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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

Go deeper

AT&T spins off U.S. video business via deal with TPG

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

AT&T is spinning off three of its video services, including its satellite TV brand DirecTV, to create a new standalone video company called New DIRECTV.

Details: The company will be jointly owned by AT&T and private-equity giant TPG. AT&T will retain a 70% stake and TPG will own 30% of the firm.

Updated 33 mins ago - Sports

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking

John Geddert. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The body of John Geddert was found on Thursday, just hours after the former USA Gymnastics coach was charged with 24 counts of criminal misconduct, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

What they're saying: “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Nessel said in a statement.

House passes Equality Act to boost LGBTQ protections

A protester holds a rainbow flag in Times Square in Oct. 2020. Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The House voted 224-206 on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, which would expand federal protections for LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Why it matters: The legislation passed in the House in May 2019, but never reached the Republican-controlled Senate under former President Trump. Democratic leaders believe there is a chance to pass the act into law this year with a 50-50 split in the Senate, but it is uncertain whether enough Republicans will support the bill for it to move forward.