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‘Surgically Excised Minority Communities’: DOJ Announces It’s Suing Texas Over Gerrymandered Redistricting Maps

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland hasa just announced the Dept. of Justice is suing the State of Texas for violating the Voting Rights Act.

AG Garland in a news briefing says Black and Latino voters were gerrymandered out of representation despite their increased numbers in the state.

Politico’s Ally Mutnick sums up:

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta accused Texas of redrawing “with discriminatory intent.”

She told reporters the DOJ lawsuit “alleges that the redistricting plans approved by the Texas state legislature and signed into law by the governor will deny Black and Latino voters an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process and to elect representatives of their choice in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Our complaint also alleges that several of those districts were drawn with discriminatory intent. Texas’s 2021 redistricting plans were enacted through a rushed process with minimal opportunity for public comment without any expert testimony, and with an overall disregard for the massive minority population growth in Texas over the last decade.”

“Texas’s population grew by 4 million people from 2010 to 2020. And 95% of that growth came from minority populations. Despite the significant increase in the number and proportion of eligible Latino and Black voters in Texas, the newly enacted redistricting plans will not allow minority voters an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice. Instead, our investigation determined that Texas says redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Reefer Madness’: Fox News Freakout as Biden Announces Pardons for Thousands in Move Toward Decriminalizing Marijuana

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President Joe Biden in a major action on Thursday announced he is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana, which is being seen as a major move toward federal decriminalization. Fox News is calling it a “blunt move” and “REEFER MADNESS,” and it is currently the right wing website‘s top story:

“As I’ve said before, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” President Biden announced, as Axios reported. “Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach.”

“I’m pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My pardon will remove this burden,” the President declared in an unexpected move.

READ MORE: Arizona GOP Nominee Caught Red-Handed Using Footage of Russian Troops Marching in a Victory Parade in Her Campaign Ad

He added he is also “calling on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”

That move is expected to receive pushback from many GOP governors and lawmakers, despite support by a majority of Republican voters for cannabis legalization. In April the House of Representatives passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana. It passed 220-204, with just three Republicans voting for it and two Democrats voting against.

“We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl,” Biden continued. “It makes no sense. I’m asking @SecBecerra and the Attorney General to initiate the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”

“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs,” Biden said.

Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, since at least 2019 has supported marijuana legalization. He has repeatedly stated this position as he did here in February.

Immediately after Biden’s announcement O’Rourke once again reiterated his support for legalization..

READ MORE: ‘Nothing to Be Ashamed of’: Herschel Walker Says if He Paid for an Abortion He Would ‘Be Forgiven’

“When I’m governor, we will finally legalize marijuana in Texas and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession,” said the Democrat running against Republican Greg Abbott.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the DOJ “will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense.”

Unlike his predecessor’s pardons, President Biden will arrange the pardons through the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern called the President’s announcement “the first step to rescheduling or descheduling marijuana on the federal level. HUGE deal. It’s a tectonic shift in federal drug policy.”

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Next House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack Hearing Scheduled

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has announced its next, and possibly final, public hearing is scheduled for one week from today, Thursday, October 13, at 1:00 PM ET.

The hearing had been slated for late last month but was postponed due to Hurricane Ian.

Topics have not yet been made public but the Committee has been very dedicated to releasing key information ahead of hearings.

This is a breaking news and developing story.

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

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Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.

Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.

The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”

The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.

“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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