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Mike Pence: ‘I Do’ Still Want Roe v. Wade Overturned

Image result for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence are seen July 10.

From left to right, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence are seen July 10.

The vice president said Brett Kavanaugh was chosen for his “judicial philosophy,” not specifically to overturn the landmark 1973 case.

Vice President Mike Pence confirmed in a Tuesday interview on CNN that he still hopes to revoke a woman’s right to have an abortion in the United States.

Pence sat down with CNN’s Dana Bash to discuss President Donald Trump’s recent Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and the fate of Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that legalized abortion throughout the country.

When Bash asked Pence if he would still like to see Roe overturned, the devout anti-abortion advocate responded carefully: “Well, I do, but I haven’t been nominated to the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has.”

Kavanaugh is Trump’s pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who resigns at the end of the month.

“I’m pro-life and I don’t apologize for it,” Pence continued. “I’m proud to be part of a pro-life administration that’s advanced pro-life policies. But what I can assure you is that what the president was looking for here was a nominee who will respect the Constitution as written, who will faithfully uphold the Constitution and all of his interpretations of the law.”

Reproductive rights groups argue that Kavanaugh is a clear threat to legal abortion. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would likely be the fifth vote on the court to overturn Roe. Kennedy historically protected the landmark ruling as a known swing voter.

Pence said that Trump chose Kavanaugh as a nominee for his “credentials” and “judicial philosophy” ― not specifically to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Bash reiterated her question, asking Pence if he hopes Kavanaugh will be the justice to overturn the landmark abortion ruling.

“The president believes that the proper consideration for a nominee to the court is not about litmus tests. Frankly, we’ve seen enough of litmus tests over the decades,” Pence replied. “What we don’t want is to have people go to the courts with a specific objective or policy criteria. We want people to go that respect the Constitution, respect the Constitution as written, will not legislate from the bench.”

Since Trump took office, his administration has rolled back access to safe and affordable reproductive health care around the world. Earlier this year, Pence suggested that legal abortions in the U.S. “could end in our time.”

“For all the progress since 1973,” Pence said in February, “I just know in my heart of hearts that this will be the generation that restores life in America.”

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mike-pence-roe-v-wade_us_5b460192e4b0c523e264ed2f

Rochester School Won’t Let Its First Black Valedictorian Speak, So Mayor Does

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Jaisaan Lovett of Rochester, New York, became the first black valedictorian in his school’s history. As graduation approached, he expected to give a speech at the commencement ceremony for the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men, just as past valedictorians had done.

But for reasons that remain unclear, that speaking invitation didn’t come. And according to Lovett, when he sought permission to give remarks from the school’s principal, Joseph Munno, the answer was no. 

“He didn’t want to see the speech or what it said, nothing,” Lovett said in an interview with The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “He just said no.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, for whose office Lovett works as an intern, intervened. Upon hearing what happened to Lovett, who will go on to study with a full scholarship at Clark Atlanta University, she gave him a platform to deliver his speech. Then she posted video of the speech to YouTube, and shared the post on Facebook and Twitter. 

″Unfortunately Jaisaan’s school did not allow him to give his valedictorian speech,” Warren said before handing the mic over to Lovett. “For some reason, his school, in a country where freedom of speech is a constitutional right, and the city of Frederick Douglass, turned his moment of triumph into a time of sorrow and pain.” 

Lovett then delivered his speech, which sought to inspire others to succeed and thanked his parents for supporting him during his time at UPrep. He also took a moment to address his principal, who he said he had clashed with in the past.

“I’m here as the UPrep 2018 valedictorian to tell you that you couldn’t break me. I’m still here, and I’m still here strong,” Lovett said.

As news of the school’s refusal and the mayor’s intervention went viral, the UPrep Board of Trustees posted a message on the school’s Facebook page indicating they were looking into the situation and unable to comment publicly due to privacy reasons. The school did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

“We are aware of the concern with the Valedictorian not speaking at graduation. The Board will be reviewing the circumstances regarding what happened and looking into the related guidelines and school policies,” the message states. “UPrep wishes Jaisaan Lovett, the first black Valedictorian in the school’s four year graduation history, much success as he continues his education at Clark Atlanta University.”

The UPrep ruckus comes weeks after school officials cut the mic during a valedictorian’s commencement address in California. 

Petaluma High School senior Lulabel Seitz was abruptly silenced when she was about to talk about being sexually assaulted at school and the administration’s handling of her experience. She finished her remarks without a microphone at graduation and posted video of her speech in its entirety to YouTube.

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Russia Tried To Help Trump Win 2016 Election, Senate Intelligence Committee Reaffirms

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“The Russian effort was extensive and sophisticated, and its goals were to ... hurt Secretary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.”

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday supports three U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia tried to help Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Republican-led committee’s finding suggests the panel continues to conduct a bipartisan inquiry into the issue amid political rancor between Republicans and Democrats on allegations that Moscow interfered in the election.

“As numerous intelligence and national security officials in the Trump administration have since unanimously re-affirmed, the (Intelligence Community Assessment’s) findings were accurate and on point,” said committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat.

“The Russian effort was extensive and sophisticated, and its goals were to undermine public faith in the democratic process, to hurt Secretary Clinton (Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton) and to help Donald Trump,” Warner said.

Separate from congressional inquiries, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether any Republican Trump’s election campaign members coordinated with Moscow officials.

Neither the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which reported the intelligence agencies’ findings in January 2017, nor the Senate committee has concluded that Trump’s campaign or aides colluded with Russia.

The committee is still investigating any possible collusion, interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, officials said.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, asked by reporters on Tuesday about the Senate panel’s report while traveling with Trump on Air Force One to West Virginia, said: “The president has been very clear and has said it many times that he feels the Russians meddled in the election.”

The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, dominated by Republicans sympathetic to Trump, found no conclusive evidence proving collusion. But House panel Republicans, in a report on April 27, did say that Russia ran an information warfare campaign to disrupt the election.

The Kremlin denies meddling and Trump denies collusion. On June 28, Trump said on Twitter that “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling on Our Election!”

The following day, however, he told reporters that he planned to raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet on July 16 in Helsinki.

According to public records and congressional officials, the Senate Intelligence Committee report is the latest of four election-related inquiries on which the panel’s Republicans and Democrats continue to cooperate.

Earlier, the committee held a public hearing and issued a report on the security of U.S. election systems, on which there was no partisan dissent. 

Committee Democrats also are collaborating with Republicans on an inquiry that is likely to cite former President Barack Obama and his administration for moving too slowly to probe evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Committee Democrats and Republicans also are working together on an examination of the role social media played in influencing U.S. voters, and may hold hearings on that issue.

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-intel-committee-russia-meddling-2016-election_us_5b3c4af2e4b05127cced824b

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