Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barret was confirmed by the Senate on Monday night after the GOP pushed forward a rushed full-floor vote.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus is surging in multiple states, which could mean new lockdowns are coming.
And lastly, another huge win for progress in South America, as Chile voted to finally abandon it’s dictator-era constitution that has been in place since a U.S.-backed coup installed right wing mass murderer Augusto Pinochet in power nearly 50 years ago.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
We have a new justice on the Supreme Court. After a blitzkreig confirmation process and a hasty swearing-in ceremony, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump successfully installed Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court on Monday night.
The Senate voted 52-48. Every Democrat, Independent, and Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted against Barrett, but it did nothing to Mitch McConnell’s ironclad majority. After the vote, the White House put together a slapdash swearing-in ceremony on the South Lawn to get Barrett on the bench as fast as possible.
It’s hard to fully grasp what this news means. Some of the first cases Barrett sees will be related to elections in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and she could also be part of a ruling if election results next week get challenged. If Trump does try to steal the election with the courts, Brett Kavanaugh and ACB will likely be solid votes in his favor, further bolstering the conservatives’ 6-3 majority even if Chief Justice John Roberts decides to flip and, you know, not do fascism.
A strong indication that this is exactly what would go down: earlier today the Supreme Court ruled that Wisconsin would not have to continue counting absentee ballots that were postmarked by election day but arrived late, setting up a strong precedent for throwing out votes all over the place.
And even if Biden does manage to take power, Barrett might be able to rule on a case that pertains to Roe V. Wade before he’s even in office.
Meanwhile, the Democrats still, STILL seem fully opposed to fighting back in any way or taking steps toward reform. Earlier today, Joe Biden told reporters that he wouldn’t consider term limits
for SCOTUS members. Quote “It’s a lifetime appointment. I’m not going to attempt to change that at all.” Endquote. There you have it.
Coronavirus Once Again Surging
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic is starting to pick up steam again. Yesterday we mentioned that spikes in cases in Utah were so severe hospital administrators were preparing to ration care.
Texas’s total cases have now surpassed California, with more than 910,000 total. The number of new cases in those states have increased by 19 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Cases elsewhere nationwide are also climbing. In Europe, which is seeing similar spikes, many countries are preparing for a second wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions, which are basically the only way left to get a handle on the increases.
But it’s unlikely that the U.S. will enact policies like that with Trump in power, and if we did, the fact that no new aid is on the way from the government means that people are going to suffer massively either way. Some state governors are doing what they can. Idaho, for instance, is preparing to enact new restrictions to grapple with a spike.
But if you remember from yesterday, the Trump administration has publicly said it’s not going to try to control the disease anymore, instead focusing on cures and vaccines.
The problem is those aren’t going so well either: the drug maker Eli Lily said on Monday that it’s antibody treatment does not work on patients with advanced COVID-19, and that its government sponsored trial would not be giving the drug to new patients. That’s just one treatment, of course, but it seems clear that we’re a lot further from a stable cure or vaccine than the President wants us to think.
Chile Chucks Constitution
Outside of the country, however, there is some good news. Voters in Chile overwhelmingly rejected the country’s outdated, repressive constitution, which had been in place since a U.S.-backed right-wing coup installed Augusto Pinochet as leader of the country.
The fact that Pinochet’s constitution was still the binding legal document of the country 50 years later is surreal, and finally, after months of protests, the Chilean people had their voices heard. They voted by a massive 4 to 1 margin to approve the creation of a new constitution.
Catalina Miranda, a Chilean who was among the crowd of thousands celebrating the result in Santiago’s Plaza Italia, told the Guardian quote:
“We’ve been living under an illegitimate constitution created by a military regime, that’s only allowed progress to those who have money. There’s been very few times that Chilean people have shared a collective victory like today.”
Sounds uh... oddly familiar!
Perhaps, especially given the travesty of governing that we’ve seen out of the Senate GOP and Trump administration, Americans could take a few notes on throwing out their Constitution and making something better.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
In an interview with Fox and Friends on Monday, Jared Kushner gave the racism dial a good old crank by questioning whether or not Black Americans quote “want to be successful,” after claiming that his father in law had done so much for them.
Also on Monday, Trump imposed a new set of sweeping economic sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, seeking to kneecap any future foreign relations a Biden administration would have with the country and ratchet up tension further before the election.
Sources told the Washington Post that state and federal antitrust charges against Facebook could come as soon as November, which would be a major step toward breaking the social network’s stranglehold over almost every facet of American life.
And finally, Charles Beckham III, a candidate for State Senate in Arkansas, was expelled from high school because he wore a KKK outfit on Halloween. He should probably be expelled from politics as well!
That’s it for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam later this afternoon!
OCT 27, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn