Jul 9, 2018

Schumer issues stern warning about Trump's Supreme Court choice

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Just hours before President Trump is set to announce his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered a preview of the impact a conservative justice could have on the court, including rolling back abortion rights or the Affordable Care Act.

"It is near impossible that President Trump would select a nominee who isn’t hostile to our health care law and health care ... who isn't hostile to a woman's freedom to make her own health care decisions."
— Schmer said on the floor

Schumer also used his address to swing at Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society — who helped craft and vet Trump’s list of judicial prospects — citing conservatives' longtime goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

The big picture: In describing how Kennedy's successor will have a crucial vote on a number of consequential issues, Schumer appears to be playing into a new Democratic strategy surrounding the SCOTUS debate, one which the party's leaders hope will energize their base ahead of the midterm elections.

The other side: Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) later characterized Schumer’s remarks as "fear-mongering" and "far-left scare tactics."

"Decade after decade, nominee after nominee, the far-left script hardly changes at all. Anyone and everyone of Republican president nominates to the Supreme Court is some kind of threat to the public."
— Mitch McConnell

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Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

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The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.