In a historic vote, the US Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman Supreme Court justice after she sailed through on a 53-47 vote. She’s now in an unusual waiting period: she won’t take the bench until after Justice Breyer retires at the end of this term. More domestic news below.
UN: In a rare instance of reality triumphing over UN bureaucracy, the United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council for “gross and systematic violations of human rights.” 93 nations voted in favor of suspending Russia, 24 nations opposed the measure, and 58 nations abstained from voting. Russia still remains on the UN Security Council.
US Sanctions: Today Congress voted to revoke Russia and Belarus’ “most favored nation” trade status. That means the US can impose harsh new tariffs on goods from both countries.
In his nightly address Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said that Western sanctions on Russia are “not enough.” He called for a total isolation of their banking system and a complete embargo of Russian oil, saying anything less gives Moscow “permission to attack.”
In a rare bipartisan act, the US Senate voted unanimously to advance a lend-lease policy making it easier to speed US weapons to Ukraine. The act was last invoked during WWII. The bill still has to pass the House.
During floor remarks for this measure, US Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer became the first senior US official to call Russia’s atrocities in Bucha an act of genocide.
Thursday night a US appeals court panel ruled that the US government can impose a COVID vaccine mandate on federal workers.
The New York state attorney general filed a motion to hold former President Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with subpoenas for an ongoing criminal investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization. The motion includes a request to fine Trump $10,000 per day until he submits the subpoenaed documents.
Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Planned Parenthood both filed lawsuits today aiming to eliminate a 176 year old law that would make abortion illegal in the state. It’s all in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling that could return the question to each state, making old laws suddenly relevant.
The Alabama Senate has passed a bill mirroring Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law that would additionally ban trans students in K-12 schools from using the bathroom according with their gender identity.
In a rare event, the major spring holidays of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Baha’i Faith will overlap between March and May. Ramadan Mubarak, Chag Sameach, Happy Easter, Navā Sāla Mubāraka, Holī Kī Badhāī, Naw-Rúz Mobarak, and Happy Holidays to all!
And for everyone who needs a smile, this is worth the click: