Here’s what we’re talking about today:
- Progressives say Biden’s judicial picks are off to a bad start in one key area
- Protests continued in Brooklyn Center after the police chief said an officer killed a Black man accidentally
- A battle is brewing over the push to make booze-to-go permanent
1. THE LEFT SAYS BIDEN ISN’T REACHING HIS BENCHMARK: Progressives say President Biden’s initial slate of judicial nominees left a lot to be desired. They say he has not tapped enough people who break from the mold of longtime prosecutors and corporate lawyers, something the president promised he would keep in mind.
Here’s what we found:
- What the uproar over big law means: It means progressives are “flagging the likes of an otherwise racially diverse group that includes Tiffany Cunningham, a Perkins Coie partner who just got picked to be the first Black woman on a federal appeals court that specializes in patent cases, and Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, a Zuckerman Spaeder partner nominated to be the first Black woman on the Chicago-based US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.”
- A key stat shows why groups are picking this fight: “Only 1 percent of all the current federal appellate judges have spent the majority of their careers as public defenders or legal aid attorneys, according to the Federal Justice Center, the research and education agency of the US judicial branch.”
2. Protests continued in Brooklyn Center after the police chief said an officer accidentally killed a Black man during a traffic stop: Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon suggested that a veteran officer, who has worked for the department for 26 years, accidentally killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop by shooting him with a gun instead of a Taser. Gannon also said his department trains officers to use Tasers on their weak sides, a common practice that is done to prevent exactly what is alleged to have unfolded. New bodycam footage shows the officer, Kimberly Potter, yelling “Taser” several times before firing her gun.
Protestors and police clashed outside the Brooklyn Center police station: Tensions escalated after the 7 p.m. curfew order by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the Star Tribune reports. Authorities fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades. Looters broke into several businesses near the station. Earlier in the day, Biden said that there was “no justification for violence.” The president added that he had watched the “fairly graphic” body cam footage.
- Walz had ordered a curfew for much of the Minneapolis metro: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, whose city is next to Brooklyn Center, declared a state of emergency, as did Mayor Melvin Carter for neighboring St. Paul, the Star Tribune reports. The Minnesota Twins and Timberwolves postponed their games.
3. Biden says he’s open to negotiating his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan: He dismissed the idea that his bipartisan meeting with eight lawmakers was “window dressing.” But crafting a deal might be difficult. One GOP senator told reporters it would “be an almost impossible sell” for Republicans to support raising the corporate tax rate to help pay for the plan. Biden’s plan calls for hiking the corporate rate from 21 to 28%.
4. Battles brewing over the push to make booze-to-go permanent: More than 30 states allowed alcohol takeout and delivery during the pandemic. But public health groups are sounding the alarm as restaurant groups and alcohol trade associations push to make getting alcohol without leaving the house permanent. More on what’s ahead in our exclusive report.
- Key stat: “Drizly, an online company that arranges alcohol deliveries from local liquor stores, said its business grew 350% in 2020 compared with 2019.”
5. George Floyd’s brother Philonise testified just before prosecutors rested their case: “He was just like a person that everybody loved around the community. He just knew how to make people feel better,” Philonise Floyd told jurors during his emotional testimony. Prosecutors are expected to formally rest their case later today.
6. CDC director encourages Michigan “to shut things down” amid COVID-19 surge: “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said Michigan should put coronavirus restrictions back in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.” Some experts have said more vaccines could help the situation, but Walensky said the state can’t vaccinate itself out of the problem.
7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 10:00 a.m.: IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testifies before Senate lawmakers
- 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin’s trial resumes
- 11:00 a.m.: Biden pays his respects to Capitol Police Officer William Evans
- 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House’s news briefing
- 2:00 p.m.: Biden and Vice President Harris meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus
8. Iran talks are set to continue after a possible Israeli attack: US negotiators are prepared to resume indirect talks to resurrect the Iranian nuclear deal this week. Such delicate negotiations will occur after multiple Iranian officials blamed Israel for a weekend attack on a key nuclear facility, The Washington Post reports. Iran has not blamed Washington for the incident, but European diplomats are reportedly worried about the shadow it could cast over the future of the nuclear deal.
9. Teachers are hitting a wall a year into the pandemic: “Early teacher retirements are up in states across the country, as are leaves of absence. According to an Education Week survey, 73% of school districts said their need for substitute teachers was higher in 2020 than in 2019, while 74% said substitute applications had dropped.” Insider talked to five teachers who said their jobs have become significantly tougher amid the pandemic.
10. This map shows where you can travel right now depending on your location and vaccination status. Take a look at travel company Sherpa’s handy tool.
One last thing.
Today’s trivia question Today is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. America’s third president didn’t invent this dish, but he can lay claim to being the first recorded American to write down a recipe. What is it? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at email@example.com.
- Yesterday’s answer: President Calvin Coolidge had two lion cubs named Budget Bureau and Tax Reduction. That might not be surprising for a leader remembered for returning to bed not long after he was awoken on August 2, 1923, by his father who informed that President Harding had died and that he was now president.