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Opinion: Republicans Have Revived a Scary 1980s Tactic for Breaking Democracy

Daily Digest

Source: MSN and Slate (Shout out to check their amazing website)

Image under Creative Commons license. All rights reserved to the original owner of the image.Photo byGage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America

After falling at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly still recovering at a rehab facility as of Tuesday, according to NBC News.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune said that McConnell “sounded like Mitch” when he chatted with other Republican Senators on the phone from the facility. He continued, "The news reminded me of McConnell’s remarkable political calculative instincts, especially his earlier cynical and maybe foresighted considerations of his own health."

The Kentucky Republican launched a campaign to persuade the GOP-controlled Kentucky legislature to change the state’s law to take away from the governor — who is a Democrat — the authority to choose a candidate to fill the remaining term of a departing U.S. senator in 2020, amid reports that McConnell had visited Johns Hopkins in Baltimore after alarming photos were published showing severe bruising on one of his hands.

In 35 states, it is legal for the governor to nominate a candidate to serve the remaining term of a senator without limitation.

When Aramis Ayala was elected in 2016 as State’s Attorney for Orange and Osceola Counties, she made history by being the first Black woman to hold that position in the state of Florida.

She made many early declarations, one of which was that she would stop pursuing capital cases with death penalties. She said that, in addition to numerous other problems, obtaining the death sentence in homicide cases was emptying the coffers of the county.

In fact, according to one research, Osceola County has more inmates on death row than more than 99 percent of the counties in the United States. All first-degree murder cases were taken out of Ayala by the Republican attorney general of Florida, Republican governors Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, and they were then sent to a prosecutor in a different circuit.

In Wisconsin in 2018, the outgoing Republican governor, Scott Walker, used the lame duck session to sign legislation depriving the newly elected Democratic governor of the authority to alter health care, welfare, and economic development policies.

He also signed legislation granting one of the most partisan legislatures in the nation the authority to intervene in some cases involving state law challenges.

Walker may have taken a cue from the departing Republican governor of North Carolina, who in 2016 signed bills — again, passed by a heavily gerrymandered Republican-controlled legislature — that restricted the incoming Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s cabinet appointment authority and guaranteed that the state elections board would remain in Republican hands.

When a wave of victorious voting rights challenges led to the election of some of the first Black politicians in municipal offices in the South in the late 1980s, this specific strategy was used previously.

One such location was Etowah County, Alabama, where a Black individual was elected to serve on the County Commission for the first time. Each county commissioner in Etowah used to have complete control and jurisdiction over all building, road, equipment, and contracting activities within his commission district.


EDITORIAL NOTE: The original source of this article is the official report by SLATE on March 24, 2023.

Sources used: Pew Research Center

Special credits: Sherrilyn Ifill (Shout out to check his amazing work)

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