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Shockwaves from Wisconsin police shooting rattle U.S. sports and politics – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Brendan McDermid and Stephen Maturen

KENOSHA, Wis. (Reuters) – Peace returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a night but shockwaves from the police shooting that paralyzed a Black man reverberated across the United States, further polarizing the presidential election campaign and bringing major sports to a halt.

Following three nights of civil strife including arson, vandalism and a shooting spree that killed two people, calm appeared to take hold on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

About 200 protesters who defied a curfew marched peacefully through city streets, chanting, “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace” in response to the seven shots fired at the back of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Sunday in the presence of his three young sons.

Law enforcement kept a low profile during the demonstration, and notably absent were any counterdemonstrators or armed militia figures.

Prior nights had seen an array of rifle-toting civilians such as the 17-year-old, pro-police advocate who was arrested on Wednesday and charged with homicide for a shooting outburst that killed two and wounded another.

With protests elsewhere in America still lingering over the May 25 death of George Floyd, whose neck was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, the Kenosha events revived debates about racism in the criminal justice system.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis on Wednesday to quell unrest that was stirred by the death of a Black homicide suspect who police say shot himself.

Police in Oakland, California, said hundreds of people took part in demonstrations that included fires, broken windows and vandalized businesses. And police and protesters continued to clash in Portland, Oregon, where demonstrations have gone on for nearly three months straight.

At the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence described the Nov. 3 election between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness.

‘BLAKE DIDN’T HARM ANYONE’

National Basketball Association players led by the Milwaukee Bucks went on strike to protest racial injustice during the playoffs, putting the rest of the season in jeopardy. Milwaukee is about 40 miles (60 km) north of Kenosha.

Players in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the Women’s National Basketball followed with their own wildcat strikes. Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of a tournament in Ohio.

In the police shooting that sparked the latest wave of outrage, Rusten Sheskey, a 7-year veteran of the Kenosha police force, fired seven times at Blake’s back, striking him four times, as he walked away from them and entered his car.

Blake survived despite injuries to his spine and multiple organs, and he may be permanently paralyzed, his family lawyers said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice revealed on Wednesday that investigators found a knife on the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s car.

Investigators also said police had tased Blake during an attempt to arrest him as part of a domestic dispute, and that Blake had admitted to them that he had a knife.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Blake family, disputed the claim he had a knife.

“Jacob Blake didn’t harm anyone or pose any threat to the police, yet they shot him seven times in the back in front of his children. But when a young white supremacist shot and killed two peaceful protesters, local law enforcement and National Guardsmen allowed him to walk down the street with his assault weapon,” Crump and his co-counsels said in a statement.

They were referring to video from the previous night that showed the person who had just fired on protesters was able to walk past a battery of police without getting arrested.

Authorities later caught up to the suspect, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, about 20 miles (30 km) away.

(Additional reporting by Nathan Layne, Daniel Trotta, Ann Maria Shibu and Kanishka Singh; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Coincidence and condolence: Dying together in politics – National Post

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Article content continued

Others are schoolkid legends or viral factoids that are not quite true, like Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, who did technically both die on April 23, 1616, but in different countries, Spain and England, which were using different calendars, so in fact they died 10 days apart.

Some simultaneous exits are curious coincidences, like Signe Anderson and Paul Kantner who both died on Jan. 28, 2016, 50 years after she left the psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, which they co-founded.

Some death partnerships seem to elevate each other in solidarity with a common cause

Others seem not to be coincidences at all, but somehow causally related as expressions of intense emotional intimacy, as in the occasional married couple who make headlines for dying sweetly together in ripe old age, or the parents of former star CFL quarterback Doug Flutie, Dick and Joan, who had heart attacks in short sequence on Nov. 18, 2015.

Some just seem ominous. On the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963, C.S. Lewis died of ill health in Oxford, and Aldous Huxley died of cancer in Los Angeles, tripping on LSD.

Few such death partnerships carry the political heft of the latest one between Bader Ginsburg and Turner.

The main contrast is how differently they matter to the wider public. Turner’s death casts the mind back to the past. Bader Ginsburg’s death does the same, but it also inspires urgent thoughts of the future.

Turner’s death has been treated in Canada as an opportunity to reflect on history, on the Liberal Party’s changing fortunes. Former prime ministers are under a newly critical eye. No one gets the saintly treatment any more, even in death. But Turner is someone who can be mourned at ease. He was not prime minister very long, less than three months in 1984. He had not been in the news lately, and had seemed frail in public appearances.

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Washington Politics Could Be About To Enter A 'Post-Apocalyptic' Phase – NPR

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Protesters rally in front of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday. Soon after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, McConnell said President Trump’s court nominee will receive a vote in the Senate.

Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Jon Cherry/Getty Images

As if 2020 couldn’t get any more politically contentious, a fight is underway over a Supreme Court vacancy — just 43 days until Election Day, and as Americans are already voting in some places during this election season.

Raising the stakes even more, this is not just any seat. It’s the chair formerly held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal and feminist cultural icon.

While in the minority on the court, Ginsburg became known for her dissents, and, in many ways, she embodied the spirit and strength of the resistance to President Trump. She stood against the social and cultural shifts conservatives have started to implement with Trump’s two picks making the high court majority conservative.

As NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter days before her death that read: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

A majority of Americans seem to agree with Ginsburg. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken over the weekend found that 62% of American adults felt the vacancy should be filled by whoever wins the 2020 presidential election.

That, of course, is of little concern to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Just over an hour after news of Ginsburg’s death broke, the Kentucky Republican vowed to press forward on a Trump replacement.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement.

That’s despite not even allowing a hearing for former President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia in 2016. That nominee, Merrick Garland, is the chief judge of the second-highest court in the country, the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Trump is vowing a replacement very soon.

“I will be putting forth a nominee next week,” Trump said at a campaign event in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday after taking the stage to chants of “fill that seat.” “It will be a woman. I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”

High on Trump’s list are Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Jones Rushing, NPR’s Carrie Johnson and Tamara Keith reported this weekend.

Barrett, who has been a federal judge in Chicago for three years, is seen by NPR’s sources as a front-runner. The 48-year-old University of Notre Dame law professor and staunch Catholic was a finalist for the seat Brett Kavanaugh ultimately filled.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a former longtime senator and Judiciary Committee chair, called on Republicans in the Senate “who know deep down what is right for the country — not just for their party” to vote against a Trump nominee.

“Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Sen. McConnell have created,” Biden said in a speech Sunday. “Don’t go there. Hold your constitutional duty, your conscience. Let the people speak. Cool the flames that have been engulfing our country.”

He added, “If I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn.”

“Hold the tape”

There are plenty of statements Democrats will point to on how Republicans are operating with a double standard.

“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in 2018 at a panel hosted by The Atlantic.

“Hold the tape,” Graham assured.

The tape has been held, but Graham has changed reels.

The South Carolina senator and current Judiciary Committee chair, who’s in a tough fight for reelection and who led the charge to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, is unapologetically vowing to bring forward Trump’s nominee.

“Harry Reid & Chuck Schumer changed Senate rules to try and stack the courts for Obama,” Graham tweeted Saturday. “Now it’s coming back to haunt them as I predicted. I’m dead set on confirming.”

There has certainly been very little consistency among Republicans on this. They are arguing that 2016 was different because different parties controlled the White House and Senate. This time, Republicans control both.

All about power

As a candidate, Trump cut through all that and was blunt about his calculation.

“If I were president now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice,” Trump said during a February 2016 presidential primary debate after Scalia’s death. “I’m absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able — Mitch, and the entire group, is going to be able to do something about it.”

He added, “I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It’s called delay, delay, delay.”

Translation: It’s not OK for Obama to do it, because it’s bad for my side. But it’s OK for me to do it, because it is good for my side.

This is all about political power.

Remember, there’s no filibuster anymore for Supreme Court nominations. McConnell blew that up to get Trump nominees Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh onto the court. So Republicans need a simple majority to get another Trump nominee through.

If Democrats stick together, Republicans can lose just three votes and still confirm a justice with Vice President Pence coming in to break a tie.

Two Republicans have already said they would hold firm and vote against a nominee because of the 2016 precedent of not allowing a vote on Garland — Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough reelection fight, as well as Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Democrats are hoping to persuade Utah’s Mitt Romney, who has been a vocal opponent of Trump’s, to do the same. But that leaves them one vote short.

Their hopes for a fourth got a little dimmer on Sunday when retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander sided with McConnell. He said he would have no problem voting for a Trump nominee as long as he or she is intelligent and of good “character” and “temperament.”

“We have arrows in our quiver”

There isn’t a lot Democrats can do procedurally to stop this, but they’re going to try. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told his caucus in a Saturday night call that no options are off the table.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on ABC’s This Week did not rule out the possibility of going so far as impeaching Trump again or Attorney General William Barr. (Impeachment takes precedence in Congress, and an impeachment resolution would force the Senate to take up a trial and could, in theory, delay a nomination.)

“We have our options,” Pelosi said. “We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”

Asked to clarify that she wasn’t ruling anything out, she said, “Good morning. Sunday morning.” She added, “When we weigh the equities, defending our democracy requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.

Some on the left want Democrats to threaten that if Biden wins the White House and they take over the Senate, they will play hardball. That includes eliminating the filibuster for legislation; passing statehood for Washington, D.C., to likely give Democrats two more senators; and passing legislation to expand the number of justices who can sit on the Supreme Court. (One bit of evidence for how fired up Democrats are: ActBlue says it raised more than $91 million in the 28 hours after Ginsburg’s death.)

It’s just the latest chapter in the Washington political arms race. McConnell justified ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees because former Democratic leader Harry Reid eliminated the filibuster for federal judges after record obstruction from the McConnell-led Republican minority.

As the formerly genteel modern Senate goes, that was considered “going nuclear.”

If blowing up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees was “going nuclear,” we might be about to enter a phase of “post-apocalyptic” governance in Washington.

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Coincidence and condolence: Dying together in politics – Fort McMurray Today

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Bader Ginsburg, therefore, is the Kennedy to Turner’s Lewis and Huxley. She is the Diana to his Mother Teresa

Late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Former Prime Minister of Canada John Turner are pictured here.

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John Turner, a former Prime Minister of Canada, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifetime Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, both died on Friday night.

Dying accidentally together like this has created many historical odd couples, such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third American Presidents, who both died with a poignant flourish for the calendar on July 4, Independence Day, 1826.

Sometimes one death eclipses the other in the public’s capacity for mourning, as when Mother Teresa passed almost unnoticed a few days after Princess Diana in 1997. Likewise, Farrah Fawcett died of cancer on the morning of June 25, 2009, and was the big celebrity news of the day until TMZ reported in the afternoon that Michael Jackson also died that day.

Some death partnerships seem to elevate each other in solidarity with a common cause. The civil rights leader, statesman and “conscience of Congress” John Lewis died on July 17 this year, the same day as the preacher C.T. Vivian, who was also a civil rights leader going back to the inner circle of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Others are schoolkid legends or viral factoids that are not quite true, like Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, who did technically both die on April 23, 1616, but in different countries, Spain and England, which were using different calendars, so in fact they died 10 days apart.

Some simultaneous exits are curious coincidences, like Signe Anderson and Paul Kantner who both died on Jan. 28, 2016, 50 years after she left the psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, which they co-founded.

Some death partnerships seem to elevate each other in solidarity with a common cause

Others seem not to be coincidences at all, but somehow causally related as expressions of intense emotional intimacy, as in the occasional married couple who make headlines for dying sweetly together in ripe old age, or the parents of former star CFL quarterback Doug Flutie, Dick and Joan, who had heart attacks in short sequence on Nov. 18, 2015.

Some just seem ominous. On the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963, C.S. Lewis died of ill health in Oxford, and Aldous Huxley died of cancer in Los Angeles, tripping on LSD.

Few such death partnerships carry the political heft of the latest one between Bader Ginsburg and Turner.

The main contrast is how differently they matter to the wider public. Turner’s death casts the mind back to the past. Bader Ginsburg’s death does the same, but it also inspires urgent thoughts of the future.

Turner’s death has been treated in Canada as an opportunity to reflect on history, on the Liberal Party’s changing fortunes. Former prime ministers are under a newly critical eye. No one gets the saintly treatment any more, even in death. But Turner is someone who can be mourned at ease. He was not prime minister very long, less than three months in 1984. He had not been in the news lately, and had seemed frail in public appearances.

His death is an opportunity to appreciate a unique life of leadership, but it will not disrupt Canadian politics.

Bader Ginsburg, on the other hand, has set off a tumult by dying because her vacant seat on the top court hands an opportunity to President Donald Trump to replace her.

They have become footnotes to each other’s obituaries

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera a few days before she died.

Trump and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell indicated over the weekend they intend to ensure that wish does not come true — Trump by nominating a replacement judge in the next month, and McConnell by speeding a confirmation vote.

Mourning Bader Ginsburg, therefore, has a sense of political urgency that mourning Turner does not.

Her death is not merely an opportunity to reflect on her role as the liberal grandee of the court, famous for her consensus building with conservatives like her friend the late Antonin Scalia, and credited by progressives with securing important votes on deeply divisive issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Rather, it is bound up in a presidential election both sides describe as the all-or-nothing struggle for America’s soul.

This sense of historical import came through in the impromptu singing of Amazing Grace by mourners on the steps of the Supreme Court, a Christian hymn for a Jewish judge in a distinctively American irony. Moments like this illustrate how different America can be from Canada, where judicial appointments are not unto death, let alone so nakedly politicized.

Bader Ginsburg, therefore, is the Kennedy to Turner’s Lewis and Huxley. She is the Diana to his Mother Teresa, coming chronologically first and to far greater hoopla. They have become — like the filmmaker Orson Welles and the actor Yul Brynner who both died on Oct. 10, 1985 — footnotes to each other’s obituaries.

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