SCOTUS hearings underway, Trump returns to campaign after COVID-19 diagnosis, and the Lakers celebrate championship win

The Senate begins confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump returns to the campaign trail after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the Lakers win their 17th championship, and more…

It’s Monday, October 12th, here’s what you need to know…


1. Confirmation hearings begin for SCOTUS nominee

The Senate began its first day of contentious confirmation hearings for President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s empty seat on the nation’s highest court. The socially-distanced hearings are taking place during the final stretch of the general election cycle at a time when Democrats and Republicans are fiercely divided on the prospect of a presumably conservative justice taking a seat on the Court while millions of Americans have already cast their ballots. During Monday’s hearing, Democrats were critical of the hearings taking place so close to the election but placed their primary focus on the importance of preserving the Affordable Care Act. On the other side, Republicans justified their decision to hold confirmation hearings for Barrett with the election just weeks away and also defended the nominee’s Catholic faith amid criticism she faced from Democrats in 2017.


During the hearing, Democratic Senators made health care their chief concern as Obamacare faces legal challenges from the Trump administration and Republicans seeking to strike down the law. A case challenging the legality of the Affordable Care Act, specifically whether the law’s individual insurance mandate provision is unconstitutional with no tax penalty, is being brought forth by Republican attorneys general and is set for oral arguments before the Supreme Court on November 10, just a week after Election Day. The high-stakes confirmation hearings for Barrett could alter the ideological balance of the Supreme Court, giving conservatives a majority on the bench, and Democrats fear that could result in health care coverage being stripped away for millions of Americans insured under Obamacare.


Republicans seized the hearing to criticize their Democratic colleagues by frequently citing the divisive confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 while also denouncing their perceived attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith and her involvement with the Christian community “People of Praise.” Republicans came to the defense of the Supreme Court nominee’s faith largely after remarks in 2017 made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee said, “the dogma lives loudly within you” after Barrett was nominated to a federal appeals court.


The hearings continue tomorrow as the questioning of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett begins tomorrow, October 13.


2. President Trump heads to Florida for his first rally since being diagnosed with COVID-19

With the general election 21 days away, presidential campaigns are focusing on battleground states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennslyvania in their final push to convince voters of their message. President Trump is zeroing in on Florida as his campaign stages its first rally since the president tested positive for Coronavirus ten days ago and forced the campaign to be temporarily derailed. The president’s return to the campaign trail will take place in Sanford, Florida, outside of Orlando, just days after his doctor said Trump is no longer a risk of transmitting the deadly virus. The Make America Great Again event will be held outside at Orlando Sanford International Airport where thousands of attendees are expected to gather as President Trump is scheduled to speak at 7 PM.


Meanwhile, the Biden campaign will travel to Ohio on Monday with stops in Toledo and Cincinnati in an attempt to win over the state that Democrats lost in the 2016 election cycle. On Tuesday, the former VP will head back to Florida and deliver speeches in Broward County detailing his campaign’s plans for senior citizens.


3. Your newest NBA champions: the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have won their 17th championship trophy, tying the record with the Boston Celtics for the most championship wins by an NBA team. The Lakers defeated the Miami Heat on Sunday night 106 to 93 and won the series 4-2 following an unconventional 2019-2020 season from inside the NBA “bubble” at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Bay Lake, Florida, with no fans in attendance. The victory delivers LeBron James his fourth championship victory and Finals MVP title, becoming the first player in league history to secure the award with three different NBA teams. LeBron finished Game 6 with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists with help from another Laker’s standout, Anthony Davis, who ended the game with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists. Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers.


4. The Atlanta Falcons fire head coach

The Atlanta Falcons are without a permanent head coach after terminating Dan Quinn on Sunday following a lousy 0-5 start to the 2020 football season. The Falcons made the staffing moves on Sunday evening after losing to the Carolina Panthers (3-2) in a 23-16 game, and also fired the team’s General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Quinn experienced some success in Atlanta during his tenure, most notably, leading the team to Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots in 2017. However, the Falcons ended up succumbing to the Patriots after blowing a 28-3 lead in the game. Quinn finishes his stint as head coach with a 43–42 (.506) regular season record. 


Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will step in as interim head coach and comes with former experience in the role, serving as head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011 in which he ended with a 17-31 record. 


5. Baseball Hall of Famer dies

Baseball great Joe Morgan passed away Sunday at the age of 77. The Hall of Fame second baseman’s career spanned 21 years in which he played for 5 different MLB teams from 1963 to 1984. He spent most of his time with the Houston Astros and the Cincinnati Reds, the latter of which he helped deliver World Series championship wins in 1975 and 1976 as part of the Big Red Machine, leading the National League for nearly a decade alongside his other accomplished teammates, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and Tony Pérez. Morgan’s talent earned him recognition as the National League’s Most Valuable Player twice,  in addition to being a 10-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glove Award winner. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. After retiring from his playing career, Morgan remained in the spotlight as a baseball broadcaster for more than 25 years. He died at his California home after facing several health issues over the years, including a peripheral nerve disorder.


6. The mother of late Sen. John McCain dies at 108 years old

Roberta McCain, the wife and widow of U.S. Naval Admiral John S. McCain Jr. and mother of Senator and former Republican presidential nominee John S. McCain III has passed away at 108 years old. The centenarian was born on February 7, 1912, before Arizona became a state, the RMS Titanic sank, and Woodrow Wilson became the 28th U.S. President. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *