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Conservatives Lock Down WI Supreme Court

WI conservatives cement outsize power in a state that went blue just last year. Vox: "Wisconsin Democrats’ winning streak abruptly ended this week with a state Supreme Court election that likely means mean Republicans will have outsize power in the state for many years ahead. On Wednesday, liberal Lisa Neubauer conceded the race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat to conservative Brian Hagedorn, cementing Republicans’ control of the state’s top court until at least 2023. The outcome of this race is of major consequence to Democratic leaders in the state, who, after ousting Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November in a major victory, saw the state’s Republican legislature strip powers from elected Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a lame-duck session. For the past four months since taking power, Democrats have had to fight in the courts for their right to govern. They’ve had some big wins in the lower courts, but this state Supreme Court race is a major defeat. At its core, this is a story about power grabs. Despite losing the popular vote in 2018, Wisconsin Republicans still control both chambers of the state legislature and five of its eight congressional seats; it’s the product of some aggressive gerrymandering that diverges from the state’s reputation as a political battleground. There was hope that the 2020 census would be an opportunity for the state to turn the page away from the partisan play. But with conservatives cementing their power over the state’s top court, Wisconsin Republicans have shown they’re only tightening their grasp."

Georgetown Students Vote For Reparations

Georgetown students vote in favor of paying reparations to the descendants of the slaves who made the school possible. CNN: "Georgetown University might not be here today if the Maryland Society of Jesuits who oversaw the school hadn't sold 272 slaves. The university was one of the Jesuits' most ambitious projects. The revenue from the 1838 sale, which amounts to about $500,000 today, was used to sustain the school financially and pay off its debt. Now, some Georgetown students are trying to institute a reparations fund for the descendants of the slaves who were sold. A group known as the GU272 Advocacy Team has pushed through student government a bill that would create a new $27.20 fee every semester for all Georgetown undergraduates. The fee would go toward a reconciliation fund, which would be overseen by a board of students and descendants of the 272 slaves sold in 1838. They estimate the fund would generate more than $400,000 a year and would "be allocated for charitable purposes directly benefiting the descendants of the GU272 and other persons once enslaved by the Maryland Jesuits," according to the bill. Students voted on the bill in a referendum Thursday night. In a nearly 2-to-1 margin, students approved the measure. But it still needs to go before the board of trustees because it involves proposed changes to tuition."

WH Wanted To Flood Sanctuary Cities With Asylum Seekers

Treating human beings as political pawns, Trump pushed to drop asylum seekers in Democratic sanctuary cities. Common Dreams: "In what critics and rights groups condemned as further evidence that the Trump administration views asylum seekers as mere political pawns rather than vulnerable human beings, the White House reportedly considered dropping migrants off in Democratic districts as a supposed 'punishment' for their opposition to the president's anti-immigrant agenda. 'The extent of this administration's cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,' said Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose district was reportedly floated as a 'target' by the White House. 'Using human beings—including little children—as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.'"

Trump Steamrolls Over Presidential Red Lines

Trump bulldozes across the presidency’s red lines. Politico: "President Donald Trump has spent the last few weeks trying to bend to his will what are arguably three of the federal government’s least political institutions – the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Reserve and Department of Justice. Frustrated by the organizations’ deliberate pace and the substance of their decision-making, Trump has tried to remake them in his own image. He’s purging staffers who disagreed with him, or whom he felt were insufficiently loyal at DHS, and he hopes to stock the Fed with vocal political allies who can do his bidding on monetary policy. Trump cares little about how such moves will be perceived, former administration officials and Republicans close to the White House say. They argue he always prefers to push the boundaries of what is possible, legally and otherwise. And in year three of his presidency, he’s pushing harder than ever before."

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