Wednesday night was the first night of the first debate of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Thursday night will be round two, again in Miami. Did we learn anything from the first night, and what are we to expect from the second? This was not the food-fight that a lot of people thought it would be. Even when folks such as Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro went at it, it was issue-focused. A number of analysts said it was Elizabeth Warren’s stage before she even stepped on it, and she took full advantage, setting the ideological bar for other progressives to clear.
The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal courts are powerless to hear challenges to partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which the party that controls the state legislature draws voting maps to help elect its candidates. The vote was 5-4, with the court’s more conservative members in the majority. In a momentous decision, the court closed the door on such claims. Meanwhile, in another case, the court dealt a setback to the Trump administration, rejecting the administration's stated reason for adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 US Census, leaving in doubt whether the question would appear on the census forms sent to every household in the nation next year. Interestingly it was Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, who said the explanation offered by the Trump administration for adding the question “appears to have been contrived.” But he left open the possibility that it could provide an adequate answer. What does this mean for one person one vote and our experiment with democracy?
The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that it had recently discovered a new problem with the 737 Max jet that Boeing must correct before the plane is returned to service. In a flight simulator last week, FAA pilots tested erroneous activations of anti-stall software that pushes down the nose of the Max, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The software, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), contributed to two crashes that killed 346 people. What does this second setback indicate?
Bob Schlehuber — Producer for By Any Means Necessary and Sputnik news analyst.
Bob Phillips — Executive director for Common Cause North Carolina, the Raleigh-based chapter of Common Cause, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.
Keith Mackey — President of Mackey International, an aviation consulting firm specializing in aviation safety, risk management, accident investigation, air carrier certification and safety/compliance audits.
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