2 Officers Shot In Louisville Amid Protests Over Breonna Taylor Case
People in Louisville, Kentucky and other cities took to the streets after none of the officers involved in Taylor’s death were charged with murder.
As people protested the lack of murder charges for the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, two officers were shot in downtown Louisville late Wednesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department said.
Robert Schroeder, the interim chief of LMPD, told reporters that the officers had been shot at about 8:30 p.m. near 1st Street and Broadway, where a large crowd had gathered. The officers, who have not been identified, were investigating reports of gunshots in the area, Schroeder said.
Both officers are in the hospital undergoing treatment. The interim chief described one officer as being alert and in stable condition. The other officer was in surgery but also in stable condition, he added.
“I am very concerned about the safety of our officers,” Schroeder said late Wednesday. “Obviously, we’ve had two officers shot tonight, and that is very serious. It’s a very dangerous condition.”
On Wednesday afternoon, a Kentucky judge read out the charges in the Taylor case: Det. Brett Hankison, one of three officers involved, was charged with “wanton endangerment” — notably, for shots fired into neighboring apartments, not Taylor’s. None of the three was charged with murder.
In March, Louisville police executed a warrant at the apartment of 26-year-old Taylor, who was Black, where she and her boyfriend were asleep. The warrant was for a narcotics investigation not involving Taylor or her boyfriend. Three officers, who were white, fired more than 20 gunshots, several of which hit Taylor, killing her. Her boyfriend, who said he didn’t hear police announce their presence before breaking into the apartment, shot one of the officers once in the leg.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron spoke about the indictment, saying the other two officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were “justified in their use of force.”
“It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers,” he said in a statement.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, condemned the act of violence against the two officers late Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Biden said both he and his family mourned with Taylor’s “mother, family and community and ask ourselves whether justice could be equally applied in America.”
“Even amidst the profound grief & anger today’s decision generated, violence is never & can never be the answer,” he wrote on Twitter. “Those who engage in it must be held accountable. Jill & I are keeping the officers shot tonight in Louisville in our prayers. We wish them both a swift & full recovery.”
How A Supreme Court Vacancy Could Spell The End Of Legal Abortion
A legal scholar on the fate of Roe v. Wade after the death of liberal giant Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
For almost 30 years on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a vocal defender of abortion rights, framing the question of reproductive choice as one of gender equality. “This is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity,” she said at her 1993 confirmation hearing. “When government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
That position guided her voting record up to her last reproductive rights case, which she participated in from her hospital bed in May. She used her voice, while weak, to castigate the Trump administration for undermining comprehensive birth control coverage.
Ginsburg’s reliable liberal vote on abortion rights is now gone. In her absence, Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, is expected to be contested. The future of legal abortion in the U.S. is facing its greatest threat in decades.
What do you expect to happen to abortion rights if a new conservative justice is confirmed?
It depends who the nominee is. The two front-runners at the moment are Barbara Lagoa of the 11th circuit and Amy Coney Barrett. Lagoa doesn’t have as long of a record on abortion, which may make her the less likely choice. She could alienate social conservatives who share Sen. Josh Hawley’s angst. [Note: The Missouri lawmaker said in June that he would only vote to confirm Supreme Court nominees who say Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.] Barrett, by contrast, would be expected to be a vote against Roe. She has been more openly pro-life than most current members of the court, including the conservative members, so we have reason to think that she’s skeptical of Roe.
The question is, what would adding someone like her mean in terms of the balance of the court? The most immediate effect would be to change who the swing vote is on abortion. At the moment, the swing vote is Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts has been more likely to vote with the liberals than any of his conservative colleagues. As we’ve seen, while he is willing to rewrite and even undo precedent when it comes to abortion, he also has concerns about going too far, too soon. [Note: Roberts recently voted with the liberals in June Medical Services v. Russo to strike down an anti-abortion law in Louisiana, but left open the door to upholding future restrictions.]
Roberts has almost tied himself to the mast about this idea of precedent. It doesn’t mean he won’t overturn Roe or Casey. [Note: Planned Parenthood v. Casey established that states can regulate abortion as long as they don’t impose an “undue burden” on those seeking the procedure.] But for him to explain why Casey should go after writing an opinion about his commitment to precedent would be hard.
The most likely swing vote on abortion would probably become Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Of the conservative dissenters in June Medical, Kavanaugh was the only one who was not prepared to say Louisiana’s law was fine. He wanted to send the case back to the lower court for more facts. He seems to share Roberts’ concerns about the court’s reputation. Having Kavanaugh as the swing would likely mean that the court would go further, faster in upholding abortion restrictions and moving toward the overruling of Roe, but maybe not that fast.
How important was Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the issue of abortion rights?
Ginsburg’s influence was significant because she helped articulate the idea that abortion was not just a question of autonomy and privacy and bodily integrity, but also of equality for women. She was the most concerned about the foundations that Roe laid for abortion rights, and the most invested in creating a better foundation.
While she was certainly the most powerful voice [on abortion rights], she was maybe not the most influential voice, because a lot of our actual abortion jurisprudence was a function of compromise reached by the justices in the middle, like Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy and David Souter.
In her absence, who will step into the role of defending abortion rights?
Justice Stephen Breyer has written a lot of important opinions on abortion in recent years, but his abortion jurisprudence is very facts-driven. He digs into the sometimes spurious claims that legislators make in justifying abortion restrictions, and it’s his specialty to write about what’s wrong with those claims. So while that’s a version of writing about equality, it’s not really high-level constitutional theory. Sonia Sotomayor is a possibility, she’s done that in other areas of the law. Elena Kagan is probably the one of the savviest strategists on the court, not just among the liberals. And so you would expect her if you’re talking about abortion and equality to be framing it in a way that’s designed to consolidate some kind of majority. In that way, that’s Ginsburg’s legacy. Ginsburg was not, even as an attorney, just interested in being right but also interested in getting the votes. She was quite savvy about that and Kagan is too.
Can you describe the anti-abortion movement’s legal strategy to overturn Roe, and do you think their approach will change now?
There have been two parallel strategies. One is to push more absolute restrictions in the hope that the court will move quickly — we see this in the campaign for heartbeat bills. [Note: So-called “heartbeat bills” outlaw abortion at around six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they are expecting.]
The more sophisticated players are still moving more cautiously. They favor cases that will limit abortion access dramatically, but more incrementally than an outright ban. This includes laws banning dilation and evacuation, the most common procedure after the first trimester, limiting access to medication abortion, banning abortion at 15 or 20 weeks, and prohibiting abortion for certain reasons, such as in cases of race, sex or disability.
Moving incrementally will still make sense in the near term. But these incremental restrictions could have a major impact, both symbolically and in practical terms. Many could give states the power to introduce some kind of ban before viability for the first time since Roe. Others could put the most common or safe abortion technique for a particular group of patients out of reach.
I don’t think this is coming soon, but if enough conservative justices were added to the court, we might get to the point where anti-abortion lawyers seriously think about arguing that there’s a right to life. Not just that there is no right to abortion, but that the Constitution protects fetal life. Then you’d be talking about abortion being illegal in New York as well as Alabama.
How worried are you personally about Roe getting overturned at this point?
I mean, certainly more than I was. It’s worth noting that there are other members of the liberal wing of the court who are older. If you had two more conservative nominees, which is a possibility depending on the results of the 2020 election, that would make the overruling of Roe even more likely.
For the most part, Justice Clarence Thomas has been the lone clear voice for the overturning of Roe. If you add one more conservative justice, that might not be true. Neil Gorsuch has hinted that he thinks that way, but he usually hasn’t been as willing to join Thomas, or at least be as clear about what he thinks. If you had enough conservative justices added to the court, and one more very conservative justice on abortion, it would certainly push things in this direction.
You might begin to see the consolidation of a clear demand to overturn Roe. That’s important because then you would have more pressure from the right on the conservative justices in the middle, like Kavanaugh or Roberts. But long story short, even one more conservative puts Roe in much more serious jeopardy than it is now.
Fox News hostTucker Carlsonripped the purported dying wish of late Supreme Court Associate JusticeRuth Bader Ginsburg, who asked that her seat be filled by the winner of November’s presidential election. On Monday night, Carlson said he didn’t believe it, but “if it were true, it would be pathetic because life is bigger than politics, even this year.”
Days before her death on Friday at the age of 87, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg said, per NPR.
But Carlson said he didn’t believe it.
“We don’t really know, actually, what Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final words were,” Carlson said. “Did she really leave this world fretting about a presidential election? We don’t believe that for a second.”
Carlson called those words “so small” and said Ginsburg didn’t say them but rather “was thinking at the end about her family and where she might be going next.”
Carlson was parroting a conspiracy theory initiated earlier in the day on the same network by PresidentDonald Trump.
“I don’t know that she said that. Or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi?”Trump said on Fox NewsMonday morning.
“Mr. President, this is low. Even for you,” Schiff fired back on Twitter.
Within hours, other right-wing figures including Carlson, repeated Trump’s talking point.
Ginsburg’s last wish would be in keeping with a precedent set in 2016 by Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell, who blocked then-PresidentBarack Obama’s nomination ofMerrick Garlandto the Supreme Court because it was eight months before the election. In this case, however, McConnell quickly announced that he would move to fill the seatwith Trump’s nominee, who is expected to be named this week.
Between the pandemic’s toll on mothers and the right’s assault on reproductive rights, the equality Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for has never been more at risk.
Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87, spent her life building a world in which women and men were on equal footing, at home and beyond. Through careful, strategic legal work, first as a litigator and later as a Supreme Court justice, Ginsburg helped turn the idea of gender equality into a fundamental right ― and she did it while raising two kids and facing down the same discrimination she spent her career dismantling.
The Department of Education under President Donald Trump wants to roll back civil rights protections for college students who’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed. Women are still paid less than men to do the same jobs, and the gap is even larger for Black and Hispanic women.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to derail an entire generation of women, pushing them out of the workforce to handle caregiving responsibilities in the home while schools operate virtually or only intermittently. Caregiving duties, despite Ginsburg’s long efforts to include men in the domestic sphere, remain largely viewed as the primary responsibility of women.
“This moment is so very high-stakes,” said Emily Martin, a vice president at the National Women’s Law Center and former deputy director at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project, where Ginsburg was a founding director.
Trump said on Saturday that he would pick a woman to fill Ginsburg’s seat, but the women on his Supreme Court list are extremely conservative. The threat to equality from the right is severe.
“There is a right-wing movement out there that is definitely interested in busting norms and challenging laws and precedents that seem to be well-established,” said Martin.
Fighting For Women ― And Men
At the end of her speech accepting President Bill Clinton’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ginsburg thanked her late mother, Celia Bader.
“I pray that I may be all that she would have been, had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve, and daughters are cherished as much as sons,” she said.
There’s no question that Celia Bader, who died when Ginsburg was in high school, would be proud. Ginsburg’s work at the ACLU opened up new paths for women and helped girls see that they, too, could grow up to become a Supreme Court justice or president.
When Ginsburg began the Women’s Rights Project in 1972, there were more than 1,000 laws on the books that disadvantaged women, who could be denied a credit card or refused a mortgage on their own. These patriarchal constrictions assumed that men called the shots and that women belonged at home.
“They were perfectly lawful and the Supreme Court had never said otherwise until she got involved,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, the current director of the Women’s Rights Project. “She went after those laws and attacked them.”
Ginsburg did this not just by representing women who were facing discrimination but by representing men. One of her notable cases involved Stephen Wiesenfeld, who wanted time to stay home with his baby boy, Jason, after his wife, Paula, died in childbirth. At the time, Social Security wouldn’t pay out full benefits to widowers because they weren’t supposed to need them like widows did.
“One of her favorite things to do was to [represent] men who wanted more caregiving responsibilities,” said Mar. That’s an ongoing project, she added, pointing to a recent case the ACLU filed against JP Morgan for giving men less parental leave than women.
“In order for women to achieve full equality outside of the home, men have to take on their fair share in the home,” Mar explained, “and denying men the opportunity to do this harms both men and women. All of us should have a deep and meaningful home life and work life if we so choose.”
The pandemic is making that goal seem ever more remote.
Until the coronavirus struck, the U.S. was coming closer to Ginsburg’s vision in some areas: The gender pay gap had narrowed. The Me Too movement brought heightened attention to the discrimination women face at work.
The majority of college graduates are now women, as are the majority of students enrolled in law school. That was close to unimaginable when Ginsburg was one of just nine women in her law school class at Harvard.
And yet, 25 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, and his administration is bent on rolling back women’s rights and gender equality in a number of ways, from abortion rights to health care to equal pay to LGBTQ rights.
A Lost Generation
COVID-19 is just the most recent obstacle to women’s progress, as an ineffective government response and shuttered schools threaten to push thousands of highly educated, mid-career women out of the workforce. Women are nearly three times more likely to leave the workforce because of coronavirus child-care demands, according to Census Bureau surveys. And it’s not clear when they can get back to work.
The economic fallout from the pandemic is creating a lost generation, said Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Center for American Progress. And that generation “is arguably the most educated demographic in America.”
Ginsburg knew how much sex discrimination and gender stereotyping around caregiving held women back. She faced it herself, over and over. After she finished tied for first in her class at Columbia Law School, getting a job was a struggle. The top firms and the best judges didn’t see the need for a female lawyer.
When she landed a teaching role at Rutgers, Ginsburg was paid less than her male peers. When she confronted the dean about it, he said that “it was only fair that she receive a lower salary than a man with a family to support,” wrote Jane Sherron De Hart in her sweeping biography “Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life.”
Like so many women, Ginsburg struggled in those early years to balance caring for a young daughter and an ailing father-in-law while her husband, Marty, was putting in long hours at work. “Trapped by the needs of two generations” is how De Hart put it.
But Ginsburg never considered taking time away from work, De Hart wrote: “Ever the realist, she knew that asking for special consideration could jeopardize her prospects for tenure.”
Once you get knocked out of the workforce, it’s hard to get back on track. So Ginsburg hung on.
In the weeks ahead, civil rights lawyers are gearing up to fight for her legacy.
“She deserved a period of mourning and it seems profoundly unfair that this time which should be about remembering her legacy has to be a time of fear and fighting,” said Martin.
But battling on is what Ginsburg would want. “She pointed the way to the fight we need to have, and we’re all going to show up for it.”
Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 'fervent' last wish was that she 'not be replaced until a new president is installed'
One of the final wishes that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made in the days before her death was that she not be replaced until a new president takes office.
Ginsburg died on Friday at age 87 from complications stemming from metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to NPR, which first reported the news.
NPR said that just days before her death, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, which said, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."
Ginsburg's death came after a long battle with cancer and several hospitalizations. In July, she announced that she was undergoing chemotherapy for a "reoccurrence of cancer" but could still perform her Supreme Court duties.
The announcement came two days after she was released from the hospital following treatment for an infection from an operation on a pancreatic tumor.
In May, Ginsburg was hospitalized for a gallbladder condition. She still conducted oral arguments and court business from the hospital. She was treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. She also had a lung operation to remove cancerous growths in December 2018.
Democratic President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg for the Supreme Court during his first term in office and she was confirmed in 1993.
President Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Have Adorable Bromance
She subscribed to the philosophical theory that the Constitution is a "living document" whose meaning should be interpreted and adapted to changing values and societal circumstances. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and made history as a feminist icon and lifelong champion of abortion rights and LGBTQ rights.
"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement Friday. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice."
Multiple US lawmakers also paid tribute to the late justice.
"The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history," tweeted Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a statement, "Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court. While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May she Rest in Peace."