Jun 20, 2019

Booker proposes executive action for clemency for nonviolent drug offenders

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

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.