Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

2020 Democratic contender Sen. Cory Booker proposed Thursday using executive action to offer clemency to thousands of nonviolent drug offenders on his first day in office, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Booker's plan, which the Times calls the "broadest clemency initiative since the Civil War," is a fast-tracked version of his proposed Next Step Act, which is also built on addressing racial discrimination in drug-related arrests.

  • Criminal justice reform is one issue that has consistently received bipartisan support during the Trump administration with the passing of First Step Act, a piece of legislation that Booker co-sponsored.

Details: Booker's proposal would create a bipartisan Executive Clemency Panel as a part of the executive branch that would review inmates eligible to be released under executive order — without requiring any action from the inmates themselves.

  • Booker's campaign estimated that most of the panel's staff would be found through reassigned federal employees, keeping costs low as a result.

What he's saying: "The War on Drugs has been a war on people, tearing families apart, ruining lives, and disproportionately affecting people of color and low-income individuals — all without making us safer," Booker said in a statement.

  • "Granting clemency won’t repair all the damage that has been done by the War on Drugs and our broken criminal justice system, but it will help our country confront this injustice and begin to heal."

Go deeper: Where the top 2020 Democrats stand on criminal justice reform

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Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.