Senators begin questioning Judge Amy Coney Barrett on second day of confirmation hearings
Today senators will have an opportunity to question Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications and legal views, according to the New York Times.
Yesterday’s first hearings provided a day of “contrasting opening statements” as Republicans acclaimed Barrett’s credentials while Democrats said she would undermine the Affordable Care Act.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will each be granted 30 minutes to question Barrett.
Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will ask questions remotely and participate through video conference, emphasizing the Democratic Party’s criticism of holding the hearings in person amid a pandemic.
Appeals court allows Gov. Greg Abbott to close multiple ballot drop-off sites
On Monday, the federal appeals court warranted Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to limit counties to one mail-in ballot drop-off location, according to USA Today.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Abbott “expanded voting options” by suspending a state law that required mail-in ballots to be hand delivered only on Election Day.
Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote this order “effectively gives voters 40 extra days to hand-deliver a marked mail-in ballot to an early voting clerk.”
Civil and voting rights groups claimed Abbott’s order would make voting harder, especially for elderly and disabled voters who rely on mail-in balloting or are vulnerable to COVID-19.
European Union receives permission to impose tariffs on U.S. in ‘long-running aircraft battle’
The European Union received permission from the World Trade Organization today to impose annual tariffs on $4 billion worth of U.S. products, according to the New York Times.
This decision stemmed from retaliation against American plane maker Boeing, who received illegal subsidies. This decision could result in “levies on American airplanes, agricultural products and other goods.”
Last year, the Trump administration imposed a parallel case against Europe’s plane maker Airbus, retaliating up to $7.5 billion of European exports annually.
The tariffs would come at a difficult time amid the coronavirus pandemic, forcing aircraft companies to cut more than 10% of global workforces.
Both Boeing and Airbus plan to cut over 30,000 jobs in all due to the steep decline in travel.
Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trials due to an ‘unexplained illness’ in one volunteer
Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson paused the advanced clinical trials of its Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine after one volunteer developed an unexplained illness, according to CNN.
Though the company did not comment on specifics of the illness, it said the participant is “being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring board as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians.”
One point of advanced clinical trials is to discover the dangerous side effects of vaccines. Trials are halted when side affects flair up in participants.
This is the second Phase 3 vaccine to be paused in the U.S. so far. Federal officials are hopeful for quick completion, as the vaccine only requires one dose.