Progressive Briefing for Wednesday, June 27, 2018

28-year-old Democratic Socialist wins the New York primary, the Supreme Court upholds Muslim ban and sides with anti-abortion centers, Occupy ICE protests spread, a federal judge sides with Big Oil, and more.

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Image: Zach D. Roberts/NationofChange

28-year-old Democratic Socialist wins the New York primaries

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old grassroots activist, just pulled off the biggest upset so far in the 2018 election cycle. Her Democratic primary win Tuesday in a race with Congressman Joe Crowley, a veteran party operative and ten-term incumbent who is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House.

Says NPR: “The success of a young working-class Latina who served as an organizer for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race illustrates the volatility that exists within a Democratic Party in which most “leaders” are still too slow to recognize the intense yearning for economic and social change among its own base voters and among the millions of voters who could be rallied to the party line if it offered a dramatically bolder vision.”

Supreme Court deals blow to public-sector unions

In a 5-4 ruling where the five Republican members of the Supreme Court sided against the four Democrats, it was decided that public-sector unions may not charge non-members mandatory fees, dealing a financial blow to organized labor on the eve of a competitive midterm election campaign.

‘A dark day for America’: Supreme Court upholds Trump Muslim ban

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court voted on Tuesday to uphold President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Several Democratic politicians responded angrily:

“This is a dark day for America. The Supreme Court ruling in Trump v. Hawaii betrays our constitution and advances fear, rather than facts,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) “Despite the ruling today, my colleagues and I will keep fighting against the Trump administration’s bigoted, Islamophobic agenda. We are not alone and we are not without hope.”

“I am deeply disappointed that this ruling gives legitimacy to discrimination and Islamophobia,” added Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). “Like the Korematsu decision that upheld Japanese internment camps or Plessy v. Ferguson that established ‘separate but equal,’ this decision will someday serve as a marker of shame.”

California cities wanted Big Oil to pay up for climate damage but federal judge just said ‘no’

A federal judge has tossed out two lawsuits filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, California that sought to make five oil and gas companies pay for their contributions to global warming-induced sea level rise.

Said the judge in his ruling:

“This order fully accepts the vast scientific consensus that the combustion of fossil fuels has materially increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which in turn has increased the median temperature of the planet and accelerated sea level rise. But questions of how to appropriately balance these worldwide negatives against the worldwide positives of the energy itself, and of how to allocate the pluses and minueses among the nations of the world, demand the expertise of our environmental agencies, our diplomats, our Executive, and at least the Senate. Nuisance suits in various United States judicial districts regarding conduct worldwide are far less likely to solve the problem and, indeed, could interfere with reaching a worldwide consensus.”

Occupy ICE protests erupt in dozens of cities nationwide

It started in Portland last week. What started as a candellight vigil for immigrant children  in front of the nondescript Immigration and Customs Enforcement outside Portland turned into an occupation. Protestors have been blockading the government building around the clock with their bodies. Now the movement is spreading all over the United States, with hundreds of people holding Occupy ICE protests and demanding that the agency, which is responsible for carrying out family separations due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, be shut down.

And in another unpopular decision…the Supreme Court sided with California anti-abortion pregnancy centers

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision upholding a California law requiring anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to more fully disclose what they are.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said the centers are likely to succeed in their claim that the law violates the First Amendment. That overturns an earlier decision by the Ninth Circuit upholding the law and sends the case back for further consideration.

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