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Here are 7 simple ways Democrats can thwart Trump’s judges from striking down progressive policies

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Even once President Donald Trump is removed from office, and Democrats regain unified control of Congress and the White House, they will have to contend with the army of new right-wing federal judges Republicans have installed at every level, including two on the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made confirming judges to the seats he held open in the Obama years a top priority, because he knew these judges could legislate from the bench and cancel the policies of any future Democratic lawmakers the people elect, from universal health care to climate action to gun policy.

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But as Justin Slaughter wrote for The American Prospect, a Democratic Congress can prevent right-wing jurists from overturning legislation, if they plan ahead and draft their bills strategically. “There are steps that Democrats can and should take to mitigate the damage that the new, very conservative Supreme Court can do to Democratic laws and policies,” he wrote. “And it won’t take threatening to pack the Court, either.”

First, Slaughter wrote, Democrats should start writing bills from the assumption they will face legal challenges.

Second, all bills should contain “severability” clauses and redundant mechanisms that ensure a successful legal challenge only strikes down one part of the law.

Third, Democrats should make sure any measure for raising revenue is identified as a “tax” so that it falls under one of Congress’ broadest legislative powers.

Fourth, bills should take effect more quickly, so that judges can only hear cases after the laws are in place and benefiting people.

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Fifth, bills should include a provision that any legal challenge is fast-tracked to the Supreme Court, increasing the odds that Democrats will still control Congress when the case is heard and can pass follow-up laws to fix any statutory rulings from the justices.

Sixth, Democrats should devolve less rulemaking power to federal agencies, as the justices are likely to curtail precedents that allow this.

And seventh, in order to do all this, Congress should hire more staffers and reopen analytical offices like the Office of Technology Assessment, which the GOP shut down in 1995.

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“These ideas are not a panacea,” said Slaughter. “In the short term, legislative gridlock could force the next Democratic president to rely more on rulemaking, making progress with existing laws already passed by Congress. And for the immediate future, Democrats have to accept that the Court will be a harsh judge of their laws and policies from now on, and adapt to that new reality. Frankly, it’s long overdue; the Court has asserted its authority brazenly for some time.”

“So, if you’re worried about the Court, the best advice I can give is to go and volunteer some time knocking doors this fall, phone your senators about the Court, and take some action,” concluded Slaughter. “Ultimately, it all comes back to the ballot box.”

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A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

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With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

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Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

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The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

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The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

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Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

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