Saturday News: R.I.P. R.B.G.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG HAS PASSED AWAY: Ginsburg first made her mark in the 1970s, challenging laws and norms dictating that a woman’s place was in the home and a man’s place was in the workforce. As a lawyer, she litigated or contributed to more than 60 cases dealing with sex-based discrimination, including a dozen that reached the Supreme Court. Short in stature and known for her careful, halting manner of speaking, Ginsburg nonetheless became one of the most successful civil rights litigators of the last century. As historian Jane Sherron De Hart wrote in a 2018 biography of Ginsburg, “She showed Americans with intellectual rigor and precision that women’s rights are human rights.”

RIGHT-WINGER TRIES TO INFILTRATE COMMON CAUSE AND DEMOCRACY NC: Common Cause North Carolina and Democracy North Carolina, two well established government watchdog groups, said a man calling himself "James Fortune" and a number of other out-of-state operatives posed as donors and volunteers, apparently in an attempted sting operation targeting left-leaning groups. The scheme was detailed Friday afternoon in an article published by The News & Observer. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told the newspaper she was conducting a preliminary review to see if a criminal investigation was warranted. Incorporation papers for the company had been filed only a few days before Fortune showed up in North Carolina, and they listed a political consultant "whose many hats include serving as the registered agent for a political organization of a U.S. House candidate who supports the QAnon movement," the newspaper reported.

DEQ ISSUES PERMIT FOR WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM AT CHEMOURS PLANT: North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality has issued a permit for a water treatment system at the Chemours Fayetteville Works site to remove so-called forever chemicals from a contaminated stream. The department said in a press release on Friday that the stream flows into the Cape Fear River. The system is required to remove at least 99% of PFAS from the stream and be operational by September 30. PFAS are used to make many consumer and industrial products. They’re known as “forever chemicals” because they are slow to break down. Researchers say they’re a threat to human health. “The treatment system will immediately reduce the amount of PFAS contamination reaching downstream communities,” Assistant Secretary for the Environment Sheila Holman said in a news release.

MCCONNELL VOWS TO BRING TRUMP SUPREME COURT NOMINEE TO SENATE FLOOR FOR A VOTE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made judicial confirmations a hallmark of his legacy, is now confronting an extremely fraught Supreme Court fight that will challenge his pledge to leave no vacancy behind amid charges of hypocrisy and as his party’s control of the Senate hangs in the balance. McConnell (R-Ky.), who blocked President Barack Obama’s final nominee to the Supreme Court for the near entirety of 2016, said Friday that President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court will get a vote on the floor of the Senate, although he did not say when that vote would be held. “Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” McConnell said in a statement Friday following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He added: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” But at least two GOP senators indicated in interviews before Ginsburg’s death that they would not support filling a Supreme Court vacancy so close to Election Day, pledging to uphold the standard crafted by McConnell that most Senate Republicans adhered to in 2016.

BIDEN QUOTES 2016 MCCONNELL ON WHO SHOULD CHOOSE GINSBURG REPLACEMENT: Joseph R. Biden Jr. said on Friday night that the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death should not be filled until after the presidential election. “There is no doubt — let me be clear — that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” he told reporters after landing at New Castle Airport in Delaware following a campaign trip to Minnesota. Mr. Biden, the former vice president, pointed to how Senate Republicans refused to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland in the final year of President Barack Obama’s second term. “This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s the position the United States Senate must take today.” In his comments to reporters, Mr. Biden also spoke of Justice Ginsburg’s life and career, noting that he had presided over her confirmation hearings in 1993. He said she was “not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure.” “She practiced the highest American ideals as a justice, equality and justice under the law, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us,” he said.



It may be a before-the-coffee thing,

but I'm pretty pissed off at the news media this morning. Everybody is speculating on who Trump might pick, but they should be writing (heavily) about how he shouldn't be able to pick anybody at all. We're 7 weeks away from the election, and Merrick Garland was nominated 10 months before the 2016 election. But that seems to be just a footnote. Grrr.