florida Cities
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took a page out of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) political playbook and is threatening to defund municipalities that move to defund police departments. READ MORE
In Florida’s most contentious congressional race, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is accusing Republican Carlos Gimenez of refusing to debate her, taunting the 2-term mayor on local TV. READ MORE
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz @RepDWStweets –.@GovRonDeSantiswould rather scare up bogeymen around Florida’s overwhelmingly peaceful protests than address his inept management of the #COVID crisis. 200K Americans are dead, millions have no job, and too many in FL have paltry UI or lack health care. This is not leadership.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott –I’ve been saying this for months now. Communist China covered up and lied about coronavirus and the @WHO helped them, leading to a devastating global pandemic. It’s time for accountability.
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala–My hope is that the United States Senate can honor Ruth’s final wish and wait until a new president is installed to nominate her replacement.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy-We cannot bring SFC Alwyn Cashe back, or erase the pain felt by those who loved him and those who served alongside him. But I’ll keep fighting to pay tribute to his life and his legacy by ensuring he receives the Medal of Honor he earned for his heroic actions
Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist –Devastated to hear of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an American icon and pillar of justice, and we mourn her loss while celebrating the monumental legacy she leaves behind. May her fighting spirit inspire all of us to keep moving forward.
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani @AnnaForFlorida–“The president has been plotting a hopeful message since the depths of the pandemic, but it’s increasingly at odds with the mounting toll of corporate bankruptcies & deepening wounds for small businesses still bleeding from the spring shutdowns.”
“Rubio supports Trump’s authority to nominate Justice to Supreme Court” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins having come out against President Donald Trump’s impending appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, other more conservative members of the Republican Senate caucus are coming out in support of an up or down vote. Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is supporting the president’s call to nominate someone to the court before the election, but also noted that he would “withhold consent” of the nominee if he believes the candidate is not qualified after he reviews their entire record. “In 2016, President Obama exercised his Constitutional duty and nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and the Senate exercised its Constitutional obligation and decided not to consent,” Rubio said. “Now, President Trump should exercise his duty to name a nominee. And the Senate should once again exercise its Constitutional obligation and decide whether or not to consent to his choice.” “I will review the record of President Trump’s nominee, and I will provide my consent if I find they are qualified and will respect the law as written,” Rubio continued. “If I conclude they do not meet this standard, as I did in 2016, I will withhold consent. And unlike President Obama in 2016, President Trump is on the ballot and can be rewarded or held accountable for his choice in November.”
“Democrat Murphy Celebrates Bipartisan Rating” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – In a time when a number of Florida Democrats are receiving criticism for their partisan voting record, some are standing by it and others are not commenting on the matter. One Florida Democrat is celebrating a scorecard received by the nonpartisan Common Ground Committee Inc., which was released on Monday. In the scorecard, Florida rep. Stephanie Murphy (D), is listed as a bipartisan member of the Florida House. On Twitter, she celebrated her rating, sharing a link to an article listing the findings of the scorecard and adding that she is “proud to be rated THE most bipartisan member of the Florida congressional delegation,” noting that she “will continue to always put people over politics” as a Florida rep. However, her Republican opponent, Dr. Leo Valentin, has called into question her voting record, which includes a recent vote in favor of the Justice in Policing Act, which many detractors argue is veiled support for the movement looking to defund the police. Last month, the Blue Dog Democrat Caucus, which rep. Murphy is a member of, defined itself as being comprised of “pragmatic” members that appeal to the “mainstream values of the American public.” In light of this, Valentin has repeatedly called for Rep. Murphy to denounce the rioting and looting and to instead support the police, but Murphy has not commented on the matter.
“DeSantis seeks to defund cities who defund police” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced today new legislation meant to stop violent assemblies and protect law enforcement officers and defund cities that slash the budgets of their law enforcement agency. In other words, much like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently did, DeSantis will be defunding municipalities who look to defund police municipalities. With the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” it will create new criminal offenses while also increasing penalties for any person targeting law enforcement or participating in assemblies that are considered disorderly or violent. In a statement, the Florida Governor explained why he believes this legislation is important for the sunshine state. “Our right to peacefully assemble is one of our most cherished as Americans, but throughout the country we’ve seen that right being taken advantage of by professional agitators, bent on sowing disorder and causing mayhem in our cities,” detailed Governor DeSantis. “I will not allow this kind of violence to occur here in Florida,” he added, noting that “the legislation announced today will not only combat rioting and looting, but also protect the men and women in law enforcement that wake up every day to keep us safe.”
“Loomer Wants Tax Free Social Security” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – After winning the Republican primary and officially embarking to unseat incumbent Florida rep. Lois Frankel (D), Laura Loomer is hoping to convince the voters of Florida’s 21st congressional district to turn the district red by continuing to outline some of the key matters she’s looking to enact should she be elected. One important issue that she’s highlighting is covered in a new advertisement titled “Keep the Change.” In the advertisement, the Loomer campaign makes the case for tax-free social security. “What if you could keep your whole social security check and never pay one dollar in taxes on it?” the advertisement’s narrator asks before adding that “you’ve paid taxes your whole life while building this country for future generations.” Why are seniors paying taxes on their Social Security check? The advertisement comes at less than 50 days before election day as Loomer receives criticism from Democrats, who have been calling her a “racist” with ties to the KKK. However, Loomer has responded to the criticism by taking political swipes at Frankel and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, saying that the DCCC is doing Frankel’s “dirty work” because Frankel paid them $100,000 in July.
“Black Lives Matters deletes anti-nuclear family webpage” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The criminal and riotous Black Lives Matter movement, which prides itself on pushing their beliefs and agenda onto every Amerian, has unexpectedly taken down their “What We Believe” page on its website. While BLM deleted the page, undoubtedly because of the unprecedented criticism they have received for publishing their effort to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure, the contents of the page still exists on the internet. Here is what they took down: “We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable. We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).” —BLM website
“Florida governor introduces legislation with harsh penalties for disorderly assemblies” by Fox 13 News Staff – Florida’s governor, surrounded by sheriffs, police chiefs and state legislative leaders, announced a new bill that will increase penalties against protesters involved in looting and violence. The proposal will also cut state funding to cities that “defund the police.” The bill will be introduced in the next legislative session, and will push felony charges against violent protesters, including against those who block roadways. “I look at what goes on in Portland. They’ll have people, they’ll arrest them,” Governor Ron DeSantis said during Monday’s press conference. “They’re all scraggly-looking ANTIFA-types. They get their mugshot taken, then they get released. It’s like a carousel; on and on it goes.” “That’s not going to happen in here in Florida,” he added. The proposal also includes a ban on violent or disorderly assembling where property damage or injuries to other people occur. A violation can lead to a third-degree felony. A provision in the bill would go after local governments who appear to be focusing on cuts to police departments, and in turn will cut state funding to those municipalities. However, DeSantis said if it appears to be a normal budget cut, then the local government won’t lose state funding. Blocking streets, or obstructing traffic during an unpermitted protest would become a third-degree felony under the bill. Drivers would not be liable for injury or death if they are fleeing for safety, the governor explained.
“Strip clubs in Florida city fight to lower dancer age to 18” by Associated Press – Some Florida strip club owners are lobbying to lower the age limit for dancers from 21 to 18-years-old, calling the current age requirement unconstitutional. A lawyer representing 13 clubs and four dancers in Jacksonville argued before a federal judge that dancing is a form of expression protected under the First Amendment. “This is just a ban on speech,” attorney Gary Edinger said. The city law currently bans dancers under the age of 21 and was passed in an effort to reduce sex trafficking. The measure also requires dancer to have ID city-issued cards. City attorneys said younger people are more susceptible to the coercion that’s often part of trafficking and argued that 21 is a safer age. During Friday’s hearing U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan repeatedly asked about the trade-off between personal rights and pubic interests. “When you start telling adults what they can and can’t do, you’ve got to bring the goods. These are people who can vote, they can go into the service,” the judge said. The Florida Times-Union reports the parties are also arguing over whether issuing ID cards to the dancers as a kind of work permit could be justified as a legal form of prior restraint on dancers who would otherwise have a right to perform.
“Democrats’ Jacksonville push complicates Trump’s path in Florida” by Politico’s Matt Dixon – Democrats are carving inroads though the historically conservative city of Jacksonville, landing a handful of improbable political victories and framing a question for Election Day: Will Florida’s only Republican city fail Donald Trump? The president must win Florida to return to the White House, but Republicans’ loosened grip on Jacksonville, the party’s only urban foothold in the battleground state, is complicating that political math. And it’s given Joe Biden a shot of confidence even as state and local Republicans vow to defend what long has been considered their political home turf. Jacksonville is “big and growing, it has an important media market, and has sort of been the tipping point over the past number of cycles,” said Susie Wiles, the Trump campaign’s senior Florida adviser. “The campaign won’t take any part of the state for granted.” “Jacksonville will not be neglected,” said Wiles, who also led Trump’s 2016 Florida campaign. Jacksonville makes up almost all of Duval County and is culturally and politically different than Florida’s other reliably blue metropolitan areas. It is defined by a huge military presence, undying love for its middling football team and the “Duuvvalll” battle cry, an homage to both the county and the gritty personality its residents embrace. But the area’s political identity is influenced of late by politically engaged Black residents, who make up nearly a third of the county’s population, and a steady flow of young professionals moving into Jacksonville as middle class conservatives migrate to the neighboring suburbans of St. Johns, Nassau and Clay counties, which favor Trump by wide margins.
“Florida Deputy Charged With Soliciting ‘Inappropriate’ Photos to Phone” by NBC 6 Miami – A Florida sheriff’s deputy is facing a felony charge after investigators say he told a woman he would return her property if she sent him inappropriate photos. Jacksonville police officer Brian Pace was arrested Sunday night and charged with soliciting a bribe, the Florida Times-Union reports. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the woman reported in May the theft of her cellphone and other property. Pace, 36, contacted her and told her the property had been found. Investigators said he offered to return it if she would send him inappropriate photos over his cellphone. She filed a complaint this month. Pace contacted to meet her Sunday night, but he was arrested when he arrived. The 11-year veteran of the department resigned after his arrest. He was being held Monday at the Jacksonville jail while awaiting his initial court appearance. Jail records do not show if Pace has an attorney.
“Potential Supreme Court nominee Barbara Lagoa could help Trump win Florida, state Republicans say” by Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer – President Trump has already stated that he intends to choose a woman as his next Supreme Court nominee, and reports indicate that Judge Barbara Lagoa, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, is on his short list. Lagoa, 52, previously served on Florida’s 3rd U.S. District Court of Appeals and the Florida Supreme Court. According to Politico, Republicans from the battleground state believe that if Trump chooses the Cuban-American jurist it will help his chances there in November. “We know Democrats are going to vote against her, even though they voted overwhelmingly to confirm her to the federal bench before,” a Republican Trump adviser told the outlet. “Democrats always play the race card. Well, we can as well. What are they going to tell Hispanic voters in Florida about rejecting a Latina for the high court?” Lagoa was approved by the Senate when she was confirmed to the 11th Circuit bench with a vote of 80-15 in November 2019. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., did not vote. All five were campaigning in the Democratic primary race at the time. Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi told Politico that if Trump chooses Lagoa it would be “a play for women, Hispanics and most importantly, Florida’s 29 Electoral votes,” calling her “the conservative Cuban version of Sonia Sotomayor.” According to the Florida Supreme Court’s website, Lagoa — a graduate of Columbia Law School — was the first Latina appointed to that court when she was chosen by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019. Before this, she had served on the state’s 3rd District appeals court since her 2006 appointment by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Florida Senators Continue Efforts to “Lock The Clock”” by Bay News 9’s Jason Lanning – It could give local businesses a boost and keep the days a little bit longer this winter. That’s what Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio are sponsoring a U.S. Senate bill that would keep Florida and the nation on daylight saving time until November 2021. The senators cite the economic boost skipping the time change this fall would give to businesses as they reel from losses due to coronavirus restrictions. Experts say daylight saving time generally increases consumer spending as more people shop, dine out and participate in local activities when it stays late longer into the evening. Tampa Bay Business Journal Editor Alexis Muellner says although the increases that local businesses would see may be minimal with no time change, it could help business owners hit their bottom lines. “The profit margins for small businesses, depending on what they do, can be so razor thin sometimes, that those small impacts can make a difference in terms of meeting a small payroll or being able to offset costs or debt, especially at time where they are really challenged with the results of the pandemic,” Muellner said. But Muellner agrees there is also a downside to daylight savings time in the winter, especially for children who would be walking and biking to school in the dark. The Florida PTA has rallied against year-round daylight saving time. “We have safety concerns for our children who ride buses and walk to school if daylight saving is extended all year,” group President Jennifer Martinez said in a written statement. “Our position is that businesses can and would hopefully rebound, loss of life cannot rebound.”
“Florida Man Arrested for Creating, Spreading ISIS Propaganda: FBI” by NBC 6 Miami – A Florida man is behind bars after FBI agents say he attempted to provide “material support” to the terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as ISIS. According to a federal arrest affidavit, 23-year-old Jonathan Guerra – who went by the name Abu Zahr Al-Andalusi – caught the attention of the FBI for his role as the head of an unofficial media outlet for ISIS, which created and disseminated propaganda for the organization. Guerra, who federal officials say is Cuban born and a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Lehigh Acres, would recruit other ISIS sympathizers with “foreign language abilities” in order to translate propaganda and instructional content, the affidavit says. Federal prosecutors say, since the FBI’s investigation into Guerra began in October 2019, he had communicated with three different online covert employees, and pursued two of them romantically. During their communication, Guerra revealed his true identity, which included images of himself, and his role in spreading propaganda for the terrorist organization. Guerra was accused of creating several videos promoting ISIS, including a “Call to Islam” video that featured the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
“Money to aid mental health services for children in Florida” by News Service of Florida – The Florida Department of Education is making $2 million available to rural counties across the state to increase access to telehealth to provide mental-health services for schoolchildren. “I’m excited today to announce to 18 of the rural counties across the state of Florida we’ll be issuing $2 million to those rural districts to help students there increase access to tele- and mental-health services,” Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis said during a Monday news conference at the governor’s mansion. The money is available from federal CARES Act stimulus funding and will be directed to rural counties that have lower rates of internet connectivity and have limited access to health-care professionals. The first lady was joined by school superintendents whose districts will benefit from the funding, including Dixie County Superintendent Mike Thomas; Madison County Superintendent Shirley Joseph; and Taylor County Superintendent Danny Glover, Jr. State Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mahew, who took part in the news conference, said there has been a 300 percent increase in the use of telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic began, something that she described as a “slight silver lining.” Mayhew also said timeliness is key in mental-health and substance-abuse services and being able to respond to people who reach out for help. “The bridge that we have created with tele-mental health ensures that that door is opened that much more quickly.” Mayhew said. The Legislature in 2018 increased funding for mental-health services at schools by about $69 million after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, with the amount increased to $75 million in 2019 and to $100 million in 2020.
“Florida Holocaust Museum confront ignorance with ‘Trunks of Hope’” by WTSP’s Eric Glasser – A recent and alarming new study that found almost two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z-ers don’t know that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. And nearly half could not name a single concentration camp from World War II. The Florida Holocaust Museum located in St. Petersburg hopes to address that deficiency by providing educators the tools they need to teach history and tolerance. “I think that headlines like that are always alarming,” said Florida Holocaust Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Gelman. “And always a good wake up call.” Gelman was shocked when she heard the results of a recent survey and just how many young people are unaware of the scope and horror of the Holocaust. “If you live in an area and there aren’t any Holocaust survivors, how do you have that experience?” Gelman said. The museum is now collecting donations to expand its “Trunks of Hope” program. It provides teachers and students free of charge ready-to-go trunks filled with age-appropriate Holocaust education materials like videos, books and learning guides that teach not only the history of the Holocaust but lessons in tolerance and how to confront hate and prejudice. “Today as we are seeing such a rise of racism and anti-Semitism and other identity-based hatreds, it’s important to understand that the people who hate one truly hate all,” Gelman said. The museum is also working with the Florida Department of Education to expand Holocaust education in public schools through a new resource it plans to formally unveil next week — a digital version of its trunk program for virtual and e-learning.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in repose at the Supreme Court this week” by Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer – The Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the court building on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Ginsburg, who was 87, died Friday after battling pancreatic cancer. “A private ceremony will take place in the Great Hall at 9:30 a.m. attended by Justice Ginsburg’s family, close friends, and members of the Court,” the Supreme Court said in a press release. “Following the private ceremony inside, Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the Building to allow for public viewing outdoors.” Ginsburg’s past law clerks will serve as honorary pallbearers and will greet her casket by lining the front steps of the courthouse. She will then be brought inside the Great Hall, where the current justices will be present and her casket will be placed on the Lincoln Catafalque. That platform, which was used for President Abraham Lincoln’s casket, is being loaned to the court by Congress. The public will be permitted to pay respects to Ginsburg in front of the Supreme Court building on Wednesday between approximately 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Ginsburg will lie in state at the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol on Friday. A ceremony will be held that morning, but only invited guests will be permitted to attend due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
“The future of Obamacare is at risk again. Here’s what’s at stake” by CNN’s Tami Luhby – The future of the Affordable Care Act is once again in jeopardy with the passing of liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. President Donald Trump now has a better chance of fulfilling his longstanding promise to kill the landmark health reform law, but in the courtroom instead of Congress. The Supreme Court is already scheduled to hear oral arguments just after the election in a case brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration, who argue the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the entire law must fall. If the court wipes away Obamacare, it would have a sweeping impact on the nation’s health care system and on the lives of tens of millions of Americans — not only for the roughly 20 million people who’ve gained coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges and through the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults. The law is also what allows parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans until age 26 and obtain free mammograms, cholesterol checks and birth control. But one of its most popular provisions is its strong protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including barring insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on people’s health histories. Nearly 54 million Americans — or 27% of non-elderly adults — have pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable in the individual market prior to the law, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. “The implications of the court case could stretch far and wide,” said Cynthia Cox, director of Kaiser’s Program on the ACA. “Virtually every American has been affected in some way by the Affordable Care Act.”
“CDC Removes Guidelines Saying Coronavirus Can Spread From Tiny Air Particles” by WSJ’s Caitlin McCabe – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pulled new guidelines acknowledging the new coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air, saying a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error on the agency’s website. For months, the CDC said the new coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people in close contact through droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. On Friday, however, it added that Covid-19 can also be spread by “droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols” that can be inhaled and cause infection. Then abruptly on Monday, the CDC reversed course and removed the additions. Much of the guidelines’ earlier description of Covid-19 transmission, emphasizing spread via close contact and droplets, was restored. “A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” a CDC spokesman said in an email. The CDC is still working on updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of the coronavirus, the spokesman said. “Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted,” he said. The CDC wants to convey that aerosol transmission is possible, but not the primary method coronavirus spreads, according to a person familiar with the matter. Another person familiar with the matter said that an internal push among some people within the agency to better communicate information about aerosol transmission led to the Friday change, but that the new guidelines didn’t go through appropriate vetting. The agency is reviewing how that happened, the person said.
“Education Secretary Besty Devos under investigation for potential Hatch Act violation: report” by Fox News’ Lucas Manfredi – The Office of the Special Counsel has started investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act for her comments during an interview with FOX News’ Martha MacCallum, according to Politico. During the interview on “The Story”, Devos had been asked about Biden’s promise to roll back her school choice policies. “Today he’s turned his back on the kids that we’re talking about and he’s turned his face in favor of the teachers union and what they have to say and what they have to demand and it’s really shameful,” Devos said. The interview was then promoted through the official channels of the Department of Education, according to an email shared by the outlet. The complaint, shared by Politico, alleges that Devos’ comment “attacked Democratic Presidential Candidate Vice President Joe Biden and his education proposals in a way that went far beyond policy differences.” “These individual acts are each unique violations of the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees and cabinet officials such as Secretary DeVos from using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the results of an election,” the complaint states. In addition, the complaint calls Devos’ characterization of Biden a “personal political attack.” “With a Presidential election less than two months away, this is clearly campaign rhetoric, not policy discussion,” the complaint reads. “Additionally, the premeditated nature and dissemination of the video of Secretary DeVos’s political attacks on Joe Biden from the Department of Education and Secretary DeVos’s Twitter account shows that this was a coordinated campaign, political attack on Joe Bidden from Secretary DeVos intended to damage Joe Biden’s campaign.”
“Ginsburg will become the first woman in history to lie in state in US Capitol” by CNN’s Ariane de Vogue – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first woman in history to lie in state in the US Capitol when her casket is placed in National Statuary Hall on Friday, according to congressional historians. The historic event, which was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday, will feature a formal ceremony for invited guests only because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lying in state is a tribute reserved for the most distinguished government officials and military officers, while lying in honor is a distinction given to private citizens. Earlier in the week, Ginsburg’s body will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday so that members of the public can pay their respects, the court announced on Monday. The casket will arrive in front of the Supreme Court just before 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday and a private ceremony with family, close friends and the justices will take place in the Great Hall at the court. Following the ceremony, the casket will be moved under the portico at the top of the building’s front steps. Former law clerks will serve as honorary pallbearers, lining the steps as the casket arrives. A private interment will be held next week at Arlington National Cemetery. Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She served on the court for more than 27 years and was nominated by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993. A makeshift memorial adorned with flowers and candles paying tribute to Ginsburg lines the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court. Lawmakers from both parties, entertainers, and athletes have also paid tributes to Ginsburg. Inside the Supreme Court, her bench chair and the bench in front of it have been draped in black in memoriam.
“Senate Republicans’ Probe of Joe and Hunter Biden Nears Completion” by WSJ’s Andrew Duehren, Dustin Voltz, Alan Cullison – A Republican-led Senate probe of the work Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son did in Ukraine is nearing completion, with the report set to renew a partisan battle over an issue that was central to President Trump’s impeachment. Republicans on the involved committees say the investigation is a justified re-examination of corruption allegations advanced by Mr. Trump and his allies about the Biden family’s activities related to Ukraine. Democrats say there is no evidence of wrongdoing and say that the panels’ findings may spread Kremlin-backed disinformation when U.S. intelligence agencies have issued heightened warnings about Russian efforts to interfere in the presidential election. The Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees have for months been investigating Hunter Biden’s prior service on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company. Hunter Biden served on the board of the company while Joe Biden as vice president led policy efforts for the U.S. and its allies toward Ukraine. Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), has said the probe would aim to determine whether Joe Biden shaped Ukrainian policy to benefit his son. Mr. Johnson hasn’t provided a preview of the probe’s findings, but he said recently that the report would show Joe Biden shouldn’t be elected president. The panels, led by Mr. Johnson and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), ramped up their probes during the impeachment investigation of Mr. Trump last year and are conducting their final interviews in the probe this week. Investigators are interviewing several witnesses who worked on Ukraine issues during the Obama administration, and earlier this summer the panels subpoenaed records from Blue Star Strategies, a consulting firm that represented Burisma in the U.S.
“The Ginsburg and Scalia Show: “Best buddies” on and off the bench” by Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears – The late Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were best friends, off and on the bench. Despite their sharp ideological differences on interpreting the law and Constitution, they shared much in common: their New York roots (he from Queens, she from Brooklyn); sharp intellects; cute family nicknames (“Kiki” for Ginsburg, “Nino” for Scalia); prior work as law professors; and a love of opera, fine food, and wine. The two became close professionally when both served on the DC Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the 1980s. Scalia made the jump to the Supreme Court in 1986, Ginsburg joined him seven years later. They served together on the high court for more than 22 years, before Scalia’s sudden death in 2016. These quotes are based on individual interviews, writings, and seminars, as well as several public events where the two appeared together in conversation. Ginsburg tribute in remembrance after Scalia’s death, February 14, 2016 “Toward the end of the opera ‘Scalia/Ginsburg,’ tenor Scalia and soprano Ginsburg sing a duet: ‘We are different, we are one,’ different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve. From our years together at the D.C. Circuit, we were best buddies. We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots—the ‘applesauce” and “argle bargle’—and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion. He was a jurist of captivating brilliance and wit, with a rare talent to make even the most sober judge laugh. The press referred to his ‘energetic fervor,’ ‘astringent intellect,’ ‘peppery prose,’ ‘acumen,’ and ‘affability,’ all apt descriptions. He was eminently quotable, his pungent opinions so clearly stated that his words never slipped from the reader’s grasp… It was my great good fortune to have known him as working colleague and treasured friend.”
“Edward Snowden agrees to give up more than $5 million from book and speeches” by CNN’s Katelyn Polantz – Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who leaked intelligence secrets in 2013, has agreed to forfeit more than $5 million he earned from his book and speaking fees to the US government, according to court records. Snowden published his book “Permanent Record” last year without government approval, in violation of contracts he signed with the CIA and the National Security Agency. A federal judge had sided with the Justice Department in its lawsuit to claw back Snowden’s proceeds, and was considering how much he would need to pay. The judge has not yet approved the forfeiture plan. The case represents one of the few ways the US government has found to hold former employees accountable for unauthorized leaks. John Bolton, the former national security adviser who published a damaging book about President Donald Trump earlier this year, faces a similar attempt by the Justice Department to claw back proceeds for publishing. That case is still ongoing, with a hearing set for this week. Bolton disputes the government’s accusations. Snowden, who lives in Russia, had earned $4.2 million from his book sales, royalties and related rights as of this month. He gave 56 paid speeches that included disclosures that breached his government secrecy agreement, according to the court filing from his lawyers in the US and the Justice Department. In all, Snowden made about $1.03 million from the speeches, with an average speaking fee of $18,000. The money will be put in a trust, according to the plan to which Snowden and the Trump administration agreed. An attorney for Snowden said the agreement filed in court on Tuesday doesn’t mean the US government will be able to immediately collect the money, because Snowden is considering appealing the judge’s previous decision that he was liable for the disclosures.
“House Democrats Introduce Spending Bill to Fund Government Through Dec. 11” by WSJ’s Kristina Peterson and Jesse Newman – The House was expected to move Tuesday to pass a spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 11 but without farm-aid funds sought by the White House. The bill, introduced Monday by House Democrats, sparked frustration in the GOP-controlled Senate. Partisan tension is running high after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he would move to swiftly fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The government’s current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1. The spending bill “will avert a catastrophic shutdown in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Monday. She said the short-term bill would allow time to agree on bipartisan legislation to fund the government for the full fiscal year. Mrs. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had agreed earlier this month to pass a short-term spending bill devoid of any contentious measures, referred to as “clean” on Capitol Hill. But the bill became controversial Monday when Democratic leaders opted not to include a request from the White House to replenish early a program President Trump has tapped as aid to farmers. Negotiators had been discussing pairing an infusion of farm-aid funds with a provision sought by Democrats to extend a program expiring at month’s end for families of school-age children, according to aides from both parties. The program enables families to buy groceries, replacing the free or reduced-price meals they would have received at school. But the spending bill released Monday left out both.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–@SenateGOP Crazy Nancy Pelosi wants to Impeach me if I fulfill my Constitutional Obligation to put forth a Nominee for the vacated seat on the United States Supreme Court. This would be a FIRST, even crazier than being Impeached for making a PERFECT phone call to Ukrainian Pres.
Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff–Mr. President, this is low. Even for you. No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union. But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true. No confirmation before inauguration.