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Senate Set to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday

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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives Wednesday for the third day of her confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives Wednesday for the third day of her confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

After only 30 days since Trump announced he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, a Republican-controlled Senate is ready to confirm her as a Supreme Court justice.

What We Know:

  • The final vote occurred on Monday, October 26th at 7:30 pm EST. The final Senate vote was 52-48 in favor of confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and a ceremony did end up taking place at the White House ceremony following the vote where Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Coney Barrett.
  • President Trump spoke at the event, thanking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and calling today a “momentous day” for America, the constitution and the rule of law. He also praised Barrett’s intellect and poise during the confirmation process. Several Republican senators were also in attendance. Barrett must still take the judicial oath.
  • The significance of her confirmation now could be that Barrett could quickly be able to help decide applications from states for the court to settle disputes about voting methods, but she should not be able to give a vote on currently ongoing cases.
  • Moreover, the court has already made decisions regarding how to address several election-related disputes such as the previously blocked curbside voting in Alabama and imposed witness requirements in South Carolina. Her confirmation is a solid victory for Trump and a predominantly Republican Senate whose campaigning efforts have achieved a conservative majority on the court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said, “We made an important contribution to the future of this country. A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

  • Prior to the vote, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski changed opinions over the weekend and stated she would vote in favor of Barrett even though she previously opposed swearing-in a new justice before Election Day. On the other hand, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, another Senate Republican running for re-election, made it clear she would vote against Barrett.

Democrats have signaled that in the wake of Barrett’s confirmation, several major changes could occur such as the end of the Affordable Care Act. It’s been reported that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the health care law in November. Another fear is that she would vote for overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that made abortion legal.

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Javier Garay is a Media & News SVCS Intern at UnmutedCo. He is enrolled in the University of North Georgia seeking a Bachelors of Science (B.S) in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. He is a contributor and editor for Black News Alerts (BNA), a BNA and BossFM social media contributor, and is lead of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.

Headlines

Texas GOP Chairman Steps Down After Sharing Racist MLK Post

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Courtesy of ABC13 Houston

Keith Nielsen the chair-elect for the Republican Party in Houston, Texas, Harris County has resigned after racist posts referring to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as a monkey on social media.

What We Know:

  • Nielsen’s resignation comes less than four months on the job. The Texas Tribune reported Nielsen was heavily criticized for posting a meme on Facebook, which took MLK’s popular quote, “Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere,” juxtaposed with a banana earlier this year.
  • After the controversy, Nielson was advised by many high-ranking Republicans in Texas to drop out of the race for office. He continued his pursuit and defeated former party chairman Paul Simpson in March.
  • After his victory, Nielson announced on Facebook he would not take office in August days after defending his racial post.

“I have spent my entire adult life supporting conservative candidates and causes and I am grateful for the thousands of supporters who have reached out to me over the last several days.” Nielsen continued, “I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd.”

  • Nielson continued to hold his position as Chairman well past August and officially quit on his own terms on November 30.
  • Nielson was one of several Texas GOP members to post racial remarks in correlation to protests that were prevalent in the state around the time.

The local party’s executive committee will be meeting to pick the new chairman.

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Crime

28-Year-Old Identified After Being Found Dead in Car Trunk Following Police Chase

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The 28-year-old woman who was found dead in a car trunk in Texas has been identified as Briana Johnson. Victor Campbell, the driver, has been arrested and currently sits behind bars at the Jefferson County Jail.

What We Know:

  • The body of a 28-year-old woman was found in the trunk of a car after it crashed during a police chase in Texas, authorities said. Victor Cambell was pulled over by police officers around 8 am on Saturday. He didn’t stop, which led to a car chase until he later crashed.
  • According to the NY Post, the police first spotted the vehicle speeding around 7:45 a.m. and pulled it over in Beaumont, about 85 miles east of Houston. But the driver, Victor Campbell Jr., allegedly zoomed off, leading the troopers on a chase that ended when he crashed near the parking lot of a church thrift shop.
  • Campbell, who’s previously been charged with family violence, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the crash and later booked into Jefferson County jail. The 35-year-old now faces charges for felony evading arrest, driving while intoxicated, tampering with evidence, and abusing a corpse. Additional charges may be added, police said. A cause of death hasn’t been released yet, but an autopsy has been ordered.
  • On Sunday, several Houston police officers searched a home in the area that is believed to be connected to her death, based on the evidence found at the crime scene in Beaumont. The investigation is still ongoing. The family of Johnson has set up a GoFundMe account to go toward funeral expenses. Her hometown is in Fresno, California, and her family is hoping and wanting to take her body back there.
  • Some of her friends spoke out about her sudden and mysterious death. Former classmate Tiffany Goodman spoke with 12 News, remembering Johnson. “It just doesn’t seem that this type of incident would happen to her. To be found in a trunk of a car, it was just so heartbreaking”. The two of them attended college together at TSU in Houston and crossed paths multiple times. She described Johnson as a person with confidence that cared deeply for others.

Her loss deeply saddens her family and friends. This is a developing story, and more news is to come.

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Entertainment

Lewis Hamilton Crowned GQ’s Game Changer of The Year

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Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton has been named GQ’s Game Changer of the YearThe sporting hero will be honored at the annual GQ Men of The Year Awards ceremony, which is going virtual for the first time this year (20) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

What We Know:

  • As of Dec 1st, the seven-time F1 champion has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mercedes team released a statement on Tuesday, November 24th that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time. The last time he was tested was on Sunday, November 29, at the Bahrain International Circuit. 
  • In a recent interview with GQ, Hamilton spoke about his experiences with racism when he was younger. “I started experiencing racism when I was five, and people looked upon it so lightly when someone would throw out these words, the bullying, and the beatings and the intimidation.”
  • The 35-year-old sportsman has vowed to continue to stand up for others, and big causes after racing stars were effectively banned from wearing T-shirts with political statements after he decided to raise awareness of the Breanna Taylor case during the Tuscan Grand Prix.
  • In the January/February 2021 issue of GQ, he added: “If I believe it is important enough, I will. I will do it again…Every weekend that I arrive, we have the spotlight on us, and every weekend there is an opportunity to raise awareness. We don’t live in a time when everything is OK. 

The GQ Men of the Year Awards 2020 took place on November 26th at 8 pm GMT.

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