The United States presidential election is in 20 days.
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Barrett dances around Democrats’ questions on abortion, healthcare
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said Tuesday she does not consider Roe v. Wade, the landmark case protecting a woman’s right to an abortion, a super precedent when pressed by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
“Well people use super precedent differently… I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category,” Barrett said during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Abortion is one of the lightening road social issues among many hard-line conservatives.
“If I express a view on a precedent one way or another … it signals to litigants that I may tilt one way or another on a pending case,” Barrett added.
Supreme Court nominees typically avoid talking about how they would rule in cases that could come before the court.
But Barrett’s evasiveness led Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, to say she has “so far perfected the art of non-answers.”
a. How The Supreme Court Could Overturn Roe v. Wade – BuzzFeed News
2. Trump campaigns in crucial Pennsylvania
U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the politically crucial state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday night with a rally at an airport in Johnstown.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who grew up in Scranton in the state, recently said such an upbringing helped him understand the working-class people’s worldview and vowed to “build an economy that works for everyone.”
Pennsylvania has two electoral votes and Trump’s surprise victory in the state in 2016 helped him capture the presidency.
3. Republicans struggling in traditional power bases
House Republicans have a touch challenge to regain seats in conservative Oklahoma and South Carolina, where Democrats staged upsets in 2018, Politico reported.
About a half-dozen seats show either dead heats or the Democratic incumbent with a modest lead, the Washington-based media outlet reports.
Overall, Democrats currently hold 232 seats in the 435 seat legislature. They are likely to retain control after next month’s elections.
a. House Election polls – RealClearPolitics (RCCP)
4. Paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia leader
Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, FBI special agent Richard Trask testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan.
The hearing was held to review investigators’ evidence against five of six men who have been charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat.
A sixth man, Barry Croft, was being held in Delaware.
Trask said that during a June meeting in Ohio, paramilitary group members discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders.”
5. Trump attacks top infectious disease expert Fauci again
U.S. President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday after the US top infectious disease expert criticized the president’s re-election campaign for taking his words out of context in a political ad.
Trump wrote that “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” referring to a wild pitch Fauci made on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day in July:
“‘No problem, no masks’. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against,” the president added. “Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”
Trump’s mention of the World Health Organization appears to refer to a statement made last week by a Covid-19 special envoy for the United Nations agency, who urged countries against using lockdowns as the “primary means of control of this virus.”:
a. Please read Dr. Fauci’s latest warning about the coronavirus right now – BGR
b. Fauci denies hearing Trump distort facts on coronavirus – Politico
c. Lockdowns should be decided locally, says WHO special envoy – The MJ