Sen. Marco Rubio Tells Students He Does Not Agree With The March For Our Lives

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Rubio made sure the students knew that some Americans view them as a threat to the Second Amendment.

On a day when hundreds of thousands of people marched in support of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivors, one senator took time to tell those students he does not support their cause.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a Saturday statement that there are “many other Americans who do not support a gun ban” because they view it as a threat to the Second Amendment.

While Rubio included in his statement a line about respecting the demonstrators’ right to peaceful protests, he quickly expressed his opposition.

“While I do not agree with all of the solutions they propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans,” the senator said.

Those against gun bans “want to prevent mass shootings” too, Rubio continued, but they “view banning guns as an infringement on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens that ultimately will not prevent these tragedies.”

Students at the March For Our Lives rallies repeatedly attacked Rubio and his ties to the National Rifle Association on Saturday, even before he released his statement.

At the D.C. rally, Parkland students wore orange price tags listed at $1.05, which is what they said they were worth to the Florida senator. The $1.05 price tag represents the number of students in Florida divided by the amount of money the NRA has donated to Rubio’s campaign, the demonstrators explained.

Rubio has an A+ rating from the gun rights group for supporting NRA-friendly legislation. According to the New York Times, he has received $3.3 million from the group.

The Republican senator faced off with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during a CNN Town Hall in February. There, he defended his support of the NRA, telling the students he is influenced by the millions of people within the NRA ― and not the millions of dollars they give him.

“The influence of these groups comes not from money,” Rubio said at the time, speaking to students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “The influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda, the millions of Americans that support the NRA.”



Trump Is Remaking The Courts In His Image: White, Male and Straight

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He’s nominated 87 people to be lifetime federal judges. They’re about as diverse as a casting call for “Mad Men.”

More than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump is making the nation’s courts look a lot more like him: white, male and straight.

To date, Trump has nominated 87 people to be judges with lifetime tenure on U.S. district courts, circuit courts or Supreme Court. Eighty of them are white, or nearly 92 percent. One is black, one is Latino and five are Asian or Pacific American. He hasn’t nominated any Native American judges.

Put another way:


The president also keeps nominating men. Sixty-seven of his court picks are male, compared to 20 who are female.

That translates to about 77 percent being men:


Trump hasn’t nominated any openly LGBTQ people to the federal courts.

It’s even more apparent how homogenous Trump’s picks are when compared to his recent predecessors. A Congressional Research Service analysis looked at the first 26 district and circuit court nominees from the last four presidents: Bill Clinton’s were 73 percent white, George W. Bush’s were 81 percent white, Barack Obama’s were 46 percent white, and Trump’s were 96 percent white.

Advocates for a more diverse federal bench say it’s crucial that the nation’s courts reflect the demographics of the populations they serve.

“People of color, LGBT individuals and women can supply effective, nuanced ‘outsider’ perspectives and insights about critical questions regarding abortion, criminal law, employment discrimination and related complicated issues,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and expert on the federal judicial nomination process.

Brad Berry, general counsel for the NAACP, called Trump’s court picks “troubling.”

“The varied life experiences that judges bring to the bench quite often inform their views on the questions presented to them for decision,” Berry said. “It is for that reason that diversity on the bench ― racial, ethnic and gender ― is so critically important to the fair operation of our judicial system and, equally important, to the perception of fairness in that system.”

In addition to being overwhelmingly white, male and straight, Trump’s court picks are very conservative. Some have records of being hostile to the voting rights of black people. Others have records of being incredibly anti-LGBTQ. A number of them have argued against women’s reproductive rights.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been criticizing the president for months over his judicial nominees. Not only has he selected just one black person to be a judge ― Terry Moorer, a nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama ― but he has infuriated civil rights leaders with another nominee, Thomas Farr, who defended North Carolina’s voter suppression law and racially discriminatory gerrymandering.

“Because African-Americans have always been disproportionately affected by federal court decisions, the Congressional Black Caucus is virtually obligated to investigate the fairness of the federal judiciary, no matter who is president,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said during a caucus forum in January on judicial diversity.

“These lifetime appointments will have monumental impacts on the future of the nation and on all Americans, none more so than on African-Americans and others seeking an equal place in our country,” she said.

HuffPost reached out to the White House to ask why Trump keeps nominating white men to be judges, and if he plans to nominate more diverse people going forward.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley said their nominees have all been wonderful.

“The President has delivered on his promise to nominate excellent judges, beginning with Justice Gorsuch, and he will continue nominating outstanding candidates,” Gidley said. “We appreciate the hard work of [Senate Judiciary Committee] Chairman [Chuck] Grassley and [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell, and we urge the Senate to confirm all of the remaining nominees because it’s what the American people deserve.”



Suit accusing Harvard of capping Asian-American admissions could be tried this summer

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A lawsuit that claims Harvard caps the number of high achieving Asian-Americans it admits could go to trial in Boston as early as this summer, according to a new filing in the case.

The lawsuit, begun in 2014 by a conservative advocate who has long challenged affirmative action that benefits blacks and other historically disadvantaged racial minorities, could affect who gets a place on the selective Ivy League campus.
It could have even greater consequences nationwide. The case was devised ultimately to topple a 1978 US Supreme Court decision that first endorsed college affirmative action, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
Lawyers for both sides submitted a status report and proposed schedule Friday in US District Court in Boston. Harvard has asked that a trial begin in July or August. Students for Fair Admissions, the group that filed the complaint, wants a trial to begin no earlier than October 1. It says it would need the extra time to prepare for a trial of the size and scope anticipated.
The Students for Fair Admissions challengers, however, also say they want to file a summary-judgment motion by June 15, which would test whether they have already made the case that Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-Americans. Harvard contends that the group lacks the grounds even to make the motion and urged US District Judge Allison Burroughs to move directly to a trial.
The challengers recently finished data analysis of about 200,000 Harvard undergraduate admissions files from a six-year period. The files included students' grades, test scores and extracurricular activities; demographic and legacy information; and admissions officers' ratings.
Students for Fair Admissions' team of analysts have been trying to detect patterns that would support the group's claim that Asian-Americans are held to a higher standard than other applicants while the college puts a thumb on the scale for African-Americans and other minorities. The group contends that Harvard engages in unlawful racial balancing, violating Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In their Friday submission, the challengers said they had collected 37 deposition transcripts and other documentary evidence that includes "incriminating emails" and "Harvard's own inculpatory studies."
Harvard lawyers rejoined that "it is unsurprising that SFFA wishes to project confidence" and noted that Harvard, too, is confident in its case. The lawyers said the parties' experts have offered competing analyses of the same set of admissions data.
From the start, Harvard has rejected the assertion that it sets Asian-American caps, and its officials emphasize the college's goal of broad student diversity.
"To deliver on our educational mission," Harvard spokeswoman Anna Cowenhoven told CNN in a recent statement, "our admissions practices consider the whole person, their capacity not only for academic excellence, but also their ability to contribute to and learn from people profoundly different from themselves."
The case of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard is moving into a new phase as the Trump administration has separately begun investigating Harvard admissions policies.
Department of Justice officials said last fall that they were re-examining a 2015 discrimination complaint filed by 64 Asian-American groups against Harvard. That investigation is at an early stage, and it is not known whether the Trump administration would become involved in the Students for Fair Admissions case. The department could also bring its own lawsuit against Harvard if it finds the school wrongly discriminated based on race.

Affirmative action challenger

The case against Harvard was begun by conservative advocate Edward Blum, who has devised a series of US Supreme Court battles over racial remedies, typically enlisting white plaintiffs to challenge policies that give a boost to blacks and Hispanics. He created Students for Fair Admissions and sought Asian-Americans rejected by Harvard.
In taking up the cause of Asian Americans, Blum tapped into simmering complaints that Ivy League schools set caps on Asian applicants, as happened to Jewish applicants in early decades of the 20th century.
Yukong Zhao, president of the Asian American Coalition for Education, which has supported Blum's effort and, separately, coordinated the groups that filed the complaint with the Justice Department, said Friday that Harvard is using "de facto racial quotas." He said he hoped that the Department of Justice would lend its weight to the lawsuit in the form of an amicus "friend of the court" brief. Zhao said the coalition had recently provided additional information to the Justice Department regarding the exclusion of Asian-American applicants.
Harvard says it is seeking highly qualified individuals from different backgrounds and life experiences.
Harvard's Cowenhoven provided numbers that showed that the percentages of admitted students, by race, have remained steady in recent years. For the class of 2021 (admitted last year), 22.2% were Asian-American, 14.6% were African-American, 11.6% were Hispanic or Latino and 2% were Native American. The "all other" category, which is mainly white, was 49.6%.
For the lawsuit, Harvard gave Students for Fair Admissions files from applicants covering six admissions cycles (beginning with 2009-2010), under strict terms of confidentiality. Names were redacted, and a protective order prohibited the group from trying to discover applicants' identities.
None of its analysis has yet been made public, and Friday's submission notes that the parties will be conferring in upcoming weeks to try to resolve what materials would become part of the public record.
Lawyers on both sides, as well as Judge Burroughs, have said they expect the case to be eventually resolved at the Supreme Court.
Blum, who relies on a battery of conservative donors for his efforts, engineered the high court case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which began in 2008 after a white student from suburban Houston, Abigail Fisher, was rejected by the flagship campus.
After two rounds before the justices, the court in 2016 upheld the University of Texas policy of considering race to enhance campus diversity, by a single vote.
Such narrow votes have been the pattern for Supreme Court disputes over affirmative action, beginning with the 5-4 Bakke in 1978.


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