Biden news today: Jen Psaki slams Greg Abbott’s migrant bus ‘publicity stunt’ as Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first Black woman Supreme Court justice

President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has been confirmed by a vote on the Senate floor. Having garnered the support of three Republican senators – Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney – she also received the support of all 50 Democrats, becoming the court’s first Black woman justice.

The vote comes after a seven-week nomination process that saw her heavily criticized by Republicans who focused on her supposed record of leniency towards sexual offenders who targeted children. That criticism was in turn widely rejected as a distortion of her past decisions.

Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced she has tested positive for Covid-19, this just having appeared next to President Biden, Chuck Schumer, and other senior figures at a bill signing.

Ms Pelosi’s diagnosis means that three of the top 10 people in the presidential line of succession are currently known to be infected with the virus. The speaker’s team say she is currently asymptomatic.

Meanwhile, in Thursday’s White House press briefing, Jen Psaki dismissed Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to bus migrants from the southern border to Washington DC as a “publicity stunt”.

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Jackson will join more diverse and conservative high court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will join a Supreme Court which is ever more diverse and conservative than it’s been since the 1930s.

After being selected with a 53-47 vote by the Senate, she will join the court in the next several months, until Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

When Jackson takes the bench as a justice for the first time, in October, she will be one of four women and two Black justices — both high court firsts.

And the nine-member court as a whole will be younger than it’s been for nearly 30 years, when Breyer, now 83, came on board.

Shweta SharmaApr 8, 2022 07:11

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Delays expected in passing $10bn in Covid aid in Senate – report

A bill to pour $10bn more into Covid programs is reportedly being delayed until after Easter when the senators return from their two-week spring break, reported Politico, citing multiple senators.

“The Republicans are playing politics with the health of the American people,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Blocking Covid protection money is a ticking time bomb for public health. So Democrats will come back and try to get the money we need, but this is not a good day for the health of the world.”

This comes after Senate Republicans move to block the legislation from advancing as they were not guaranteed an amendment vote on reinstating Title 42 — a policy by Mr Trump that allowed expulsion of migrants at the border during the pandemic.

Shweta SharmaApr 8, 2022 06:58

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Chinese scientist sentenced about 2 years prison for ‘spying’

Department of Justice sentenced over two years of prison term to a Chinese national for “conspiring to commit economic espionage”.

Xiang Haitao, 44, who was residing in Chesterfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2022.

According to court documents, Xiang conspired to steal a trade secret from The Climate Corporation, an internationally based company doing business in St Louis, Missouri, for the purpose of benefitting the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“Xiang conspired to steal an important trade secret to gain an unfair advantage for himself and the PRC,” said assistant attorney general Matthew G Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

“The victim companies invested significant time and resources to develop this intellectual property. Economic espionage is a serious offense that can threaten US companies’ competitive advantage, and the National Security Division is committed to holding accountable anyone who steals trade secrets to benefit a foreign government.”

Shweta SharmaApr 8, 2022 05:41

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Biden and Jackson celebrate moment with a selfie

The eagle-eyed will notice the photo was taken while everyone waited for Senator Rand Paul to vote.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 05:30

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White House dismisses Covid risk for Biden after Pelosi meet

The White House has dismissed concerns over Joe Biden being at the risk of contracting Covid after he met with speaker Nancy Pelosi, who tested positive earlier in the day on Thursday.

“The way a close contact is defined, it’s not arbitrary, it’s not something made up by the White House, it’s CDC guidelines, and how they define it is being within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“They weren’t. All of their interactions were publicly available, I think you saw them, and that’s how that assessment is made,” Ms Psaki added.

The two were at the White House, at times in very close proximity, before Ms Pelosi tested positive during an event marking the Affordable Care Act at which former president Barack Obama was also in attendance.

President Joe Biden kisses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., during an Affordable Care Act event in the East Room of the White House in Washington

(AP)

Shweta SharmaApr 8, 2022 05:03

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History made: Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as first Black woman Supreme Court Justice

Ketanji Brown Jackson made history on Thursday when the Senate voted 53 to 47 to make her the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice in the country’s history.

Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a historic first as the first Black and Asian American woman vice president, was on hand to preside over the confirmation vote. Ms Jackson’s ascent to the highest court in the land was a moment of celebration for many Democrats.

Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Capitol Hill.

Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 04:45

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Biden federal employee Covid vaccine mandate upheld by US court

A US appeals court on Thursday reinstated president Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that federal civilian employees be vaccinated against coronavirus.

In what is seen as a rare win for the administration, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed a lower court lawsuit challenging the mandate.

The appeals court has 17 active judges dominated by Republicans, including six Trump appointees.

It was after US District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by Donald Trump, had issued a nationwide injunction against the mandate in January by a 2-1 vote.

“The injunction seriously harms the public interest by impeding efforts to reduce disruptions from Covid-19 in federal workplaces,” the government’s lawyers said in their court filings.

Shweta SharmaApr 8 2022 04:43

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Psaki: Governor Abbott has no authority for ‘publicity stunt’ plan to bus Texas migrants to DC

White House press secretary accused Texas Gov Greg Abbott of promising an illegal “publicity stunt” on Thursday after the Republican governor vowed that he would place undocumented migrants on chartered buses to Washington DC.

Ms Psaki was asked about the governor’s announcement at her daily news briefing by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy. In her response, she pointed out that no Texas official, including the governor, had the legal authority to forcibly move persons out of their state, enforce federal immigration law, or even take any official actions across state lines.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 04:00

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Video: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House

‘I like what you’ve done with the place’: Obama visits Joe Biden’s White House

Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 03:30 am

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Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 03:15 am

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