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Gorsuch Sworn In, Restoring Top Court's Conservative Tilt and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 4.10.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. Trump's pick Gorsuch sworn in, restoring top court's conservative tilt

Neil Gorsuch, picked by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice at the White House on Monday and was poised to have an instant impact on a court once again dominated by conservatives.

Gorsuch can be expected to have an immediate impact on the court. He takes part on Thursday in the justices' private conference to decide which cases to take up. Appeals are pending before the justices on expanding gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public, state voting restrictions that critics say are aimed at reducing minority turnout, and letting Christian business owners object on religious grounds to providing gay couples certain services.

Read more at CNBC.

2. Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.

In a statement Monday, Sessions said he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a roughly 30-member advisory panel of scientists, judges, crime lab leaders, prosecutors and defense lawyers chartered by the Obama administration in 2013.

Read more at The Washington Post.

3. Tillerson: US will 'hold to account' states that commit atrocities

The United States will "hold to account" any government that commits atrocities against innocent people, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday, as key US allies met to work out a common stance on Syria.

Tillerson spoke at an Italian war memorial before a meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 industrialized nations, which was dominated by the diplomatic fallout from the unexpected US missile strike on a Syrian airbase last week.

Read more at [CNN](http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/10/politics/syria-russia-iran-missile-strikes/.

4.Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students

New details unsealed last month in the state lawsuits against Navient shed light on how Sallie Mae used private subprime loans — some of which it expected to default at rates as high as 92 percent — as a tool to build its business relationships with colleges and universities across the country. From the outset, the lender knew that many borrowers would be unable to repay, government lawyers say, but it still made the loans, ensnaring students in debt traps that have dogged them for more than a decade.

These cases have parallels to the mortgage crisis that helped drive the American economy into recession, both in scope — borrowers in the United States owe $1.4 trillion on student loans — and in the details of the misdeeds claimed. Working together, the lenders and colleges were preying on a vital part of the American dream, the government lawyers say: the belief that higher education can help lift people toward a prosperous future.

Read more at the New York Times.

5. Who's Visiting The White House? Watchdog Groups Are Suing To Find Out

A coalition of government watchdog groups plans to sue the Trump administration on Monday with the aim of compelling the White House to continue President Barack Obama’s practice of releasing logs of lobbyists and others who visit the complex.

Since President Trump took office in January, the website where such records had been publicly available has gone dark, and White House officials will say only that the policy is under review, making no assurances that they will operate with the same openness.

Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the same group whose legal actions led to a settlement with the Obama administration in 2009, opening up the White House visitor logs for the first time.

Read more at In Homeland Security.

6. U.S. scuppers G7 bid to find joint stance on energy and climate

The U.S. administration of Donald Trump on Monday scuppered efforts by the Group of Seven industrialized countries to reach a common stance on energy when it asked for more time to work out its policies on climate change.

At a news conference wrapping up the G7 Energy meeting in Rome, Italian industry and energy minister Carlo Calenda said the United States was reviewing its strategy on climate change and the Paris Agreement.

"While this is under way, the United States reserves its position on these key priorities," he said. "It was not possible to sign a joint declaration since it would not cover the whole range of topics in the agenda."

Calenda, who chaired the G7 meeting, said all other European Union countries remained strongly committed to the Paris accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more at Reuters.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia /Creative Commons)

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(40)
  • Judith
    04/10/2017
    ···

    Nothing, literally NOTHING, this SCOTUS does from this point forward should be respected by the American people. This is a criminal organization now that you have a STOLEN seat held by someone who could not even pass the same 60-vote standard that every other Judge in that Court had to meet. This branch of government is dead!

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  • Brandon
    04/10/2017
    ···

    Just a reminder to those butt hurt over the Reid option being used... you were silent when the Democrats used it to approve Obama appointees including two federal judges so you have no room to speak. To all those butt hurt on the stolen seat issue you were silent when democrats blocked bush with his appointee in his last term you also have no room to speak. If it's wrong it's always wrong unless your two faced. If you don't like the taste of your own medicine them don't give it out.

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  • HockeyGuy
    04/10/2017
    ···

    You can rest assured that the US Supreme Court will be very busy as the Republicans try to roll back our rights and freedoms! Discrimination will once again be on the rise, corruption in our financial system will be the norm, and poverty will spread to more areas of the country. I hope I am wrong about what I have written. I expect my congressional members to do what they can to prevent these potential conditions from becoming a reality.

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  • Norm
    04/10/2017
    ···

    I guess Mr. Justice you've never been in a snow storm in car or truck, without heat, and about to freeze to death. BTW, you won't get your job back because decided not to freeze.

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  • Robert
    04/11/2017
    ···

    The Founding Fathers never wanted GOD to be influencing political decisions. Check it out and ENFORCE the Constitution. Pandering to your base is so obvious

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  • Matt
    04/10/2017
    ···

    I'm so sick of my elected representatives thinking they can hijack our government and do whatever the hell they want. You stole the Supreme Court seat from Garland, cheated to change the rules to get your guy in. YOU REPRESENT YOUR CONSTITUENTS, not your special interests. This is ridiculous. Someone needs to knock you cheaters and frauds down a few notches. Most of you were either involved with Russia or colluded to cover it up. That is treason. That makes you a criminal. Remember this. Voters will.

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  • DaughterOfLiberty
    04/12/2017
    ···

    President Trump nominated the BEST person for the Supreme Court that he could have. Neil Gorsuch has an amazing and impressive record. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative judge David Sentelle. The democrats dug up everything they could find and attacked and attacked him. They couldn't find anything wrong with him! Instead they refused to vote for him just because he was a conservative. So Congress went nuclear. People need to stop thinking that just because a conservative is in a position of power that " the world is going to end" or the "American people are going to lose all their rights". There are so many regulations and safeguards set up to guard against injustice and unconstitutionality and that's if someone was stupid enough to try something like that. People need to stop relying on the media's "version" of things and find out for themselves whether someone has the qualifications for a good leader or a position of power. Supreme Court Justices are nominated for the job because they are highly qualified for it. People need to wake up and see that.

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  • Desiree
    04/11/2017
    ···

    Supreme Heist. Sad.

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  • Xzanthia
    04/11/2017
    ···

    So again we get another scoundrel in office that cares nothing for the citizens. You Republicans make the word evil sound good. I'm looking forward to voting all of you out. You are the lowest of the low.

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  • Sherry
    04/11/2017
    ···

    It was a sad day to see Gorsuch sworn into Merrick Garland's stolen seat---who should have had the opportunity for an up or down vote. But, thanks to a disrespectful Mitch McConnell, he refused to even meet with Judge Garland let alone allow an up or down vote by the Senate. Now Mitch McConnell, you've gone nuclear and changed the rules to requiring only a majority vote when you should have asked for a different appointee while still requiring a 60 vote for appointments. Mitch McConnell is a real disgrace to this country---telling Congress that you would make Obama a one term President and would block everything he wanted to do. So don't cry when the Democrats do the same thing now that the shoe is on the other foot! And we will vote out as many Republicans as are up for re-election within two years. Hopefully you won't damage our country too much in that timeframe.

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  • Teresa
    04/11/2017
    ···

    This is not right.

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  • Dave
    04/11/2017
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    It a sad day for the people of the America, this is a person that side only with corporation. There is no black and white, only gray. What some do not understand, this appointment is for life, some of the others appointments by Obama were not!

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  • Ureeka
    04/11/2017
    ···

    Fear mongering is all the left can do to drive a wedge between the extremists on the left and the rest of America. It's about time the Dems grow up and accept the fact that we have a two party representative republic government, not a dictatorship based on fear in innuendo. The right has been patient as the shift in power has gradually changed until we now have a voice that counts. Republicans will certainly see the seas this moment to show the nation what real leadership means. It's not a comedy skit on Saturday night live. It's not a filibuster in the Senate. It's not feeding confidential information to left wing news outlets. And it's not providing misleading information to the working class regarding their vote. Voter ID is a commonsense solution that both parties should embrace to ensure that our republic iand elected officials are above reproach. Anyone who says otherwise does not have the best interest of America in mind.

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  • Phyllis
    04/11/2017
    ···

    Tragic, he will be seated for years to come. The 98% are the losers here.

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  • Alexis
    04/11/2017
    ···

    PROTECT WOMEN

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  • Brad
    04/11/2017
    ···

    Gorsuch will be an outstanding new member of the Supreme Court. We could not have elected a more qualified judge. America will be better off with Judge Gorsuch.

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  • Brad
    04/11/2017
    ···

    Gorsuch will be an outstanding new member of the Supreme Court. We could not have elected a more qualified judge. America will be better off with Judge Gorsuch.

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  • Joshua
    04/12/2017
    ···

    The only reason to disapprove of Gorsuch I've even heard from the left is that he is not an activist and because Trump appointed him. This is absolutely ridiculous considering he is one of the most respected judges throughout the circuit, as well as receiving an extremely high Bar rating AND having such as low SCOTUS overturn rate.

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  • Andrea
    04/11/2017
    ···

    I couldn't even watch. We are so screwed.

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  • Elaine
    04/10/2017
    ···

    This tops it off for this Criminal Administration that is such a mess they went the nuclear option due to Gorsuch couldn't even get 60. Republicans are doing a HORRIBLE JOB. YOU STOLE MERRICK GARLAND SEAT, I WILL NEVER FORGET OR FORGIVE.

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