A faculty review of the admissions policies of the University of California System recommended the ACT and SAT remain a requirement of applicants to its 10 campuses.A year in the making and anticipated by both sides in the testing debate, the preliminary faculty recommendations represent a setback for critics who maintain the ACT and SAT reflect family income and parent education rather than student merit. Those critics believe a decision by the mega California system to drop testing requirements could compel other states to follow suit.In its findings, the Academic Senate Standardized Testing...
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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) is at the center of controversy for his recent attempt to defend Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker amid his latest scandal.
During an appearance on Fox News, Gingrich lauded the former NFL star as “the most important Senate candidate in the country” because of his “deep commitment to Christ.”
The former house speaker made the remarks despite Walker's extensive history of domestic violence, physical abuse, and the latest damning accusations about the “pro-life” candidate paying for his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion back in 2009.
In fact, Walker's own son took to Twitter this week with a blistering rebuke of his father. “You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence,” Christian Walker wrote on Twitter.
Gingrich's praise of Walker also ignores an obvious fact about the Republican candidate's opponent. Sen. Raphael Warnock's (D-Ga.) reputation speaks for itself as he serves as a senior pastor at Atlantic's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
But despite the facts, Gingrich still described Walker as a “remarkable person."
“He’s been through a long, tough period,” Gingrich said. “He had a lot of concussions coming out of football, he suffered PTSD.”
Gingrich's remarks quickly drew critical reactions from social media users who took the time to dissect his claims.
"Newt Gingrich: Herschel Walker, whose brain was damaged a bunch by football, should be in the Senate because of his deep commitment to Christ -- so he can replace an actual reverend," one Twitter user tweeted.
"Pretty shameless of FOX to march out Newt to talk about a fellow adulterer's 'commitment to Christ,'" another user tweeted.
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to intervene in his legal battle over classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon last month ordered a special master review of the documents and blocked the Justice Department from continuing its criminal investigation into the matter. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned part of her order that blocked the DOJ's investigation into the more than 100 documents marked classified. On Tuesday, Trump filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court arguing that the court was wrong to block the documents from the review and requesting that special master Raymond Dearie be granted authority to review the documents with classified markings.
"Any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a President's home erodes public confidence in our system of justice," Trump's attorneys wrote in the 37-page filing.
The appeal does not appear to ask to restore Cannon's order blocking the DOJ's investigation from continuing. The move could make it easier for Trump to push claims that the documents are shielded by executive privilege or were declassified, according to Politico, though legal experts have expressed doubts about the former president's public claims.
The DOJ argued to the 11th Circuit that Cannon "ordered disclosure of highly sensitive material to a special master and to Plaintiff's counsel—potentially including witnesses to relevant events—in the midst of an investigation, where no charges have been brought."
Trump's appeal disputed the DOJ's claim that including the documents with classified markings in the special master review poses a national security threat because the DOJ may want to present those same documents as evidence to a grand jury. "In sum, the Government has attempted to criminalize a document management dispute and now vehemently objects to a transparent process that provides much-needed oversight," the appeal says.
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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit Court, issued an order giving the DOJ a week to respond to Trump's application, though he may refer the matter to the full court, legal experts say.
"A week is the amount of time you give when it's not really an emergency," tweeted Steve Vladeck, a Supreme Court expert at the University of Texas School of Law. "This delay doesn't help Trump. At all. It's a pretty big sign from Thomas that even *he* isn't in a hurry, which does not bode well for Trump's chances of getting the full Court to side with him."
Vladeck explained that Trump's appeal is "not *entirely* laughable" but is still "doomed to fail" and "unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds." Trump's request is "very modest," he wrote, meaning even if he wins the DOJ's probe would not be affected.
"Yes, this filing goes to Justice Thomas as Circuit Justice," he tweeted. "But for as cynical as I know many people have become, I don't see a universe in which he grants it by himself rather than allowing the full Court to resolve it. And even if he does, the full Court can overrule him."
Conservative attorney George Conway agreed.
"Bottom line is that what Trump's arguing, for once, isn't completely nutso," he tweeted. "It's merely pointless and stupid."
Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig told CNN it will be a "close call" if the court takes up the case. "The Supreme Court typically likes to stay out of messy, political disputes," he said.
Former FBI official Chuck Rosenberg told MSNBC that he doesn't see the Supreme Court overturning the 11th Circuit ruling, adding that Trump's appeal is very narrow and unlikely to affect the criminal probe.
"Probably in the end this isn't going to work out for Mr. Trump," he said.
Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance warned that the appeal could backfire on Trump.
"He could well find himself getting bench-slapped by the Supreme Court," she told MSNBC. "One of the real issues working not too far below the surface is that Judge Cannon herself really should not have entertained jurisdiction to hear this matter at all. DOJ has argued from the get-go that she lacks equitable jurisdiction. She made a very shaky finding in this regard. Now that entire ball of wax is sitting in the Supreme Court, and I don't think this will go well for Trump, even though this has been where he's wanted to be all along thinking the court would be favorable towards him."
Amazon on Tuesday suspended at least 50 workers who refused to return to the shop floor for a few hours on Monday night due to health and safety concerns following a fire at the JFK8 fulfillment center in New York City, the company's only unionized warehouse in the United States.
"We will not tolerate any unsafe workplace and we will not tolerate intimidation."
Roughly 100 night shift workers at the Staten Island facility participated in a work stoppage "shortly after a fire broke out in a trash compactor machine used on cardboard," The Washington Post reported, citing officials from the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). "Labor leaders said the warehouse smelled of smoke and that they couldn't breathe. One worker went to the hospital, they said."
Late Monday night, ALU president Christian Smalls tweeted: "I've been out here in the rain talking to upset workers. Instead of being sent home, Amazon management is threatening time deductions and written warnings for not returning back to the floor. The dock smells like burnt chemicals [but] instead of shutting down they hire a cleanup crew."
Smalls recently shared footage of the fire and ensuing protests on social media. "Instead of addressing concerns of health and safety, putting workers on paid suspension was [Amazon's] response," he wrote. "Shame on them!"
ALU lawyer Seth Goldstein called the punishment of Staten Island employees "a violation of workers' rights to join in a collective action about the terms and conditions of their employment."
"The workers didn't feel safe going back to work," said Goldstein. "They were engaging in rights that have been protected for 85 years under the National Labor Relations Act."
As the Post—which is owned by Amazon's mega-billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos—reported, "The mass suspension took place less than 10 days before warehouse workers at a separate Amazon warehouse near Albany, New York, are slated to vote to become the second Amazon workforce to join Amazon Labor Union."
ALU scored a historic victory for the labor movement in April when workers at JFK8 voted to form the nation's first union at Amazon, the second-largest employer in the country. Nonetheless, the e-commerce giant, which spent big on union-busting consultants and pulled out all the stops in an unsuccessful bid to crush the organizing drive, has yet to recognize the independent union.
"Amazon Labor Union organizers say Amazon's crackdown in Staten Island was intended to have a broad chilling effect on their organizing campaigns, including the upcoming election," the Post reported. "Union organizers said that 10 union leaders who led the action were suspended on Tuesday, as well as 40 warehouse workers who refused to return to their shifts."
Amazon spokesperson Paul Flaningan told the newspaper that "all employees were safely evacuated from the area of the warehouse where the fire had broken out, and day shift workers were sent home with pay. He added that once the fire department had certified that the building was safe, the company asked night shift workers to report to their scheduled shifts."
"While the vast majority of employees reported to their workstations, a small group refused to return to work and remained in the building without permission," said Flaningan.
ALU, however, disputes the corporation's account and describes the suspensions as "clear retaliation against workers who refused to work in [unsafe] conditions."
"Amazon associates at JFK8 had our lives placed at risk yesterday, and this isn't the first time," ALU said Tuesday in a statement. "Yesterday's safety and health risk, a fire, is but one example of why we voted to form a union, so we can have a real voice on crucial issues which impact all associates every day."
"Our unionization effort has its origins in a health and safety crisis, the Covid pandemic, and Jeff Bezos' and Amazon's complete disregard for our safety and our families' safety," the union continued.
Before he was elected president of ALU, Smalls was fired from JFK8 in March 2020 after organizing a walkout to protest Amazon's refusal to adequately protect workers from the coronavirus.
The Staten Island facility has earned a reputation for egregious violations of workers' rights since it opened in September 2018. Data published earlier this year, for instance, shows that the fulfillment center's already above-average injury rate increased by 15% from 2020 to 2021.
"It is well-documented that Amazon warehouses have major safety and health issues and their treatment of every one of us yesterday underscores why we need Amazon management to respect our choice to unionize, to follow the law, and to stop their legal stalling and start negotiating with us over key issues, including our own safety and health," ALU said Tuesday.
"We won our unionization election fair and square," said ALU, pointing to the National Labor Relations Board's recently announced plan to throw out Amazon's objections to the union's victory, which paves the way for contract negotiations.
"Amazon workers made a collective decision last night to demand that workers get sent home with pay while the smoke cleared," the union continued. "We demanded to see the fire department report. We demanded real information about what was happening."
"When workers demanded the right to speak together as a union, Amazon then increased their intimidation by informing us that key worker leaders have now been suspended for doing exactly what workers voted for, coming together to make a plan that we as frontline workers felt safe on the job," the union added. "We will not tolerate any unsafe workplace and we will not tolerate intimidation."
ALU reportedly plans to file an unfair labor practice complaint in response to the suspensions.