The DC: Bipartisan redistricting commissions, and... 🔨 Should Confederate statues be removed?
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by Countable | 9.17.19
Welcome to Tuesday, September 17th, under- and over-achievers...
It’s Constitution Day ― Why is the U.S. a Republic?
As Dr. Benjamin Franklin departed the Constitutional Convention, a story holds that a concerned citizen by the name of Mrs. Eliza Powell asked the Pennsylvania delegate whether the new American government would be a republic or a monarchy.
Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
To mark the anniversary of the signing of the oldest working national governing document on September 17, 1787, we look at why the Framers structured the U.S. as a republic.
The political philosophy that inspired the Founding Fathers and spurred the American Revolution came to be known as republicanism, which was born out of ideas from Ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, and English natural rights theories.
American republicanism emphasized personal liberty, the protection of individual rights, equal protection under the law, and virtuous citizenship. It opposed monarchy and corruption, and gave sovereignty to the people through the popular elections of representatives.
The Founders were also fearful of pure democracy, which could allow a faction to attain a majority and tyrannically infringe on the rights of the minority.
Read the full history here, then join the conversation:
On the Radar
Gun Violence & Extremism, Presidential Obstruction of Justice,
Before bills and nominations are brought up for a passage vote in Congress, they typically have to be considered and approved by relevant committees ― which also conduct oversight of federal agencies.
We take a thorough look at the hearings Congressional committees will be holding this week in our Committee Watch, but here are a few we're watching extra closely:
- Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing regarding Holocaust-era insurance claims. 10am
- Also today, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Presidential Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power”. 1pm
- On Wednesday, the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing titled “Gun Violence in America: Understanding and Reducing the Costs of Firearm Injuries and Deaths”. 2:15pm
Under the Radar
Judge Blocks Removal of Confederate Statue
A Virginia judge has blocked the city of Charlottesville from removing the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that prompted rallies in the city.
The official reason for the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, was to protest the removal of the Lee statue and one of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson.
Black shrouds were placed over the two controversial statues shortly after the violence, but in February 2018, Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore ordered them removed.
Moore recently ruled that any attempts to remove the Lee and Stonewall statues would violate a state law protecting war memorials:
“Whenever something of public value is hidden from view, that is a loss, and there are damages associated with that,” he said. “It may not be a tangible harm, but it is present, nonetheless. Certainly, the plaintiffs felt it.”
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in NM & CA
- At 9:50am MDT, the president will depart Albuquerque, New Mexico for Mountain View, California.
- At 12:20pm PDT, the president will participate in a roundtable with supporters and deliver remarks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Palo Alto, California.
- At 7:05pm PDT, the president will participate in a roundtable with supporters and deliver remarks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Beverly Hills, California.
The House of Representatives: In
- Voting on a bill to ban inclined sleepers for infants.
- Voting on a bill to ban non-mesh crib bumpers for infants.
- Voting on a bill to develop a stability standard for dressers to prevent them from tipping over on children.
- Voting on a bill to reauthorize funding for minority-serving institutions like HBCUs through FY2021.
- Voting on a bill to reauthorize the Helen Keller National Center through 2023.
The Senate: In
- Voting on the confirmation of the ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
- Taking a procedural vote and possible confirmation vote on the nomination of the ambassador to Sweden.
- Taking procedural votes and potential confirmation votes on nominations of the Treasury Department's general counsel, an undersecretary of the treasury, and an assistant secretary of state for democracy & human rights.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should States Be Required to Have Independent, Bipartisan Redistricting Commissions?
(Follow Dionrdixon's comment here.)
(Follow Kathi13's comment here.)
Also Worth a Click
- NYT: Manhattan Prosecutors Subpoena Trump Tax Returns in Hush Money Investigation
- Elizabeth Warren Unveils Sweeping Anti-Corruption Plan
And, in the End…
The signing of the Constitution gets most of the limelight today, but there's a few other important events in U.S. history that occured on September 17th.
On this date in 1911, for example, the first transcontinental flight began:
C.P. Rogers flew from New York City to Pasadena, California, in 82 hours.
Want to stay completely out of American history? Consider celebrating National Table Shuffleboard Day,
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
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