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Democrats react to Kavanaugh confirmation

Brandon Moseley

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Saturday, the United States Senate confirmed Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on a 50 to 48 vote. Kavanaugh’s confirmation was the most partisan Supreme Court hearings in decades. Ultimately, all but one Republican Senator voted for Kavanaugh and all but one Democratic Senators voted against. That vast partisan gulf left Republicans jubilant Saturday night and Democrat bitterly disappointed.

“As Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court, we are all feeling angry, frustrated, and disappointed,” Congressional candidate Mallory Hagan said. “However, what we are feeling right now must not discourage us; we have to use it as motivation to actively work to shape our future for the better. This midterm election is our time to decide the future of our country, and we cannot let this opportunity pass us by. It’s time for action.”

Hagan is a former Miss America who is challenging incumbent Mike Rogers, R-Saks, in the Third Congressional District on November 6.

“If Amendment 2 passes and Roe v. Wade is overturned – which is a likely scenario with Kavanaugh on the highest court in the land – there will be life and death consequences for the women of Alabama,” said President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates Staci Fox. “Alabamians – especially women of color and women with low incomes – already face barriers in accessing health care and, in a world where abortion is outlawed with no exceptions, they would bear the brunt of of those consequences.”

On November 6, Alabama voters will have the opportunity to consider the Pro-Life Amendment 2 which would effectively make abortion illegal in Alabama, if the Supreme Court were to reverse the highly controversial 5 to 4 Roe versus Wade ruling.

“Brett Kavanaugh may have just been confirmed to the Supreme Court, but the grassroots movement that came together to oppose him will only continue to grow,” CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess said. “Eventually, when the dust settles and the right-wing fever that has overtaken Congress breaks, Kavanaugh will be impeached for lying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, or for other criminal acts.”

“Susan Collins will never be mistaken for a moderate again,” Hess continued. “When Kavanaugh guts Roe v. Wade, women everywhere will remember the pivotal role Susan Collins played in making it happen. Sen. Joe Manchin’s vote to confirm Kavanaugh goes against every Democratic value. Tom Perez, Chris Van Hollen and Chuck Schumer must hold him accountable.”

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“The DNC and DSCC should stop funding or otherwise supporting Manchin’s re-election campaign,” Hess continued. “Chuck Schumer should immediately remove him from Democratic leadership. No one has ever mistaken Manchin for a leader and he is clearly not a Democrat.”

“We want to express our deepest gratitude to the millions of activists who fought Kavanaugh from the beginning to the very end and the brave and powerful survivors who shared their stories,” Hess said. “Someday soon, thanks to their persistence and grassroots organizing, they’ll get the responsive, respectful and progressive government they deserve.”

“There’s no question, Kavanaugh’s confirmation represents a horrendous step backward for progress,” the activist group People’s Action said in a statement. “It also sends the exact wrong message to boys and young men. That you can assault women, dodge accountability, and still ascend to one of the highest offices in the land. We instead should be modeling what new masculinity looks like. The Senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh failed mightily in this opportunity.

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“Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court threatens to set our country back a generation on access to health care, racial justice environmental protections, presidential powers, reproductive rights, and much more,” People’s Action continued. “It is a stark reminder of the power of our vote and the impact of elections. That is why we are talking to one million voters in this midterm. On the doors, we will ask voters to remember Kavanaugh’s confirmation – despite all the evidence that he is not fit to serve – as they head to the polls in November.”

“It’s not enough to get mad — we have to beat the Republicans who rammed this nomination through,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said. “Time and time again, Republicans have shown that they can’t be trusted to stand up to the Trump administration on a single thing. So it really is this simple: If we don’t want people like Brett Kavanaugh to be appointed to lifetime positions in our federal judiciary, we need to elect Democratic majorities this November. Democrats only need to flip two Senate seats this November to win control of the Senate and make sure Trump can’t ram through any more judges like Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”

Democrats are hoping that the Kavanaugh controversy will lead to a “blue wave” election that will wash away Republicans and give Democrats control of both Houses of Congress for the first time since 2010.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Elections

First presidential debate is tonight

Tuesday’s debate, set to begin at 8 p.m. CST, will be moderated by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, are running for president in 2020. (STAFF SGT. TONY HARP/AIR NATIONAL GUARD AND GAGE SKIDMORE/FLIKR)

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, are preparing for Tuesday night’s debate.

Tuesday’s debate will be moderated by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. The debate will be at 8 p.m. CST and is being hosted at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Due to COVID-19, the two candidates and the moderator will not shake hands. There will be a small number of ticketed guests inside the debate hall, along with debate officials, crews and TV network anchors including Fox News.

Trump has prepared with help from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York City Major Rudy Giuliani but has chosen not to have traditional lengthy practice sessions.

Trump is suggesting he doesn’t want to overdo it.

“Sometimes you can go too much in that stuff,” Trump told reporters on Sunday.

Biden has been holding mock debate sessions with senior adviser Bob Bauer and top aides, according to CBS News.

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“I’m prepared to go out and make my case as to why I think he’s failed and why I think the answers I have to proceed will help the American people, the American economy and make us safer internationally,” Biden said.

“The president prepares by being president,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh reportedly said. “And by regularly facing hostile news media. That’s pretty good practice by any measure.”

The debate as to whether Trump should have appointed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will almost certainly come up.

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“Joe Biden spent a lot of time in his basement to study up,” said Lara Trump, the president’s campaign adviser and daughter-in-law. “He’s been in this game for 47 years. I assume he’ll do OK. Quite frankly, the bar has been lowered so much for Joe Biden that if he stays awake for the whole thing it’s like maybe he won.”

The two candidates are running very different campaigns.

From March until the last week in August, according to news reports, Biden made no in-person speeches or campaign appearances. Biden’s events since have been rare and attended by just a few invited guests.

Trump, on the other hand, has been holding mass campaign rallies. Trump has held 14 in-person rallies in September including in swing states New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Minnesota with multiple trips to Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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National

Planned Parenthood says Alabama is poised to outlaw abortion if Barrett is confirmed

“If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Alabama could be at the center of the fight to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Barbara Ann Luttrell, Planned Parenthood Southeast’s vice president of external affairs.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump, left, and his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. (WHITE HOUSE PHOTO)

President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, prompting Planned Parenthood to warn that Alabama could be poised to outlaw abortion if Barrett is confirmed to the nation’s highest court.

“If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Alabama could be at the center of the fight to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Barbara Ann Luttrell, Planned Parenthood Southeast’s vice president of external affairs. “Right now, 17 abortion-related cases are one step from the Supreme Court — including Alabama’s abortion ban. Most of these cases involve incremental restrictions that effectively ban abortion, without the need to overturn Roe. These incremental bans, combined with ‘trigger laws’ designed to immediately ban abortion if Roe were to fall, and with over 20 state legislatures hostile to reproductive health care, means that what little is left of abortion access could be eliminated for an estimated 25 million women of reproductive age with Barrett on the Supreme Court.”

Luttrell shared a full breakdown of the states where abortion is most under threat.

According to Planned Parenthood, more than 20 state legislatures, including Alabama, are hostile to reproductive health care, meaning that what little is left of abortion access could be eliminated for an estimated 25 million women of reproductive age with Barrett on the Supreme Court.

Last year, shortly after the Senate confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 25 abortion bans passed in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah.

All of these laws have been blocked by lower courts and some are making their way up through the appeals process.

Since 2011, more than 480 abortion restrictions, such as mandatory waiting periods, two-trip requirements, bans on insurance coverage, and telehealth abortion bans, have passed in states, making it harder or impossible for people — particularly women with lower incomes — to access abortion services.

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Five states only have one abortion provider left: Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia.

According to Planned Parenthood, 10 states have trigger bans, laws designed to immediately ban all or nearly all abortions if Roe were to fall: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.

Nearly half of the states have some combination of trigger bans, pre-Roe bans and hostile legislatures that position them to ban abortion quickly.

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In 2019, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont enacted laws that would protect the right to abortion no matter what happens in the White House or at the Supreme Court.

In 2019, Vermont became the first state in U.S. history to advance a constitutional amendment process to make abortion a Constitutional right.

Pro-abortion state legislators in Massachusetts are pushing to guarantee abortion rights in the state. The Roe Act would enshrine the right to reproductive freedom into state law.

The majority of voters in Alabama voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion if the controversial 5-to-4 1973 Roe v. Wade decision were overturned.

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Congress

Sewell urges Alabamians to participate in Census

There is only two days left for you and your family to get counted, so take action now.

Brandon Moseley

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Congresswoman Terri Sewell (via Office of Rep. Terri Sewell)

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, is urging constituents to participate in the 2020 Census before time runs out.

“It was recently announced that Alabama ranked last in the nation in Census response with only 62 percent of all Alabama households having responded,” Sewell said. “The news is even more sobering for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District because we are at 6.8 [percentage points] below the State of Alabama in our return. In our district, the return rate for the 14 counties is 53.8 percent. This is devastating news! The time for Alabamians to be counted is running out with the Census deadline being moved up to Sept. 30.”

There are four ways to complete your 2020 Census:

  • Online at my2020census.gov. (Note: The Census ID number included on your original invitation letter is not required to complete the census online).
  • Call the U.S. Census Bureau toll-free at 844-330-2020. Telephone assistance is also available in multiple languages.
  • By mail: Return the paper form included with your invitation letter.
  • In person with a Census enumerator/representative that visits your home.

There is only two days left for you and your family to get counted, so take action now. All responses are kept confidential under federal law and are not shared with law enforcement, courts, creditors or other government agencies.

“According to a George Washington University study, each Alabamian that is not counted represents $1,600 so it is vital you and everyone in your household are counted,” Sewell added. “To learn more about how the Census impact vital federal resources Alabamians need and deserve, follow my #30Day30Ways Census campaign on my official Twitter.”

You can watch the full TerriTalks on making the 7th District count in the 2020 Census. Sewell is in her fifth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

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Environment

Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile residents impacted by Sally urged to apply for federal aid

FEMA has approved $11.1 million in housing grants to individuals and families through Sept. 28, according to the governor’s office. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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Gov. Kay Ivey took a tour of the damage from Hurricane Sally on the gulf coast Friday September 18, 2020. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday announced more than $11 million in federal disaster aid has been approved for those impacted by Hurricane Sally in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties.  

FEMA has approved $11.1 million in housing grants to individuals and families through Sept. 28, according to Ivey’s office. 

“Hurricane Sally took a punch to our coastal areas, but thanks in part to the millions of dollars in federal assistance, the people of Alabama are moving along the road to recovery,” Ivey said. “I remain grateful to President Trump, Administrator Gaynor and their teams for prioritizing the people of Alabama reeling from Hurricane Sally. We will get through this together; we have done it before, and we will do it again.”

Federal grants to repair homes or for renting temporary housing made up $8.9 million of the FEMA funding. Grants for childcare, moving and storage, medical and dental comprised the remaining $2.1 million. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved an additional $570,900 in disaster home repair loans for those impacted by Sally.

Ivey’s office encourages homeowners and renters in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia counties to apply to FEMA for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible. Residents of these three Alabama counties may also be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the hurricane.

Residents in those three counties impacted by Hurricane Sally may register for FEMA disaster assistance online by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free lines are open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight CST.

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Those with a homeowner’s insurance policy are encouraged to file an insurance claim before applying for federal assistance. 

Information that may be useful to have when you register include:

  • Address of the damaged primary dwelling where the damage occurred
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information and description of disaster-caused damage and loss
  • Total household annual income
  • Names and birth dates of family members who live in the household
  • Name and Social Security number of co-applicant (if applicable)
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account so FEMA may directly transfer disaster assistance funds

 For more information on Hurricane Say visit FEMA’s website here.

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