Feminist Icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead at 87 & Global News

by Debra Brown

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.

 

Feminist Icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights, who in her ninth decade became a much younger generation’s unlikely cultural icon, died at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Justice Ginsburg, a singularly influential legal mind, was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993, the court’s second-ever female justice, and served for nearly 30 years.

The cause was complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Supreme Court said.

Ginsburg is the rare supreme court justice whose most significant work was done before she joined the court. She changed the course of American law not as a supreme court justice, but as a lawyer, the founder and general counsel of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

Ginsburg personally argued six gender discrimination cases before the then all-male supreme court, winning five. She built on her victories one by one, establishing precedents that made future victories easier to win.

With the death of Justice Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart, Donald Trump has been given the chance to cement a rightward ideological tilt of the nine-member court by replacing her with a conservative.

Republicans have secured the numbers needed to ensure that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will face a confirmation vote in the Senate.

Democrats argued there should be no confirmation in an election year.

 

Mike Bloomberg Helps Raise Millions for Florida Felons to Vote

Weeks after Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, won a court victory to keep felons from voting until they have paid off fines, restitution and court fees, the billionaire and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Mike Bloomberg has stepped in to help them pay off the debts.

The Florida Rights Restitution Council (FRRC) had raised about $5m before Bloomberg made calls to raise almost $17m more, according to Bloomberg advisers.

The group raised more than $20m to help felons who have completed sentences vote in the presidential election. That’s in addition to the $100m he has pledged to help Joe Biden win Florida, a crucial state with 29 electoral college votes that Donald Trump hopes will keep him in the White House.

A federal appellate court ruled on 11 September that in addition to serving their sentences, Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain the vote. The case could have broad implications for the November elections.

Under Amendment 4, which Florida voters passed overwhelmingly in 2018, felons who have completed their sentences would have voting rights restored. Before the measure passed, Florida was one of four states that permanently banned all people convicted of felonies for life.

 

Pentagon Directed Pandemic-Related Money to Defense Contractors

A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment such as masks and swabs has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used to make things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.

The change illustrates how one taxpayer-backed effort to battle the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, was instead diverted toward patching up long-standing perceived gaps in military supplies.

Some defense contractors received the Pentagon money even though they had already dipped into another pot of bailout funding, the Paycheck Protection Program. Congress is debating whether to pass another massive stimulus package, and the Pentagon and defense contractors have called for an additional $11 billion to be directed toward their programs.

 

Louisville Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead of Breonna Taylor Announcement

Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., said he has declared a state of emergency for the city “due to the potential for civil unrest.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is poised to announce whether his office will bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot 26-year-old Breonna Taylor during a raid at her home.

The move comes a week after Fischer announced the city would pay Taylor’s family $12 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit as well as to institute several police reforms.

 

Covid-19 Updates from Around the World

The US death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000, the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world. The US has less than 5 percent of the globe’s population but more than 20 percent of the reported deaths.

Five countries, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and Brazil, rank higher in COVID-19 deaths per capita. Brazil is second on the list of countries with the most deaths, with about 137,000, followed by India with approximately 89,000 and Mexico with about 74,000.

Many European governments have imposed strict local measures and begun weighing further lockdowns in a bid to halt a second wave of the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia will allow pilgrims living inside the country to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at a reduced capacity from early next month, after it was suspended earlier this year due to Covid-19 concerns. Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, unlike the Ḥajj, which has specific dates. It is also much smaller than the Hajj.

The coronavirus has led to a surge in domestic violence, leaving victims and their children struggling to find access to food, safe housing, and transportation, according to a new study by Rutgers University.

 

Related All The Pretty Birds Culture and News Posts:

Domestic Violence Surges During COVID-19 Pandemic

Breonna Taylor’s Family Receives Large Settlement

U.S. Appeals Court Rules Florida Cannot Bar Felons From Voting Over Unpaid Fees

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