The Supreme Court’s decision must be the start point, not the end point, for remedying discrimination

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Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash

The US Supreme Court made a multitude of consequential decisions this term, including establishing limits on executive power, protecting the rights of LGBT Americans, and halting President Trump from ending DACA. One of the most surprising and far-reaching decisions, however, was also one of the most overlooked. In McGirt v. Oklahoma , the court ruled that Eastern Oklahoma is technically still under the jurisdiction of the Muscogee Tribe. As a practical matter, this means that the defendant in the case, convicted sex offender Jimcy McGirt, will have to be retried. Initially convicted in Oklahoma courts, Mcgirt is now entitled to a trial in Federal Court that has jurisdiction over reservations. …

Tom Cotton’s Op-Ed calling for military occupation of American cities was abhorrent. But it needed to be published.

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Source: Hudson Institute (Flickr)

On June 7, New York Times Opinion Editor James Bennett resigned from his job after sustained pressure following the publication of an op-ed written by Republican Senator Tom Cotton. Cotton’s op-ed, entitled “Send in the Troops,” called for the military occupation of American cities to end rioting and civil unrest. It was deliberately inflammatory, using language such as “orgy of violence” and “bands of miscreants.” And it was also factually inaccurate in spots, including a statement that “police officers have borne the brunt of the violence.”

I disagree strongly with the content of Cotton’s op-ed. Using the military in American cities, especially without the consent of state and local governments, should always be the absolute last resort. Soldiers are trained for battle against foreign adversaries, not policing on American streets. As former Secretary of Defense James Mattis said, “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’” The use of military force amid protests against militarized police would be a tragic irony, an acknowledgment of the fact that our government must rely on force rather than respect for legitimacy. …

Biden may not be liberals’ first choice, but he can bring back America’s desperately needed moral compass

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Source:Marc Nozell

“Is this who we are?”

This is the question Democratic Nominee for President Joe Biden asked the nation the morning of June 2, almost a week into protests that gripped the nation following the death of George Floyd. The night before, police in Washington D.C. had teargassed peaceful protesters in front of the White House. People expressing their first amendment rights were choked and pushed off of the streets their own city, just so that President Trump could stage a photo-op.

Even for a President with seemingly no limit for cruelty, the moment was a new low. Republican senators denounced him. The ACLU and protestors filed a lawsuit challenging the brutality. Trump’s former Secretary of Defense, the widely respected James Mattis, stated that “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.” …

Why we need to recognize this fact as a society if we have any hope of moving forward.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I’ve spent the past few days watching and re-watching the video showing the death of George Floyd, as I know many Americans have. Like most people, I’ve felt visceral shock and outrage watching the Minneapolis Police Officer Darren Chauvin kneeling on Floyd even as he repeatedly exclaims that he can’t breathe.

There’s no need to mince words regarding what transpired. Floyd was murdered in broad daylight by a law enforcement officer purportedly sworn to protect him. And although Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, no prison sentence can bring back Floyd’s life or restore the African American community’s faith in law enforcement. …

In the wake of Tara Reade’s allegations, Democrats must commit to due process for all.

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“Visita de trabajo Joe Biden” by Presidencia de la República Mexicana is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Allegations of sexual assault against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by former staffer Tara Read have drawn increased media attention and scrutiny from the public in the past month. Columns have appeared in prominent national publications such as the Washington Post calling for Biden to step aside as the nominee. Republicans have further fanned the flames surrounding the allegations, seeking to undercut Democrats support among women. Following Democrats’ widespread outrage at the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and embrace of the # MeToo movement, it seemed conceivable that the accusations could seriously damage Biden’s support among the Democratic establishment.

This has not happened, however. Even as Reade’s allegations gained traction, prominent Democrats have chosen to stay largely muted or supportive of Biden. Some have released terse statements, such as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, who stated she “believed Joe Biden.” Senator Kristen Gillibrand, a prominent backer of the #MeToo movement, similarly issued a brief statement of support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called Biden’s denial “sufficient.” …

COVID-19 may have ended my college running career, but it strengthened my love for the sport

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Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

April 18, 2020, was the scheduled date of my final collegiate track and field conference championship. The day had played out in my head countless times. I would line up, run the 10,000-meter race of my life, and retire from competitive running on a high note. The moment I crossed the finish line, I’d celebrate the culmination of my running career with the teammates who mean everything to me.

Of course, none of this actually happened. Like college students across the country, my life was turned upside down by the sudden spread of COVID-19. My final track season was abruptly canceled, and students at my university were dispersed across the country to continue the semester online. I’m fortunate to have stable family circumstances and post-graduation plans. …

We need to make data-driven decisions to beat COVID. Here’s why that’s so difficult.

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Photo by Anton on Unsplash

COVID-19 has given us a world awash with numbers. One only has to glance at the news to find countless articles concerning the potential infection rate, death rate, and immunity rates of the novel coronavirus. Death and infection counts are updated by the day, easily comparable across states and countries. A number of models provide projections on the future of the pandemic. Some websites then even add another layer by assigning probabilities of how accurate these forecasts are.

It’s remarkable that in a world with so much information available, how little it feels like we truly know. Politicians offer confusing and oftentimes contradictory guidance. Some states are reopening while others stay locked down. …

Scientists warn of devastating consequences while politicians do nothing. We know how this playbook ends.

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Photo by Thijs Stoop on Unsplash

Alarm bells begin to sound, first in the scientific community and then the broader media. They are ignored or dismissed as sensationalized. At first, effects are seen in only a few isolated pockets. Political leaders across the globe approach the issue with attitudes ranging from avoidance to outright skepticism. Some even call it a hoax. Most people continue on with their normal lives.

When the scope of the problem finally becomes apparent, it’s too late. The economic and social consequences are dire, with even the most developed countries facing serious crisis. Any action taken by governments feels hopelessly reactive. Some continue down the path of denial, with disastrous results. The most vulnerable among us are hit the hardest. People across the globe confront the question, “will we ever return to normal?” …

Online classes may be necessary now. But colleges must recognize they can never fully replace in-person learning.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

On March 4, I walked out of my last midterm exam excited to begin spring break. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that was the final undergraduate class I would ever attend. A week later, my college, along with almost every other university in the country, announced that classes would shift online. Students were given a week to pack their belongings and vacate campus. As a senior, I wondered when and if I would see many of my friends again.

A month later, more questions remain than answers. However, we have settled into a new “normal” of online classes. Bleary eyed students roll out of bed straight into early morning Zoom sessions. Professors ask the participant with the barking dog in the background to please mute their microphone for the third time. …

Workers have been left to suffer while big businesses are bailed out. These are the rules we need to ensure this never happens again.

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Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Anyone scanning business headlines in the past month should feel justified in experiencing a sense of whiplash.

The stock market sees a week of record gains at the same time ten million Americans stand to lose their jobs. Airlines and the cruise ship industry receive multi-billion-dollar bailouts while most individuals get checks that may not even cover a month’s rent. Real estate investors benefit from a $170 billion tax break tucked into the stimulus bill as food banks are overwhelmed by people seeking assistance.

Just as with the 2008 financial crisis, COVID has laid bare the failings of our supposed “free-enterprise” system. How is it that the same corporations who spend billions of dollars lobbying for less regulation are suddenly able to turn to the government for bailouts in times of crisis? Where is the similar aid for individuals facing bankruptcy, eviction, or hunger through no fault of their own? The answer is that these corporations are considered “too big to fail,” by policymakers and legislators. …


Andrew Kliewer

Runner, Political Junkie, Future Law Student. Emory University 2020

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