Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) defended the use of federal law enforcement officers in Portland and compared violent protesters in the city to the "anarchists and insurrectionists" who seceded from the Union in the prelude to the Civil War.

The big picture: Cotton's comments comes after President Trump told reporters on Monday the administration would send more federal law enforcement into cities run by Democrats. The Arkansas senator previously sparked a controversy by calling for Trump in a New York Times op-ed to "send in the troops" to quell violent protests.

  • Media reports and videos shared on social media appeared to show that Department of Homeland Security officers were taking protesters into unmarked vehicles without explanation.
  • House Democrats and the U.S. attorney for Oregon have demanded inspector general investigations into the matter. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called the reported actions of federal law enforcement "abhorrent" and "unconstitutional."

What he's saying: "These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the Union in 1861 in South Carolina and tried to take over Fort Sumter," Cotton said on Fox News Tuesday.

  • "And just like President Lincoln wouldn't stand for that, the federal government today cannot stand for the vandalism, the fire bombing, or any attacks on federal property."
  • "It is right to send law enforcement in to defend federal property and federal facilities."

Go deeper: Six mayors accuse federal agents of escalating violence against civilians

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The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

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Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected in a 5-3 decision Monday Wisconsin Democrats' request to reinstate an extension of the deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett before a meeting on Capitol Hill on Oct. 21. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in within hours.

Why it matters: President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in confirming a third conservative justice in just four years, tilting the balance of the Supreme Court firmly to the right for perhaps a generation.