Elections Law Politics

This Week in Politics

Here is a rundown of some of this weeks political news on the Presidential Debate and the SCOTUS hearings.

Presidential Town Halls:

Tonights’ originally planned Presidential debate, in Miami, has been canceled by the Commission of Presidential Debates. President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 just a few days after the first presidential debate, bringing concerns for the next debate to take place. The debate commission originally decided to make the debate virtual. President Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate.

“I’m not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate,” said Trump. With the debate officially canceled both Presidential Candidates are participating in Voter Town Hall events this evening.

Biden’s Townhall will be a special edition of ABC’s 20/20 entitled “The Vice President and the People,” airing from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, from 8-10 pm EST. A 30-minute post-show analysis with the ABC News Political Team. ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will be the moderator of the event.

Trump’s Townhall will air on NBC, from Miami, at 8 pm EST. The event will be hosted by journalist Savannah Guthrie. This town hall will also air on NBC’s sister networks CNBC and MSNBC. The Biden Townhall event will not be airing on cable channels.

With only 19 days until Election days away, these town hall events are crucial for each candidate to persuade undecided voters. Some people, like Journalist Katie Couric, do not think the two Town halls airing at the same time is a great idea.

We want to hear what our viewers think about the two town halls tonight. Tweet us @uandpmag to let us know who you’ll be tuning into tonight.

SCOTUS Hearing:

While the country is preparing for the November 3rd election, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has been facing. the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed Barrett will fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seat and will keep the court at a conservative majority of 6-3.

Barrett has been grilled by democrats on health care, voting rights, abortion and other issues.

CNN has been covering the hearing live, reporter Jeremy Herb summarized the top topics of day 2 of questioning to Barrett. See Herb’s summary below:

  • On the Affordable Care Act: After facing a barrage of questions over the past two days from Democrats about her past writings and a comment where she took issue with rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act, Barrett was asked today: “Did you ever write or speak out against the ACA?” Barrett said her past criticism of ACA rulings was when “I was speaking as an academic.” When asked if she’s ever spoken in favor of the ACA, she said, “No, I’ve never had a chance to weigh in on the policy question.”
  • On cameras in the court: Barrett was asked how she feels about allowing cameras into the Supreme Court, which historically has not allowed recordings but is currently allowing a live feed of audio as justices work remotely during the pandemic. Barrett agreed to “keep an open mind” about the possibility.
  • On presidential pardons: Barrett said that “no one is above the law,” but would not say one way or another if a president has the right to pardon him or herself. On pardons, she said, “that question has never been litigated” and said she couldn’t answer “because it would be opining on an open question when I haven’t gone through the judicial process to decide it, it’s not one in which I can offer a view.”
  • On voting: Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Barrett about whether mail-in voting was essential for millions of Americans in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Barrett did not engage, saying she did not recall if she had previously voted by mail. “That’s a matter of policy on which I can’t express a view,” Barrett said.
  • On climate change: When asked by Sen. Kamala Harris if she thought climate change is happening, Barrett declined to answer, saying, “I will not express a view on matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial that is inconsistent with the judicial rule, as I explained.”

Today, October 15th, the Senators will meet at 9am for business meeting to vote on Barrett’s nomination.

The committee will also hear testimonies from outside witnesses today.

Senate Judiciary Republicans have set a committee vote to approve Amy Coney Barrett and send her nomination to the floor for Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. ET.

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