Democrats Introduce a Bill to Pack the Supreme Court with 4 More Justices

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For the first time in decades, House Democrats have introduced a long-shot piece of legislation to increase the number of Supreme Court Justices from 9 to 13, a measure most believe is dead on arrival.

Earlier this week, President Biden signed an executive order establishing what he dubbed a ‘bipartisan’ commission to examine potential reforms to the highest court in the land. One of which includes whether to increase the number of justices benched.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, was the last President to seriously push for a Supreme Court expansion, a move blocked by the Democrat controlled Congress, after the court struck down key provisions of The New Deal.

Constitutional scholars argue increasing the number of justices would politicize the court and delegitimize its role as a nonpartisan and neutral interpreter of law. It would also set precedent for future administrations to pass legislation allowing their party to increase the number of seated justices just enough to hold an ideological majority. 6 justices appointed by Republicans currently reside in the court whereas only 3 justices who were appointed by Democrats remain.

The legislation introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., would give Biden the opportunity to appoint four additional justices, i.e. giving liberals a 7-6 advantage in the court.

Senator Markey, who had been advocating for this measure for over a year, said expanding the Supreme Court is the only way to repair the judiciary.

“Adding four new seats to the Supreme Court, to be filled by President Biden, will repair the damage done by Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump,” he tweeted. “The bench will then rightly reflect the values of the majority of the American people on whose behalf they serve.”

He then likened Trump’s fulfillment of his constitutional duty to appoint justices to a “far-right” attempt to “maintain its grip on power.”

He also claims Republicans “stole two seats” in the Supreme Court. Senator Markey is referring to two of the three SCOTUS appointments made by Trump during his term. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied a confirmation hearing for D.C Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, now Attorney General, after President Obama appointed him to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. That seat was later filled by Justice Gorsuch. Trump would later appoint Justice Barrett to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away two months before the 2020 election.

Court Packing advocates claim Trump and Republican appointments undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, an argument eerily similar to that made by those who feel uneasy when the party in power threatens to appoint just enough Justices to give their ideological side an advantage in future cases.

“Nine justices may have made sense in the nineteenth century when there were only nine circuits, and many of our most important federal laws—covering everything from civil rights, to antitrust, the internet, financial regulation, health care, immigration, and white collar crime—simply did not exist, and did not require adjudication by the Supreme Court,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) wrote in a statement. “But the logic behind having only nine justices is much weaker today, when there are 13 circuits. Thirteen justices for thirteen circuits is a sensible progression, and I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021.”

Both liberal Justice Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have repeatedly warned against talks of court packing, fearing it would politicize the court and sow distrust in its ruling.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi came out following the bill’s announcement with less than favorable words.

“I have no intention to bring it to the floor,” Pelosi said of the proposal. However, she’s not ruling it out entirely, simply telling fellow Democrats to hold off for now. “I don’t know that that’s a good idea or a bad idea. I think it’s an idea that should be considered. It’s not out of the question,” she added.

Even if the bill made its way to the Senate, it would not even reach the floor. Democrats hold the tie breaking vote in a 50-50 split, and would need 10 Republicans to jump ship to break a Filibuster. Currently, Democrats are two votes short of ending the filibuster itself, leaving them with no options to pass this bill.

Senator Markey is also calling on fellow democrats to end the filibuster, a Senate procedural tool requiring 60 members to signal support for the legislation in order to pass it. The filibuster has, in its more than 100 year existence, been the single greatest tool for Congressional bipartisanship, all but requiring the minority party to join in on supporting any new law.

Joe Biden had previously called expanding the court a “bonehead idea” during a 1983 Senate hearing, saying “it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

Joe Biden Established a Commission to Study Expanding the Supreme Court

Opinion | I Observed Joe Biden at Close Range for 20 Years. Here's How He  Wins—and Loses - POLITICO

On Friday, President Biden signed an executive order establishing a commission to study the effects of expanding the Supreme Court, an unpopular proposal many fear would turn the highest court into another partisan branch of government.

Biden, who purposely refused to take a public side on the issue during the 2020 campaign, again did not announce his position on the controversial issue. While on the campaign trail, instead of answering repeated requests from reporters to take a stance, then candidate Biden pledged to establish a commission to both review proposals and make a recommendation to him.

Many far-left activists have urged Biden to expand the Supreme Court after President Trump appointed his third justice – Amy Coney Barrett – in his four year term, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority. Though Chief Justice Roberts seldom sides with the other 5 Republican appointed justices in controversial issues. They fear Trump’s judicial appointments will give conservatives an advantage as future bills are argued before the court, extending their influence regardless of who’s in power.

“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” a statement released by the White House says.

The 36 members are instructed to submit a report following their review of how our highest court functions to the White House with their analysis of positions for and against potential reform. Though people familiar with the commission have told the New York Times that no official stance by the commission will accompany said report.

“It is not clear that the commission established by Mr. Biden will by itself clarify his position. Under the White House order establishing it, the commission is not set to issue specific recommendations at the end of its study — an outcome that is likely to disappoint activists,” the Times reported.

Members will analyze potential reform proposed by politicians related to the Supreme Court, turnover rate and tenure for justices, the process of Justice selection both by the President and their confirmation by the Senate, the courts’ size, and “contemporary commentary and debate” around said reform.

In their report to President Biden, the commission must also include “an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” giving members the power to write into existence the motivation for a particular political view. And while the executive order does not specifically call on the commission to issue a recommendation, individual members will likely make their position known.

The commission will consist of 36 Constitutional scholars, former judges, and members of the Clinton and Obama administrations. “In addition to legal and other scholars,” the statement reads, “the Commissioners includes former federal judges and practitioners who have appeared before the Court, as well as advocates for the reform of democratic institutions and of the administration of justice.” Two members severed in the Clinton White House, and five served under Obama.

Co-Chairs Cristina Rodríguez and Bob Bauer, both served in the Obama administration. Rodriguez served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, and Bauer was Obama’s White House Counsel.

Members of both parties can be found on the commission, but members ideology is tilted in favor of Democrats.

Constitutional scholars, and Supreme Court Justices from all sides of the political spectrum, including Democrat favorites like Justice Stephen Breyer, and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have come out against court packing.

Justice Breyer argues court packing court jeopardize “the trust that the court has gradually built.”

“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority … which was hard won. But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust. A trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that latter perception, further eroding that trust,” Breyer added.

“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg said in 2019, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

“If anything [packing the court] would make the court look partisan,” she said, “it would be that — one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”

FDR was the last president to formally attempt such a policy, and was swiftly blocked by the Democrat controlled Congress. His plan would have increased the number of justices from 9, a number held constant since the mid 1800’s, to 15, after several New Deal laws were ruled unconstitutional. The number of justices has fluctuated between 5 and 10 since the court’s founding.

The commission is required to host an unspecified number of public forum discussions with outside scholars, judges, and advocates throughout the 180 day period.

Biden Administration may ‘Restart’ Construction of Southern Border Wall; DHS Secretary tells ICE

CBP considers outsourcing border wall construction to 'private entities'  near Tucson | Local news | tucson.com

Despite halting construction of the Southern border wall within hours of taking office, President Biden’s administration is mulling whether to restart a project he campaigned against.

Among Biden’s unprecedented 17 day-1 executive orders was a directive to Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Defense to immediately halt construction of physical barriers along the U.S. Mexican border. Within his first month, Biden ended the national emergency declaration former-President Trump used to divert funding from the Pentagon to the border. As illegal crossings continue to surge, the President’s own Department of Homeland Security Secretary suggested the need to restart construction and repairs of the wall.

As of February, Biden called Trump’s border wall “not a serious policy solution,” and that “it is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.’

According to documents obtained by the Washington Times, “Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told department employees he may restart border wall construction to plug what he called “gaps” in the current barrier.”

When speaking to Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees last week, Secretary Mayorkas said Biden’s move to halt new construction left the door open to filling “gaps in the wall.”

“Mr. Mayorkas, according to notes of the ICE session reviewed by The Washington Times, said Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the wall, has submitted a plan for what it wants to see happen moving forward.”

The Secretary said, according to quotes from for mentioned notes, “It’s not a single answer to a single question. There are different projects that the chief of the Border Patrol has presented and the acting commissioner of CBP presented to me.”

“The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of DOD funds to the construction of the border wall is ended. But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished,” he continued.

Areas of improvement includes filling “gaps,” adding “gates,” and finishing areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”

CBP estimates they apprehended over 300,000 migrants in the first three months of 2021, a decade long record.

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blames the surge on Biden’s rhetoric, suggesting the administration’s promise to not turn any unaccompanied minors, and reversal of several key border security measures is inviting people to make the perilous journey.

The Daily Mail suggests there may have been some legal issues with Biden’s cold stop of border wall construction. “There were immediate concerns with the legality of the reversal, with experts claiming it could be illegal for Biden to stop funding that was already appropriate in Congress-approved funding for the wall specifically.”

“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) launched an inquiry last month related to Biden stopping funding for the border wall construction project, they added. “Charles Young, a public affairs officer for the GAO, confirmed they were investigating whether Biden was legally allowed to end the construction.”

Congress allocated $1.4 billion for border wall construction in December, 2020, or ~200 miles worth of wall. Trump found himself in hot water during his term when he attempted to divert funds away from other programs to fund construction. Biden risks the same trouble if he follows suit.

White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki suggested that border wall construction is still ongoing, but limited, despite Biden’s promise to not build “another foot of wall.”

“Wall construction remains paused, to the extent permitted by law,” Psaki said. “So some has already been funded through a congressional authorization and funding allocation. But as agencies develop for a plan — it’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the President on the management of the federal funds. It is paused. There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused.”

U.S. Border Patrol Arrest Two Yemeni Nationals on FBI Terror Watch List

Almost 40,000 children will be taken into federal custody this month, US  border official says - CNN Politics

Since the start of 2021, U.S. border patrol agents have arrested two Yemeni nationals whose names match those on the FBI’s terror watch list.

“A Yemeni citizen who is on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List was caught last week entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the second such incident to occur within the past two months,” Fox News reported.

Agents apprehended the unnamed 26-year old on March 30th, along the California/Mexican border.

The individual is the second suspected terrorist from Yemen to be caught by CBP agents this year. The first, a 33 year old Yemeni man, was caught on January 29th in the same vicinity. Agents identified the man using a sim card stashed in his shoes.

“Part of the Border Patrol’s mission states we will protect the country from terrorists, “Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino said in a statement following the second arrest. “Today, like every other day, our agents did that. These apprehensions at our border illustrates the importance of our mission and how we can never stop being vigilant in our everyday mission to protect this great country.”

The latest arrest marks the fifth member of the terror watch list to be apprehended on the Southern border since October 1st, 2020. In mid-March, CBP “confirmed to Congress today that four people arrested at the southern border since Oct. 1 match names on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database,” Axios reported. The 26-year old ticks that total up to five. All but one was from Yemen. The other is a Bangladeshi national.

“The four arrests are more than the number of similar people taken into custody during recent full fiscal years,” Axios added.

Critics of the White Houses’ loosening of border restrictions and rhetoric encouraging migrants to make the dangerous journey across the Mexican desert say Biden is inviting cartel members and potential terrorists to make the attempt themselves.

Border crossings have surged since Biden took office, with over 37,000 crossing in January, 101,000 in February and a 15-year record 171,000 crossings in March.

Nike Sues Lil Nas X’s Human Blood Filled ‘Satan Shoes’ Creator MSCHF for Trademark Infringement

Nike Sues Over 'Satan Shoes' - The New York Times

Nike launched a successful legal battle against rapper Lil Nas X and custom shoemaker MSCHF Product Studio Inc. after the small shoemaker dropped a pair of modified Nikes featuring satanic imagery with the shoe conglomerate’s famous swoosh plastered on its side.

Following the release of Lil Nas X’s single, Montero (Call Me By Your Name), over the weekend, the rapper, who rose to fame for 2018’s hit Old Town Road, also shared an accompanying music video which left many viewers disturbed. The video features Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, dressed as a fallen angel gleefully descending from Heaven to Hell on a stripper pole, and performing soft core sexual acts on the devil. Hill went on to tease what would be dubbed Satan Shoes on Twitter, a limited run, lightly modified pair of Nike sneakers.

Shortly after, MSCHF officially announced the production of 666 red and black customized Nike Air Max 97 sneakers with “Luke 10:18” inscribed on its side, a Bible verse referencing Satan’s decent into Hell, a bronze pentagram on its laces matching a pentagram pasted on the inner sole, and a controversial drop of human blood inside the outer soles’ air bubble.

Despite outrage, the shoes sold out almost immediately.

The musician bucked back against criticism for the video’s homosexual and Satanic imagery on Twitter, writing, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

After the shoe went viral, and talks of boycotts flooded social media, Nike announced it was suing MSCHF for improper use of their trademark. The billion dollar shoe maker issued a cease and desist complaint, while reiterating they had zero involvement in its design.

They told multiple outlets, “we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF,” and that “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”

Nike argues MSCHF took their product and applied a significant redesign turning the shoe into its own unique piece of apparel, and marketed it with the Nike logo, creating an unauthorized link between the company and the shoe.

“In its complaint,” CNN wrote, “Nike asked the court to order MSCHF to ‘permanently stop’ fulfilling orders for the ‘unauthorized Lil Nas X Satan Shoes. The lawsuit notes that social media users have threatened to boycott Nike over the controversial shoes.”

“MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” Nike’s complaint states. “In the short time since the announcement of the Satan Shoes, Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing Satanism.”

Earlier today, a decision handed down from the Eastern District of New York granted Nike a temporary restraining order against MSCHF, who, under the ruling, will be prohibited from fulfilling any of the 666 orders placed by fans.

The company cannot use any familiar Nike logos or trademarks, including the recognizable ‘swoosh,’ the ruling adds.

Lil Nas X was not referenced in the initial suit.

MSCHF also released ‘Jesus Shoe’ using the same Nike sneaker in 2019 with a steel cross and Holy water sourced from Jordan in its air bubble.

Democrats Push to ‘Unseat’ GOP Congresswoman from Iowa; Reversing an Election

Hart Versus Miller-Meeks | WVIK

On November 3rd, now-Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican, narrowly defeated Democrat Rita Hart by less than 50 votes in an election of 400,000. After the official recount, Miller-Meeks still came out on top, with a 6 vote margin, and was sworn in as Iowa’s 2nd Congressional Districts’ representative.

While America is almost 4 months out from the election, and Congresswoman Miller-Meeks is currently serving in the House, her challenger remains adamant that she is the rightful winner of the election, and is pushing forward with legal challenges.

Hart and he team argue 22 votes were improperly disqualified from the tally – most of the votes were for her. For whatever reason, whether it be a signature mismatch, improperly filled out forms, etc. the votes were tossed by poll workers and thus Hart argues the results should be disregarded. Because the recount only counted votes verified as legal in the original tally, the 22 ballots in question were again excluded. When the margin of victory is half a dozen, every vote matters even more.

Claiming a lack of time, Hart did not pursue retribution through the courts, rather her campaign is using another legal avenue: Congress. Under Iowa law, Hart was required to file her dispute in state court within two days after the recount totals were announced. A panel of Iowa judges would then hear her arguments, and would render a verdict by December 8th. Instead, she’s seeking a hearing from the Democrat held House of Representatives.

Under the Federal Contested Elections Act, Hart can ask the House of Representatives to review the election results, in this case determine whether the 22 votes in question were in fact lawfully cast, and possibly overturn the election entirely. It would require a majority vote in the House, which is increasingly unlikely as Democrats hold a slim 219-211 majority. All it would take is four Democrats voting against party lines for Rep. Miller Meeks to keep her seat.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three Democratic Congressmen, Dean Phillips (MN), Elissa Slotkin (MI), and Josh Gottheimer (NJ), have signaled a reluctance to unseat their colleague.

Rep. Phillips took to Twitter on Monday, urging Democrats to halt their efforts for the good of the country. “Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats,” he wrote. “But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

Before the full House can vote, the Committee on House Administration is tasked with investigating Harts allegations. They then will give a recommendation to the House at large on whether Hart should be seated, who then votes on the measure. The committee could decide by as early as Monday whether these votes were unproperly discarded, at least that’s what Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes.

“I think it’s Monday they’ll make a determination as to if these challenges meet certain criteria to go forward,” Pelosi stated.

“Now, if I wanted to be unfair, I wouldn’t have seated the Republican from Iowa,” the Speaker added. “Because that was my right on the opening day. I would have just said ‘You’re not seated.’ And that would have been my right as speaker to do. But we didn’t want to do that. We just said, ‘let’s just go through this process.'”

Republican lawmakers have criticized Hart’s decision to bypass the courts and take her case directly to Congress, where Democrats hold an advantage. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Hart “didn’t go through the court system, which was the appropriate place to go. She said I’m taking it directly to the House because that’s where she thinks she can get the outcome she desires.” Hart would have been able to challenge the decision in the House even if she lost in court, but she never officially ventured down that path.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined his colleague from the other end of the Capitol. “Speaker Pelosi and Washington Democrats have set out trying to overturn the result from here in Congress,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.

“The voters of Iowa’s 2nd District spoke in November. Their votes were counted. Then recounted. The outcome was certified. There was the opportunity to present complaints in court, but the defeated Democrat passed it up,” McConnell added. “The process played out in the way that every liberal in America spent November, December, and January insisting was beyond question. But there’s a catch. This time, the Republican won and the Democrat lost.”

Republicans are drawing a parallel between Democrats’ response to Trump’s assertion of voter fraud and irregularities, and Harts’ claim of improper vote disqualification.

McConnell along with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, and Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Earnest sent a joint letter to “all companies who support free and fair elections” arguing businesses who swore to withhold donations to Republicans who supported challenging the 2020 general election results should do the same to Democrats challenging Iowa’s 2nd district’s results.

They call Democrats moves challenging the results “an unacceptable to undermine a legitimate democratic process.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of the House Administration Committee called Republicans pushback against the investigation a “coordinated public campaign” to discredit efforts to resolve election questions.

“Republicans know how this process works – over the past 90 years the Congress has adjudicated, in a bipartisan manner, more than a hundred contested elections cases filed by Republicans and Democrats alike in races nowhere near as close as Iowa’s Second,” she said. “With that history in mind, it is profoundly disappointing some of my Republican colleagues are now painting this process as somehow nefarious.” She likened Republican rhetoric to that which she claims caused the Capitol Hill riot on January 6th.

A public Democrat effort to remove a Republican from Congress months after the election could act as a rallying point for the GOP base as we near the 2022 midterm election. With Democrat’s narrow 4 seat lead in the House and tie in the Senate, Republican efforts to paint the Democrats as power grabbers who will do anything to maintain control could push the GOP into the majority, effectively freezing the Biden administration’s legislative agenda. 

Mexican President Blames Border Crisis on Joe Biden’s Immigration Rhetoric during Press Conference

Mexico's President Says Biden's Promise of Better Treatment for Migrants  Causing Border Surge

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the latest critic of President Joe Biden’s rhetoric around illegal immigration to come forward as the crisis at the border intensifies.

Obrador said Biden set “expectations” around the treatment of migrants which encouraged many to take the dangerous trek across the American continent, after a meeting between U.S. and Mexican officials on how the countries should handle the illegal immigration moving forward.

“People do not go the the United States for pleasure, they go out of necessity, so we have to support the development of Central America and the south of Mexico,” he said. “Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden he would see better treatment of migrants and this has caused Central Americans migrants and also from our country to want to cross the border thinking that it is easier.”

Democrats are calling it a problem and Republicans label it a crisis. While terminology differs, we do know Customs and Border Patrol encountered 100,441 migrants attempting to cross the Southern border in February alone. According to CBP, almost 30,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the border in the first two months of this year.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said “we are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”

Biden’s response to an uptick in crossings starting in April 2020 was to loosen border regulations. In the first couple weeks of his administration, Biden canceled the Southern border wall project, attempted to place a 100-day moratorium on deportations, and reversed Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy, which mandated migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum applications are processed.

Mexico’s president went on to praise Biden’s general immigration policy, despite his criticism moments ago, “we have been pointing out that President Biden’s immigration policy is very good, but that it will take time.”

U.S. and Mexican leaders are calling for increased investment into South American countries where the vast majority of migrants originate. From interviews and discussions with people making the journey, the chief reasons for seeking asylum are job opportunities and high local crime rates.

Biden has floated a $4 billion humanitarian investment into South American countries with the hopes of combatting local crime and pulling people out of poverty, a plan that will surely take years, if ever, to pay off.

Earlier this month, Obrador, recognizing the surge, said “they see [Biden] as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States. We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”

Biden has, in the face of increasing pressure, went on the record telling migrants to not venture to the U.S. “now,” ambiguously leaving the door open for some to assume they will be welcome some time in the future.

Donald Trump Set to Launch a New Social Media Platform within a Few Months; Top Advisor Says

Trump to launch social media platform in coming months, aide says

Former President Donald Trump’s social media exile may soon be coming to an end. At least that’s the story coming from Trump’s former top advisor Jason Miller.

With less than two weeks left in his term, Trump was indefinitely banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook and Instagram without word on when it will, if ever, be lifted. Following the January 6th storming of the capital, social media companies decided to deplatform the sitting President for violating their community guidelines, citing his false claims regarding election interference, and arguing his speech ahead of January 6th’s riots incited the violence which left several people dead.

Trump was the first president to actively integrate social media into his administration, frequently making policy announcements and revealing his position on key issues with 180 characters or less.

While Americans were sharply divided on Trump’s effectiveness with Twitter, he was popular, among the media and users alike. News outlets had their daily cycle dominated by Trumps’ tweets, and the President’s reach rivaled few. At the time of his banning, Trump had over 88 million followers on Twitter, making him the 6th most followed account on the platform.

Though the 45th President has held a relatively low profile since leaving office, only releasing the occasional public statement and headlining CPAC last month, it appears a new venture is brewing behind the scenes.

“I do think that we’re going to see President Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months here, with his own platform,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News’ Media Buzz Sunday morning. “And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does, but it will be his own platform.”

Within Mar-A-Lago, Trump has been hosting several “high-powered meetings” around starting his own social media platform. Miller added his team was approached by “numerous companies” wanting to help make this project a reality.

Conservatives have argued for years that tech giants unfairly target right wing opinions and commentators, applying two sets of standards for content moderation in order to limit their reach. Trump’s platform would likely challenge this approach, and it’s unlikely many from the political left would join the site.

The free speech alternative to traditional platforms, Parler, was banned from the app store and AWS website hosting after tech companies decided they did not like their lax approach to moderating content. The site went back online about a month later after ousting their CEO and founder. It’s unlikely that Trump’s platform would be linked to Parler. At its peak, Parler had 10 million registered users, a number dwarfed by Trump’s following.

Putin Challenges Biden to a ‘Live Discussion’ after the President Labels him a ‘Killer’ during ABC Interview

Russia recalls US envoy after Biden calls Putin a 'killer' | The Times of  Israel

Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin threw down the gauntlet, inviting U.S. President Joe Biden to a live, virtual discussion following a scathing interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Biden told the Good Morning America host “Putin will pay a price” for his attempt to interfere in the 2020 and 2016 elections. “You said you know [Putin] doesn’t have a soul,” Stephanopoulos primed the President with, to which Biden affirmed, “yeah I did say that to him… and his response was ‘we understand one another.'” The exchange allegedly happened during a private 1 on 1 meeting with the Kremlin leader.

When asked whether he thinks Putin’s a “killer,” Biden instinctively said, “Mhm, I do,” while nodding his head. Biden went on to give a vague warning, “the price he’s gonna pay, you’ll see shortly.”

When asked by reporters whether Biden regretted his heated language, White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki said, “Nope. The president gave a direct answer to a direct question.” She warned a White House retaliation towards Russia will come within “weeks, not months.”

In response, the Kremlin not only recalled Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. to “analyze what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States,” but Biden’s comments elicited a direct response from Putin.

When asked for a response by Russian journalist, who’ve been historically punished and restricted by the kremlin if they printed negative stories about Russian leadership, Putin said, “I would tell him: Be healthy. I wish him good health. I say this without irony, without joking.”” 

During a later interview with a Russian state owned network, the dictator floated the idea of a “live” and “direct discussion” between the world leaders. Putin said, “I’ve just thought of this now. I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without any delays and directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that would be interesting for the people of Russia and for the people of the United States.”

“I don’t want to put this off for long. I want to go the taiga this weekend to relax a little,” Putin added. “So we could do it tomorrow or Monday. We are ready at any time convenient for the American side.”

Unfortunately, Psaki squashed the prospects of a virtual debate. When asked about a potential discussion, the press secretary said, “I’ll have to get back to you if that is something we’re entertaining. I would say that the president already had a conversation with President Putin. The president, of course, will be in Georgia tomorrow and quite busy.”

According to multiple reports, the Russian government, along with the Iranians, worked to spread misinformation ahead of the 2020 election. Russia, in favor of Trump, and Iran in favor of Biden. Putin has also been credibly accused on multiple occasions of using his power to crack down on decenters and murdering opposition journalists and activists.

Columbia University to Host 6 Graduation Ceremonies for Students based on Race, Ethnicity, Income, and Sexual Orientation

Columbia University hosting 6 separate graduation ceremonies based on  income level, race, ethnicities - NewsDeal

The highly prestigious Columbia University based in Manhattan, New York will host six graduation ceremonies, in addition to the university wide graduation, for students based on their race and ethnicities.

“In honor of Columbia’s diverse student community and complementing the school- and University-wide graduation ceremonies,” the university wrote on their website, “we are proud to also offer Multicultural Graduation Celebrations, which provide a more intimate setting for students who self-identify in a variety of ways.” The additional programs were first announced by Columbia’s Multicultural Affairs department.

The racially distinct ceremonies are designed for students “to reflect on personal growth and community experiences that have impacted their time as students through to graduation.” All seven ceremonies are open to students regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status and are voluntary for students who do fit into those categories.

Throughout the last week of April, students of African, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic (or as they refer to it as Latinx) will have a separate ceremony for their group. First generation and students from low income families will also have a separate day in addition to students who identify with the LGBT+ community, dubbed the Lavender Graduation Ceremony.

A spokesperson for Columbia University told the Daily Mail that these ceremonies are meant to bring people together, and these smaller ceremonies were originally organized and sponsored by students and alumni.

“Columbia marks graduation every spring with a university-wide Commencement ceremony and Class Days for the graduates of each of our schools. These events bringing together all of our graduates and their families are a high point of every academic year. The smaller celebratory events held for particular groups are in addition to, not instead of, the main Commencement and Class Day graduation ceremonies. In most instances, these smaller, multicultural gatherings evolved from ceremonies originally created by alumni and students. The gatherings are voluntary, open to every student who wants to participate, and have become a highly anticipated and meaningful part of the Columbia graduation experience.”

Daily Mail

Conservative commentator Candance Owens, and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton have likened the events to “segregation,” and “discrimination.”

“Critical race theory is being pushed on our kids at school, it’s peddled by HR departments at corporations, and the Biden administration has embraced it under the guise of ‘racial equity,'” Cotton wrote.

A student-run publication, the Columbia Spectator, disagreed with the Senators’ assessment, pointing out Columbia is far from the only school to host such ceremonies.

“For underrepresented Columbia students,” they wrote, “these events are often hard-won commemorations of surviving what can be a hostile institutional and social environment. First-generation, low-income students spent years pushing for a unique ceremony before being able to conduct the inaugural “First-Generation Graduation” in 2017.”

“Identity-specific ceremonies are not unique to Columbia’s Commencement traditions. At Yale University, the Afro-American Cultural Center has hosted a graduation celebration for Black students for over two decades. “Lavender Graduations,” designed to uplift LGBTQ students, have a similarly long history. After first being offered at the University of Michigan in 1995, these ceremonies are now held at 220 universities nationwide.”