Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first black female Supreme Court Justice
President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, was confirmed by a Senate vote. After garnering the support of three Republican senators — Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney — she also garnered the support of all 50 Democrats and became the court’s first black female judge.
The vote comes after a seven-week nomination process during which she faced severe criticism from Republicans who focused on her alleged leniency towards sex offenders who targeted children. Again, these criticisms have been largely dismissed as distorting their earlier decisions.
Earlier, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she had tested positive for Covid-19 after appearing alongside President Biden, Chuck Schumer and other senior figures at a law signing.
Ms Pelosis’s diagnosis means three of the top 10 people in the presidential line are currently known to be infected with the virus. The spokeswoman’s team says she is currently asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, Jen Psaki dismissed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to bus migrants from the southern border to Washington DC as a “publicity stunt” in Thursday’s White House press briefing.
History made: Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first black woman on Supreme Court
Ketanji Brown Jackson made history Thursday when the Senate voted 53-47 to make her the first black female Supreme Court justice in the nation’s history.
Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a historic first as the first black and Asian American vice president, was present to chair the confirmation vote. Ms. Jackson’s rise to the nation’s highest court was a moment of celebration for many Democrats.
Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Capitol Hill.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 4:45 am
Covid vaccination order for Biden federal employees upheld by US court
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday reinstated President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring civilian federal employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
In a rare victory for the administration, the New Orleans 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court complaint challenging the mandate.
The Court of Appeals has 17 active Republican-dominated judges, including six Trump-appointed judges.
It was after US District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who had been appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by Donald Trump, entered a 2-1 statewide injunction against the mandate in January.
“The injunction seriously harms the public interest by hampering efforts to reduce disruption from Covid-19 in federal workplaces,” the government attorneys said in their court filings.
Schweta SharmaApril 8, 2022 4:43 am
Psaki: Gov. Abbott has no authority over a “publicity stunt” plan to bus migrants from Texas to DC
The White House press secretary accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of promising an illegal “publicity stunt” Thursday after the Republican governor vowed to place undocumented migrants on chartered buses bound for Washington DC.
Ms Psaki was asked about the governor’s announcement at her daily press briefing by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy. In her response, she pointed out that no Texas official, including the governor, has the legal authority to forcibly remove people from their state, enforce federal immigration law, or even take official action across state lines.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 4:00 am
Video: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House
‘I like what you’ve made of the place’: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House
Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 3:30 am
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 3:15 am
Voices: The most ridiculous questions asked of Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing
Andrew Feinberg recalls some of the mystifyingly absurd questions asked in Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate hearings, including, “Do you think we should catch and incarcerate more or less murderers?”
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 2:30 am
ICYMI: US will boycott G20 meetings if Russia is allowed to attend
Ms Yellen raised questions about Russia’s future in the G20 at a hearing of the US House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 1:45 am
Congress votes to suspend trade with Russia and Belarus and ban energy imports
By a vote of 420 to 3, the House of Representatives passed legislation suspending continued normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus in light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The Senate unanimously passed the bill 100-0 on Thursday and is now heading to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to sign it.
The three no votes in the House of Representatives were: Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga), Thomas Massie (R-Ky), and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla).
In addition, the House of Representatives passed legislation 413 to 9 banning the import of Russian oil, gas and other energy products into the United States.
The Senate also passed the bill unanimously 100-0 earlier in the day, and Mr. Biden also plans 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 1:00 am
US warns Xi Jinping of ‘what could be in store for him’ if China backs Russia
A senior US State Department official has warned President Xi Jinping of “what could be in store for him” if China supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China could face similar sanctions to Russia if it supports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, Wendy Sherman, assistant secretary at the State Department and second-highest official, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 00:15
Votes: Democrats have left Ketanji Brown Jackson. Black women came to bear witness
“Kamala Harris’ absence was painfully felt during a series of vicious confirmation hearings,” writes Eric Garcia.
Oliver O’ConnellApril 7, 2022 11:30 p.m