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Last updateWed, 14 Apr 2021 11am

Politics

The Passing of Rush Limbaugh

The PassingRush Hudson Limbaugh III passed away, at age 70, on Feb. 17th. He was a conservative political commentator, an American radio personality, author, and was most known as the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

In February 2020, Limbaugh announced that he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He continued hosting, while undergoing cancer treatment. Limbaugh has told his listeners he was hopeful to beat cancer, and that they should be hopeful too.

Robert E. Scott, Professor of the Department of Communication, said Limbaugh was an influential media personality with a large audience.

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New Jerseys Legal Marijuana Debate

New JerseyOn Nov. 3, 2020, 67 percent of New Jersey voters had voted in favor of the legalization of marijuana, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. On Feb. 22, Governor Phil Murphy signed the bills into law, making cannabis legal in the State of New Jersey.

The road to legalization has been a legislative battle at the state house in Trenton.

The referendum in November enabled lawmakers to establish rules for its legalization. With the vote in November, it was an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution which allows for a pathway to legalization which lawmakers and the Governor alike are debating.

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President Biden Signed Order to Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement

BidenPresident Joe Biden, in the first days of his presidency, signed executive orders to combat climate change and to support environmental advocacy.

The president revoked a 2019 permit to allow the Keystone Pipeline XL to be constructed. This newer pipeline would have created a faster route to transport tar sands from Alberta, Canada to the American Gulf States. Environmental groups have praised the decision for potentially saving natural habitat from being destroyed and the intention of cutting carbon emissions.

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Trump Acquitted Again

TrumpOn Saturday afternoon, the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second Impeachment trial. The trial comes a month after the U.S. Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6.

The Senate’s votes was 57-43, leading to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection. Seven Republicans voted in favor to convict Trump during the trial.

Joseph Patten, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Political Science, said he was surprised that seven Republicans voted Trump guilty and that they were not open to persuasion. He also thinks that Trump was weakened during this trial.

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American Rescue Plan Moves Closer to Rollout

American RescueThe Senate came closer to passing President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package on Friday, after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie between the legislature’s Democrats and Republicans.

Via an ongoing process known as budget reconciliation, which allows the Senate to forgo the 60-vote majority rule, Democrats have successfully secured funding for the divisive bill and will soon move forward with concrete legislation on the package.

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The Biden Administration's Plan for COVID-19

Biden PlanSince Joe Biden was elected as President on Jan. 20th, the people of the United States have been wondering what his plans are regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the country back on track.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still being a current issue people all over the world are facing, the United States has suffered tremendously. For example, the pandemic has caused an economic crisis and has left 10 million Americans unemployed.

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Trump Impeached for the Second Time

Impeached 1Former President Donald Trump is facing another impeachment trial in the wake of the siege on the U.S. Capitol. This makes him the only U.S. President to be impeached twice in the nation’s history.

Trump had been sowing doubts in the election process in the swing states that he lost, alleging voter fraud and that the election was stolen from him. Most of his base believe that the results of the election were not legit, which in turn made Republican members of Congress back Trump’s claims.

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Unity Theme Surrounds Biden and Harris Inauguration

Unity ThemeJoe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. This inauguration marks the next four years as Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as Vice President for the United States.

During Biden’s inaugural speech, he made the word “unity” a constant theme. He said the word “unity” or “uniting” eleven times during his inaugural speech, hinting at his tasks ahead for the United States.

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Supreme Court Lifts Restrictions on Church Gatherings Amid Pandemic

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court’s judges made the decision on Nov. 25th to lift the COVID-19 restrictions on N.Y. houses of worship. It was in a 5-4 ruling and was put in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

The request came from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues. The request also claimed that the free exercise of religion from the First Amendment was being violated in the executive order. 

Randall S. Abate, J.D., a Professor of Political Science, said that the Supreme Court ruled lifting the restrictions of N.Y.’s places of worship were necessary because the restrictions infringed the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment.

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An Analysis of Biden's Plan for Higher Education

Analysis BidensPresident-elect Joe Biden’s plan for higher education boasts more accessible post-secondary instruction as well as a thriving middle class by wiping away student debt for millions of Americans. However, faculty have differing opinions on the extent of its social and economic benefits.

Randall Abate, J.D., a Professor of Political Science, explained that the plan is not likely to gain bipartisan support in today’s political climate, and that the Republicans in Congress are extremely opposed to major government spending initiatives including government-funded free higher education.

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How Biden's Administration Will Approach Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs 1The incoming Biden Administration will likely take a different approach to foreign policy than the current Trump administration. Throughout his political career, President-elect Joseph Biden has spoken highly of global cooperation and multilateralism.

He has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord that the Trump Administration withdrew from, and the World Health Organization that the administration submitted a notice of withdrawal from during the summer. In addition, Biden has promised the United States’ continued support of international alliances such as NATO.

In contrast to Biden, the Trump Administration has supported an “America First” foreign relations vision. Political strategists have described President Trump as maintaining an “isolationist” or “protectionist” position on many foreign policy issues.

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