News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: AG Barr defends Portland response; protesters call Black district attorney a racist

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William Barr

U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Attorney General Barr defends sending federal agents to Portland

Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr denied that he was giving special breaks to President Donald Trump’s associates and defended the deployment of federal agents to Portland, Oregon. Barr said “violent rioters” in Portland were trying to damage federal buildings and targeting police officers with projectiles from pellets guns and slingshots. “Since when is it OK to try to burn down a federal court?” he asked. (USA Today, CBS News, the Washington Post, Reuters, the New York Times)

Black district attorney responds to protesters who called him a racist

A Black district attorney in Wisconsin has said he won’t be intimidated after late-night protesters with a bullhorn shouted profanity and called him a racist. The protesters wanted District Attorney Ismael Ozanne of Dane County to drop charges against two Black men. One is charged in the looting of a jewelry store, and the other is accused of making threats. Ozanne said he was raised by a Black mother who fought for racial justice in the 1960s, and he knows what it is like to be Black in America. But he noted that the police had shown restraint in allowing the noisy protest at his home. “I am sure in 1964 in Mississippi my mother wished she could expect this type of policing. Thank you for showing the community that it has a choice between your mob approach and people who are committed to justice and to making our community better,” Ozanne said. (Channel 3000, the Wisconsin State Journal, Ozanne’s statement)

Trump promises revised Supreme Court short list

President Donald Trump is promising to release a revised short list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees following decisions that disappointed conservatives. But Trump’s aides and advisers are increasingly divided over who and how many people should be on the list. Some want to add Trump appellate appointees to the list, such as Kyle Duncan, Andy Oldham and Elizabeth “Lisa” Branch. Former Vice President and 2020 presidential presumptive nominee Joe Biden, on the other hand, has pledged to put together a list of African American women who are qualified for the Supreme Court. (Politico, Trump’s tweet)

Lawyer is new Mrs. New York America

A commercial litigator and legal consultant, Yasmeen Gumbs-Breakenridge, has been crowned Mrs. New York America 2020 following a virtual ceremony. Pageant contestants use legal skills such as being able to sell a story and performing under pressure, the ABA Journal reported in this podcast. (The Democrat & Chronicle)

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