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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

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Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Democrats eye Florida after abortion ruling - The Washington Post

Democrats eye Florida after abortion ruling

"Good morning, Early Birds. April is the cruelest month. Tips: Was this forwarded to you? Sign up here. Thanks for waking up with us.

In today’s edition …  Nevadans are close to securing abortion ballot measure  … Trump ramps up attacks on judges … but first …

Protesters outside the Florida state capitol on June 24, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla., during a rally protesting the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. (Chasity Maynard/Tallahassee Democrat via AP, File)

In a matter of minutes yesterday, a decision by Florida’s top court gave Democrats a much-needed shot of energy in a state that has been out of reach for them in recent elections. 

In one striking ruling, the Florida Supreme Court decided a six-week abortion ban can go into effect on May 1 — strictly limiting abortion access in the third-most populous state — and said an initiative to codify abortion rights can be on the November ballot.

The decision could boost Democrats up and down the ballot by putting abortion front-and-center, but it’s still a tall task to put the former swing state back on the map for Democrats. 

Florida’s six-week ban is set to take place next month. It will make abortion restrictions extremely real for voters in one of the three Southern states that until now did not have a near-total abortion ban. (The others are Virginia, where abortion is legal, and North Carolina, which instituted bans after 12 weeks).

The effort to pass the ballot initiative, sure to be well-funded, could get Democrats as well as frustrated Republicans who support abortion access to the polls in November. The group that launched the Florida ballot initiative last year, Floridians Protecting Freedom, collected more than 1 million signatures and said about 150,000 signatories were registered Republican voters. 

The ballot measure needs 60 percent support to pass in November, but regardless of the outcome, if history is any indication, it will energize voters. Voters in all six states that have put forward ballot initiatives — California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont, and Ohio — ended up codifying abortion rights. 

Follow Election 2024

Biden's campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, wrote in a memo Monday night that abortion “will help mobilize and expand the electorate in the state.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a 15-week ban in 2022, shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned. The six-week ban passed by the legislature and endorsed by DeSantis last year had been held up in the courts until yesterday. It includes exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape, incest and human trafficking that have been reported to authorities (but reporting such trauma is considered to be another barrier.) 

Florida Democrats are exultant that the amendment will be on the ballot in November.

“Florida’s back in play,” Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried told us Monday evening, referring to the impact of the organizing work Democrats have done in the state as well as the amendment being on the ballot.

But Democrats have a lot of ground to make up in a state they’ve mostly abandoned. No Democratic presidential candidate or Senate candidate has won Florida since 2012, when President Barack Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson won reelection. 

Senate Democrats spent little money in 2022 to try to defeat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Then-candidate Joe Biden didn’t seriously contest the state in 2020, losing to then-President Donald Trump by more than three points. Democrats have calculated in recent elections that the spending it would take to win Florida would be better used elsewhere. 

Biden’s campaign manager, Chavez Rodriguez, insists that Biden will challenge the state this year, saying in the memo after the court decision that one path to victory in November “includes investing in Florida.”

Trump has been wishy-washy on his abortion position, suggesting last month that he’d be open to a 15 week ban. A Trump campaign spokesman didn’t bash the court’s decision to allow the amendment to appear on the ballot, saying Trump “supports states’ rights.” 

What it means for the Senate race

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former one-term congresswoman who is running against Republican Sen. Rick Scott, says it's time for Democrats to reinvest in the state. 

  • “We can’t afford to leave a state that’s this important behind,” Mucarsel-Powell said in an interview shortly after the court’s decision. “We’ve seen time and time again voters coming out in huge, huge mass to make sure they protect their freedom to choose and the same thing is going to happen here in the state of Florida.”

“It’s not just about the next election,” said Rosy Gonzalez Speers, a Democratic strategist based in Miami, making the case for Democrats to invest in the state. It’s about the election after that and the election after that.”

Mucarsel-Powell had already made abortion rights a defining issue of her campaign against Scott. 

Scott has indicated he’d support a six-week abortion ban in Florida and was one of 23 senators who signed onto an amicus brief to last week’s Supreme Court arguments over limiting the abortion drug mifepristone. 

  • In a statement, Scott did not specifically address the state Supreme Court’s decision but said he supports adoption over abortion.
  • “Floridians also agree that there should be some reasonable limits placed on abortion,” he added. 

Democrats immediately seized on the issue, releasing statements and holding press calls vowing to activate voters in November.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) will hold a field hearing about reproductive rights with seven House Democrats in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this morning where Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will testify. While the hearing has been planned for several weeks, it was timed around the time when the court case was expected, a person familiar with the planning said.

NEWS: Nevadans close to securing abortion ballot measure

Nevada voters are nearing the signature requirement for a ballot initiative codifying abortion rights. 

Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom have collected 110,000 signatures across all four congressional districts in just over a month, the organizers told The Early. They plan to collect at least 100,000 more signatures — giving them more than twice as many as they need --- to ensure they meet the requirement of 102,362 valid signatures by June 26, a threshold organizers are confident they can reach.

To notify voters of the effort, the campaign placed $15 million worth of ads last week in Reno and Las Vegas, the two largest metropolitan areas. 

Nevada and Florida are two of a dozen states where voters could directly enshrine access to abortion into the law or the state Constitutions. 

Nevada already allows abortion up to 24 weeks but the ballot measure would ensure abortion until “fetal viability” is a fundamental right. 

Trump is campaigning in the Midwest today, holding rallies in two crucial battleground states: Michigan and Wisconsin.

We’re watching to see if Eric Hovde — who’s challenging Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) — attends Trump’s rally in Green Bay and whether Trump endorses him. (Trump has already backed former congressman Mike Rogers, who’s running for an open Senate seat in Michigan.) 

Today is also the Wisconsin primary. Trump and Biden have already clinched the nominations, but we’re watching how many Democratic primary voters mark their ballots “uninstructed” as part of a campaign to protest Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza.

The effort follows campaigns in other states to convince voters to mark their ballots “uncommitted” rather than vote for Biden. Those campaigns drew the support of about 13 percent of Democratic primary voters in Michigan, nearly 10 percent in Washington state and 19 percent in Minnesota (although it’s impossible to know how many people voted uncommitted for reasons other than protesting Biden’s record on Gaza).

Organizers in Wisconsin say their goal is 20,000 “uninstructed” voters — which was roughly Biden’s margin of victory there in 2020.

We’re watching what percentage of voters mark their ballots “uninstructed” and where in the state those votes are concentrated.

Lawmakers are on recess this week, but we’re watching how they react to World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés’s statement that several World Central Kitchen employees were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, as our colleagues Cate Brown, Adam Taylor and Hajar Harb report.

The White House weighed in last night.

  • “We are heartbroken and deeply troubled by the strike that killed @WCKitchen aid workers in Gaza,” Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, wrote on X. “Humanitarian aid workers must be protected as they deliver aid that is desperately needed, and we urge Israel to swiftly investigate what happened.”

Trump ramps up attacks on judges

Trump is stepping up his “efforts to disparage judges overseeing his criminal and civil cases — reprising a long-standing strategy as a high-profile trial draws near and prompting growing concerns from legal experts and an expanded gag order late Monday,” our colleagues Marianne LeVine, Clara Ence Morse and Shayna Jacobs report.

Consider his recent attacks:

  • “On social media over the weekend, Trump wrote that New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing his New York hush money criminal trial that is scheduled to start April 15, ‘should be immediately sanctioned and recused.’ The attack came days after Trump personally attacked Merchan’s daughter, calling her a ‘Rabid Trump Hater’ and suggesting that the judge was ’compromised' because of her work for a Democratic-aligned digital marketing company.”
  • “Trump called New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who ordered a nearly half-billion-dollar judgment against Trump, 'corrupt' and claimed that his credibility had been 'shattered.'”
  • “And in a lengthy post on Easter Sunday, Trump wrote in all caps: 'Happy Easter to all, including crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges that are doing everything possible to interfere with the presidential election of 2024, and put me in prison.'”

Merchan expanded his gag order last night after “Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alluded to Trump’s repeated attacks last week in asking Merchan to confirm whether the limited gag order he had imposed on Trump bars the former president from attacking the judge’s family,” Marianne, Clara and Shayna write.

  • “It is no longer just a mere possibility or a reasonable likelihood that there exists a threat to the integrity of the judicial proceedings,” Merchan wrote in the new ruling. “The threat is very real. Admonitions are not enough, nor is reliance on self-restraint.”
Democrats eye Florida after abortion ruling - The Washington Post

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