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Mitch McConnell: Slavery reparations aren't a 'good idea'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he opposes paying reparations for slavery, arguing "none of us currently living are responsible" for what he called America's "original sin."
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All of this week’s best new movies are about anxiety. In a good way.
Seth Rogen in An American Pickle, out this week on HBO Max. | HBO Max I hear you saying, “Oh, great! Just what I need.” But trust me! Hollywood’s long-held August ritual — dumping all the mediocre movies into theaters to get them off the studios’ slates — has been disrupted this year, for a simple reason: Movie theaters, by and large, aren’t open. Couple that with the ever-evolving release schedule and you get an unusually eclectic month of films, albeit mostly on digital platforms and in drive-in theaters. There are a whole lot of good films out this weekend, but one worth highlighting is An American Pickle, which stars Seth Rogen and ... Seth Rogen: It’s a light, sweet comedy, adapted by Simon Rich from his 2013 serialized New Yorkerstory “Sell Out” (which you can read in four parts) and directed by Brandon Trost. Rogen plays an impoverished Ashkenazi Jew named Herschel Greenbaum, who, in the 1920s, marries a woman named Sarah (Sarah Snook) and immigrates to New York City. He gets a job in a pickle factory and promises Sarah that their descendants will be wealthy and successful. But unfortunately, Herschel falls into a vat of pickles and wakes up, perfectly preserved, in modern-day New York City, 80 years later. There, he discovers his only living relative is Ben Greenbaum (also Rogen), an app developer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The two go searching for the family cemetery plot where Sarah is buried, and they find it. But it’s surrounded by highways. As you might imagine, this does not please Herschel. Finding the burial plot kicks off the great-grandfather and great-grandson’s series of mishaps, and along the way they learn a lot. An American Pickle is about many things — family, ambition, wondering if your ancestors would be pleased with you — but it’s at its best when illustrating how hard it is, and has always been, to just scratch out a living. Whether you’re a pickle maker or an app coder or anything in between, just affording the rent in 2020 can be a cause for worry, let alone starting a business. And in the midst of that anxiety, your friends and family can be your best support ... or your worst enemy. (You can watch An American Pickle exclusively on HBO Max.) An American Pickle isn’t the only new movie that centers on anxiety this week. I can hear you saying, Oh, great! Just what I need. But the good news is there’s a film for every way of dealing with whatever it is you’re anxious about. If you’re worried about the end of democracy ... Well, A Thousand Cuts won’t exactly comfort you, but it will arm you to fight back by understanding the slip from democracy into autocracy in the Philippines under the violent rule of Rodrigo Duterte. Director Ramona S. Diaz follows the story of journalist Maria Ressa, CEO of the independent press outlet Rappler, who has been jailed, arrested, and harassed by the government, as well as influencers and candidates who support Duterte. It’s a chilling and daring film, and essential viewing. (You can watch it in “virtual cinemas” or on an August 9 live stream; more details at the film’s website.) If you feel like your life is going nowhere fast ... Check out I Used to Go Here, starring Gillian Jacobs (best known as Britta Perry from Community) as a Chicago writer named Kate Conklin. Her first novel is coming out, but her life is falling apart: She’s split from her fiancé, her publisher just canceled her book tour, and she’s beginning to worry she’s a fraud. So when a former professor (Jemaine Clement) calls to ask her to give a reading at her alma mater, she jumps at the chance. The film, which was supposed to premiere at South by Southwest before the festival was canceled this year, is a sweet, funny coming-of-age-in-your-30s story from director Kris Rey (Unexpected) and producers Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, better known as the Lonely Island. (You can watch I Used to Go Here on streaming platforms such as Apple TV and Google Play.) If you’re staring the abyss square in the eye and think you might be losing ... She Dies Tomorrow is a brilliant, atmospheric drama about a young woman named Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), a recovering alcoholic, who becomes convinced she’s about to die the next day. She’s not suicidal; she just knows it’s going to happen. But her premonition is not hers alone — it starts to spread to her friends. She Dies Tomorrow is designed to infect you, too, at least a little — colored lights, unidentifiable soundscapes, and a heavy pace cast a spell of existential dread. The mood iscatching. She Dies Tomorrow challenges both what we pretend to be and what we really are by forcing us to remember that we’re real, living in bodies that won’t last forever. (You can watch She Dies Tomorrow on digital services such as Apple TV and Google Playand at select drive-in theaters.) If you need to believe in magic again ... I’m not entirely sure why we needed a new movie version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel The Secret Garden, but I’m not mad about it. This one is moody and a little mystical. It tells the story mostly through the eyes of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), who moves into the palatial English manor occupied by her bereaved and cold widower uncle (Colin Firth) after her parents die of cholera in India. Left to her own devices, Mary discovers both a sickly cousin hidden away in a wing of the house and a garden she believes to be magical on the property. It’s a relatively faithful adaptation of the classic book, but even if you’re familiar with the story, it’s a bit bewitching. (You can watch The Secret Garden on digital and on-demand platforms; a full listing is on the film’s website.) And if you just want to watch a joyously formulaic dance competition movie ... Look, the cure for any malaise is a dance competition movie. Everyone knows this, including Netflix, and that’s where Work It comes in. Starring Sabrina Carpenter and Liza Koshy (who are both pretty great), the movie follows the saga of high schooler Quinn Ackerman (Carpenter), who “accidentally” tells the admissions offer at Duke that she’s part of her high school’s champion dance team. Quinn is emphatically not a dancer, but she has to figure out a way to become one to get into Duke, and thus the antics begin. So brilliantly does Work It understand the formula for a dance movie that scarcely 10 minutes in, there’s already a wholly unmotivated dance-off. Also, Alicia Keys is one of the producers. (Work It is streaming on Netflix.) If you’re interested in something that’s not quite as new ... The original Mad Max, from 1979 — starring Mel Gibson, directed by George Miller, and set in an apocalyptic wasteland ruled by societal collapse and motorcycle gangs — is newly streaming on Netflix. Inside Out, Pixar’s 2015 movie about confronting your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them without judgment, is streaming on Disney+ and available to digitally rent or purchase on platforms like Apple TV and Google Play. And Kedi, a 2017 documentary about the street cats of Istanbul — no talking heads, just lots of cats and the people they hang out with — is available to digitally rent or purchase on platforms like Apple TV and Google Play. Back when Kedi was released, our own Emily VanDerWerff wrote that the film explores “what it means to live alongside other creatures anywhere you might be able.” (She also interviewed its director.) It’s both a cure for doldrums and a reminder that there’s plenty of good in the world yet. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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To slow coronavirus, a California county might pay the sick to stay home
Alameda County in California's Bay Area is planning to offer stipends of $1,250 for low-income residents to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19.
latimes.com
Rich New Yorkers are buying up multiple Hamptons quarantine mansions
The ultra-rich are buying multiple quarantine mansions in the Hamptons for the “long-term,” as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is begging them to come back to New York City. The Hamptons real estate market is seeing a recent trend known as “compounding,” in which people snap up two — or even three — seven- and eight-figure homes...
nypost.com
Massachusetts hotel fined for holding 300-person wedding
A hotel in Massachusetts was reportedly fined $600 for hosting two events over the weekend in violation of the state’s coronavirus restrictions. The Colonial Hotel in Gardner, Massachusetts, held a wedding on Saturday with more than 300 people and hosted another event on Sunday with 190 guests, according to a report from Telegram.com. The hotel...
nypost.com
Lebanese authorities fire tear gas as protesters chant 'Revolution' after Beirut blast
The blast killed at least 154 people and injured at least 5,000 others, with dozens of people still unaccounted for. 
foxnews.com
The best sales to shop this weekend: Casper, Gap, HP and more
Summer's home stretch has arrived — and it has plenty of seasonal savings in tow. Spend your weekend shopping deals on electronics, home goods, apparel and more, the best of which we've rounded up for you.
edition.cnn.com
Chrishell Stause claims Justin Hartley told her about divorce via text
Even a voicemail would've been better.
nypost.com
India's Coronavirus Cases Top 2 Million – More Than 62,000 Reported In One Day
India's fatality statistics might be artificially low because only a small portion of deaths that occur in India — reportedly around 22%, as of last year — are medically certified.
npr.org
Blue State Blues: Eleven Mistakes the Democratic Establishment May Regret in November
The Democratic Party establishment has made some reckless choices over the past year that it may have cause to regret, if and when it is forced to understand why it lost.
breitbart.com
Biden responds to attacks after diversity comments
Joe Biden sought Thursday to limit the political damage after he said in an earlier interview that the Latino community in the United States was diverse, "unlike the African American community with notable exceptions." CNN's Arlette Saenz reports.
edition.cnn.com
Most US churches holding in-person services aren't following this key CDC guideline
A new survey finds most US churches haven't limited communal singing, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control that singing in close proximity can facilitate spread of the coronavirus.
edition.cnn.com
Nolte: Now They Want to Cancel Our Pickup Trucks
What am I supposed to do, hang my rifle rack in the back window of a Prius? 
breitbart.com
'Selling Sunset': Chrishell Stause learns of divorce from Justin Hartley in a text: 'It's hard not to feel worthless'
Chrishell Stause says in "Selling Sunset," claiming Justin Hartley told her of their divorced via text. "That's how you would treat the garbage."        
usatoday.com
Trump declares emergency for Connecticut, sends feds to aid in Tropical Storm Isaias response
President Trump on Thursday declared an emergency for Connecticut and ordered federal assistance to the state to aid in its response efforts to the damage resulting from Tropical Storm Isaias.
foxnews.com
Man, 23, stabbed multiple times inside Queens home: cops
A 23-year-old man was stabbed multiple times inside a Queens home early Friday, cops said. The man was repeatedly knifed in the back and legs inside the home on 41st Road near Frame Place in Flushing around 1:50 a.m, police said. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear. A suspect has not been...
nypost.com
Texas father saves children, babysitter from massive 600-pound alligator
A Texas father helped his children and a babysitter escape unharmed after being confronted in their backyard by a nearly 12-foot-long alligator weighing about 600 pounds. 
foxnews.com
Butt-naked man caught chasing wild boar that stole his laptop 
"He gave it his all in Adam's costume," said one onlooker.
nypost.com
US Postmaster DeJoy says election mail will not be slowed down
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that the US Postal Service is not "slowing down" election-related or other mail and will undergo an "organizational realignment" after the agency often criticized by President Donald Trump as a money-losing venture has faced doubts over its capacity to handle anticipated high numbers of mail-in ballots.
edition.cnn.com
These are our favorite accessories for Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
At $999 or $1,299, the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra can safely be called flagship smartphones. And whether you're purchasing them unlocked or financing, you'll want to protect the devices. (Or if you opt for the Mystic Bronze colorway, you'll want to tastefully protect the device while showcasing the color.)
edition.cnn.com
Florida boy, 9, saves dad who fractured his neck in swimming accident
A Florida man who fractured his neck in a swimming accident over the weekend has his 9-year-old son to thank for saving his life.
foxnews.com
Texas Tech fires assistant women's basketball coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins
Texas Tech assistant women's basketball coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins was fired Friday, a day after head coach Marlene Stollings was terminated.       
usatoday.com
20 outdoor summer essentials that are on sale for up to 66% off
Summer 2020 might not be exactly how you imagined. With COVID-19 continuing to spread in the United States, beach vacations and pool parties have been replaced with Netflix marathons and a sense of impending doom. Still, we want you to get outside and start making the most of the season (responsibly, of course). To help...
nypost.com
Chilling images capture rescue of man who appeared dead after Beirut blast
Reuters photographer Mohamed Azakir snapped the dramatic images after rushing out into the bodies-filled streets of the decimated Lebanese capital in the moments after Tuesday’s blast.
nypost.com
NFL’s fragileness forces return of DVQ 4.0 fantasy football system
In a classic movie-trailer voice: In a world where the globe is gripped by a pandemic and the fate of all sports season hangs in the balance, there is a man obsessed with a trivial fantasy game, a Madman with a system that has conquered all obstacles ever put in his path. Until now. An...
nypost.com
Trump Administration Penalizes Chinese Officials for Hong Kong Crackdown
These are the first punishments levied against officials in China and Hong Kong for repressing pro-democracy protests in the region.
nytimes.com
Zach Braff gets tattoo to honor late friend Nick Cordero: 'In loving memory'
Zach Braff got a new tattoo as a tribute to his late friend Nick Cordero.
foxnews.com
Safety concerns as Russia pushes to roll out world's first coronavirus vaccine
Russia says it will approve the first COVID-19 vaccine next week even though the Phase 3 trial, to prove if it's safe and effective, is not complete. Dr. Bob Lahita joins CBSN's Anne-Marie Green to discuss the concerns.
cbsnews.com
Prince Harry calls for compassion, says social media causes division
"We believe we have to remodel the architecture of our online community in a way defined more by compassion than hate."
nypost.com
New Movies on Demand: ‘She Dies Tomorrow,’ ‘The Tax Collector’ + More
It's time to watch other people stress out on screen while you kick back and relax!
nypost.com
Baja-bound? Here's how 4 local hotels are reopening during the pandemic
Dozens of hotels in southern Baja are open and hoping to woo Americans. Here's how four are operating.
latimes.com
Score over 40 hours of marketing knowledge for $35
Nowadays, marketing isn’t quite the same as it used to be. Instead of putting up billboards or buying time on a radio show, you are likely scouring social media for trends that your brand can utilize in order to stay on top. If you feel like your small business could benefit from a boost in...
nypost.com
Syracuse University suspends students who violated campus quarantine, NY state orders
Syracuse University in New York state has placed students who violated coronavirus on-campus quarantine orders on interim suspension, the university has confirmed.
foxnews.com
Who Sold the $40 Million Home on ‘Selling Sunset’?
The biggest mystery in Selling Sunset history has finally been solved.
nypost.com
With her ‘Jaguar’ project, Victoria Monet has written her perfect moment
Enfolded in soft golden light and the warm hum of strings, Victoria Monet’s silhouette gleams as flashes of light reflect off the stones sewn into her cinnamon-colored headwrap, midriff-baring top and sheer skirt dotted with gleaming embellishments. She rolls her body forward and then backward while singing the opening line of her single “Moment” acapella....
nypost.com
Chicago to use social media to track tourists violating quarantine; city dismisses comparison to 'Big Brother'
Maybe you shouldn’t post that selfie.
foxnews.com
Coronavirus cases spiking from family gatherings
Family gatherings in the age of COVID-19 may seem like a safer alternative to restaurants and bars, health experts are still advising against them. COVID-19 related cases are hitting closer and closer to home. A shocking 71 percent of COVID-19 patients in San Bernardino County, California, between mid-June to mid-July said they were at a...
nypost.com
Democrats focus on state elections in push to control Congressional mapmaking
A decade ago, the GOP flipped 20 state legislative chambers, cementing their dominance at state and congressional levels.
foxnews.com
Mac and cheese gets Cheetos collab, Kraft breakfast rebrand 
Macaroni and cheese is evolving.
nypost.com
Melissa Etheridge realized she couldn’t save her drug-addicted son
"I had to come up against the possibility that he might die. But I had to be able to go on living."
nypost.com
House can subpoena former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify, appeals court rules
The House of Representatives can sue to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, but McGahn can continue to challenge the House's subpoena and likely will not have to appear anytime soon.
edition.cnn.com
Families Stuck At Home Turn To Board Game Catan, Sending Sales Skyrocketing
It's a strategy game of trade and development and it's become a hit as people shelter at home during the pandemic. The German founder of the board game describes how he came up with Catan.
npr.org
Restaurants ask Congress for $120 billion "lifeline"
"This is about the farmer that provides me beautiful produce, this is about the fisherman that gives me beautiful shrimp. I'm keeping their jobs alive," Chef Nina Compton said.
cbsnews.com
Bokhari: Why Is the Trump WH Gifting TikTok to the Big Tech Masters of the Universe?
Breitbart News wants to believe that officials in the White House are serious about tackling tech censorship, but the outrageous proposal that Microsoft be allowed to purchase TikTok from China without offering concrete free speech commitments suggests the Deep State and corrupt establishment Republicans still hold sway.
breitbart.com
BTS announces US theater premiere of 'Break the Silence' film
BTS is set to bring its latest film to movie theaters next month, a plan that will depend on which venues actually are open.
edition.cnn.com
The Supreme Court Is Avoiding Talking About Race
Supreme Court justices typically write opinions that say more than what is strictly necessary to decide the case before them. In those opinions, the justices also communicate with their colleagues, other courts, and the country about the issues, values, and people they deem especially important. When it comes to the possibility and history of racism, however, most of the current justices—with the important exception of Justice Sonia Sotomayor—tend to respond the way so many white people do: More often than not, they would rather just not talk about it.That tendency was evident this past term in most of the cases potentially implicating the subject of race.In Kansas v. Glover, the Court held that a police officer could lawfully stop a vehicle about which the officer knew only that its owner had a revoked driver’s license. In 2016, an officer in Lawrence, Kansas, ran a license-plate check on a moving pickup truck and found that the license of the registered owner—Charles Glover—had been revoked. The officer stopped the truck, which Glover was driving, and Kansas charged him with driving as a habitual violator. In his defense, Glover argued that the stop violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects people against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in his favor, arguing that the officer had not adequately justified the stop and instead had “only a hunch” that Glover was driving.One wouldn’t know it from the several opinions written by the justices, but the defendant appears Black. Does racial profiling explain the officer’s decision to run the vehicle’s license plate? One cannot know.[Seth W. Stoughton, Jeffrey J. Noble, and Geoffrey P. Albert: How to actually fix America’s police]The Fourth Amendment protects people’s reasonable expectations of privacy when they are subject to searches and seizures by the police, but it is difficult to argue that people have such an expectation for their license plates, which are readily viewable by others when an individual is driving. So the Court understandably declined to read the Fourth Amendment as requiring police officers to explain their decision to run a license plate. But the risk of racial profiling is significant, and the justices might have drawn attention to the problem. That the officer spends most of his time running license plates seems unlikely, and at no point in this case did he give an explanation for his action. The justices might have also mentioned that police departments could insist that officers explain their reasons for running a vehicle’s license plate, to help limit racial profiling. Only Sotomayor expressed concern about the police stopping vehicles “based on nothing more than a demographic profile.”There was no claim of racial discrimination in this specific case, so the amicus briefs filed in Glover’s favor did not focus primarily on the issue of racial profiling. But some of them did mention racial and socioeconomic disparities in police stops across the country; one of them emphasized that Black drivers are more likely than white drivers to be pulled over by the police and pointed to “evidence that racial bias motivates many traffic stops.” The lack of more extensive discussion in the briefs may in part be a function of the Court’s long-standing resistance to discussing the subject in Fourth Amendment cases.Glover is not a one-off. It is extraordinarily rare for the justices—again, except for Sotomayor—to reference race or racism in cases involving police stops. For example, in Utah v. Strieff, in 2016, the Court held that when a police officer discovers a preexisting warrant for a person’s arrest, incriminating evidence seized pursuant to that arrest is admissible in court even if the officer’s stop of the individual was unconstitutional to begin with. The Court had nothing to say about whether it was enabling police to engage in racial profiling. Sotomayor wrote for herself alone that “it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny.”[Read: Pleading for the fourth]There are many other examples one could cite and very few counterexamples. Racism was mentioned briefly in a majority opinion in 1968, in Terry v. Ohio, which provided the constitutional basis for the stop that occurred in Glover. There was also a brief discussion of race-based selective enforcement of the law in 1996, in Whren v. United States, but there the Court actually said that issues such as racial profiling and pretextual reasons for traffic stops may not be evaluated under the Fourth Amendment. Occasionally a justice will mention concerns about racism in a dissent, but that’s pretty much it.The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case (Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California) is another example from this term in which the majority might have at least acknowledged the freighted racial or ethnic context and potential implications of a case, regardless of whether doing so would have altered the outcome. Instead, the majority opinion, which held that the Trump administration had acted arbitrarily (and thus unlawfully) in rescinding the DACA program, limited itself to deciding whether the administration had violated procedural requirements set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act. Four of the five justices in the majority (and all four dissenters) rejected the argument of the respondents that the decision to end DACA was unconstitutional because it had been motivated by animus against the beneficiaries of the program, concluding that there was “no plausible equal protection claim.” Only Sotomayor talked about the possibility of racism given Donald Trump’s past public statements that Mexican immigrants are “people that have lots of problems,” “the bad ones,” and “criminals, drug dealers, [and] rapists,” and his statement likening undocumented immigrants to “animals” who are responsible for “the drugs, the gangs, the cartels, the crisis of smuggling and trafficking, [and] MS13.”[Garrett Epps: The Trump administration’s incompetence was the saving grace of 700,000 Dreamers]It should not be considered out of bounds for the justices to worry publicly about the possibility of racism just because the racist statements are made by the president of the United States. Such statements invariably affect federal officers further down the chain of command, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence of such influence in a given case to change the result.There were times this past term when most of the justices did better. In Ramos v. Louisiana, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial requires a unanimous verdict to convict a defendant of a serious crime in both federal and state courts. As briefs on behalf of the defendant emphasized, the history of non-unanimous jury verdicts has everything to do with race and racism. Louisiana and Oregon originally permitted non-unanimous jury verdicts to negate the impact of Black and other minority jurors and thereby increase the likelihood of convicting Black people and other minorities.The history in Louisiana is especially ugly. Reconstruction ended in 1876 as part of a compromise among white people that gave Republicans the White House and Democrats the end of military rule in the South. As Republicans tired of pursuing racial equality and joined the Democrats in courting business interests, former Confederate states were emboldened, and established an authoritarian, apartheid social order. Louisiana first embraced non-unanimous verdicts at its constitutional convention in 1898, when it declared white supremacy to be the official policy of the state and adopted numerous measures to disenfranchise Black people on a massive scale. Mississippi did much the same at its constitutional convention in 1890, and put the Confederate battle flag on its state flag in 1894. [Stephanie McCurry: The Confederacy was an antidemocratic, centralized State]To its credit, the majority in Ramos did emphasize the racist history of laws permitting non-unanimous jury verdicts. But it did so over the fierce objections of the three dissenters. Writing for them, Justice Samuel Alito accused the majority of using “ad hominem rhetoric” that “contribut[es] to the worst current trends” in public discourse. Alito also declined to concede the existence of this racist history, instead deeming the issue irrelevant to the outcome of the case. “If Louisiana and Oregon originally adopted their laws allowing non-unanimous verdicts for these reasons, that is deplorable,” he wrote, as if the point were fairly debatable, “but what does that have to do with the broad constitutional question before us? The answer is: nothing.”(Yet in another case this term, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, Alito wrote a concurring opinion in which he elected to emphasize the anti-Catholic history of certain laws prohibiting government aid to religious schools. It was not necessary for him to have done so to decide the case; he had already joined the majority opinion, which itself noted this history even though the case almost certainly would have come out the same way had the history of anti-Catholic bigotry been different. So it is not as if he disfavors talk of history in general.)In another case, also this term, the Court again acknowledged some of the relevant history of racism in the United States, but it did not get the history quite right, making it sound better than it was. In Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American–Owned Media, the Court held that a plaintiff who sues for racial discrimination in contracting under a federal law, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, has to show that race was not just a motivating factor, but a but-for cause of the plaintiff’s injury. It is much harder to prove but-for causation, which is why a major corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Trump administration wanted this requirement, while civil-rights groups opposed it. This case obviously had to do with potential racism: It was expressly about proving certain claims of racial discrimination.What is less obvious is that Congress originally passed Section 1981 as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, after the Civil War, to protect certain rights of formerly enslaved people. Concerns about whether the Thirteenth Amendment (which ended slavery) permitted Congress to pass this law led to the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment (which, among other things, includes a guarantee of constitutional equality).What is also less obvious is how narrow was the understanding of racial equality embraced by the Congress that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Court in Comcast said that the law had been passed “to vindicate the rights of former slaves.” Sadly, the history is more complicated and depressing. The law was passed to protect the civil rights of formerly enslaved people, such as contracting, suing, and owning property. Civil rights for Black Americans at that time did not include political rights such as voting (hence the need for the Fifteenth Amendment) or social rights such as attending public schools with white children and marrying white people (rights—to America’s national shame—not protected by the Court until 1954 and 1967, respectively). These distinctions among civil, political, and social equality, which are not required by the text of the Constitution and no longer exist in U.S. constitutional law, were intended both to grant some measure of equality to the citizens who had been slaves and to strictly limit how much and what kind. By describing Section 1981 in sweeping terms, the Court failed to acknowledge the more sobering portions of the relevant history.It would have been interesting to see the Court respond to a constitutional challenge to affirmative action or to the Voting Rights Act in the current political climate. But this term does illustrate why, in light of American history, racism and race relations remain the nation’s most enduring domestic crisis.[Leah Litman: Progressives’ Supreme Court victories will be fleeting]The impulse of most of the justices, most of the time, not to talk about race and racism is not excusable, let alone justifiable, but it is understandable. Why risk making oneself, one’s colleagues, and other audiences uncomfortable or even upset when it is not absolutely necessary to “go there”? When it comes to the subject of racism in this country, however, saying nothing often is saying something.The general silence of the justices can have spillover effects that produce bad law in cases in which correct interpretation of the Constitution and statutes requires serious engagement with the long, tragic history of racism in this nation—and with its continued existence. For example, a Court more attuned to history and current social reality would not have been as likely to declare that “things have changed dramatically” and a key part of the Voting Rights Act is no longer constitutionally justified, which is what the Court said and held in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013. The Court’s equal-protection jurisprudence in the areas of affirmative action and disparate-impact liability might also look different. But if more often than not the justices can’t—or won’t—grapple with the nation’s racist history and present, then more often than not the law articulated by the Court will continue to be unworthy of the aspiration engraved over the front entrance to the building in which it sits: equal justice under law.
theatlantic.com
25 most popular debut novels since the start of COVID-19, per Goodreads
With the pandemic keeping debut authors from promoting their work, Goodreads culled the top 25 novels that have members buzzing.        
usatoday.com
Ex-FSU big man Michael Ojo dead at 27 after suffering heart attack at practice
Michael Ojo, the former Florida State basketball big man, died Friday after suffering a heart attack at practice, according to multiple reports. The 27-year-old, who graduated in 2017, was playing professionally for Partizan in Serbia. He collapsed while running at practice, per eurohoops.net. Doctors at a hospital were unable to resuscitate him. He was not...
nypost.com
Pope Francis names six women to Vatican council in historic shift
Pope Francis appointed six women to oversee the Vatican's finances on Thursday, making them the most senior female officials who have ever served there.
foxnews.com