Skimm'd after a beach trip

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SEPTEMBER 04, 2018


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Skimm'd after a beach trip


"Invite me" – Snoop Dogg wishing he spent Labor Day weekend with Martha Stewart. Don't worry Snoop, our invite got lost in the mail too.


The Story

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is in the hot seat this week.

Tell me more, tell me more.

President Trump tapped Kavanaugh to be the newest member of the Supreme Court. He would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy – the court's swing justice who announced his retirement earlier this year. Today, Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings kick off.

Can I get a refresher on Kavanaugh?

He's a conservative judge and an originalist – someone who thinks the Constitution should be interpreted exactly how the Founding Fathers wrote it. He's known for his work with the independent counsel that investigated President Bill Clinton. He also worked as a staff secretary and White House counsel for Dubya. And has been a federal appeals judge in DC since '06.

So how do the hearings work?

It's a multi-day process. Kavanaugh will sit down in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Expect some opening statements, a couple days of intense questions, and some character witnesses called to testify. Then the committee votes whether to recommend him to the rest of the Senate. And the Senate decides whether to give him the thumbs up or down. Kavanaugh needs at least 51 votes to pick up his new robes.

I have a feeling this could get dramatic…

It could. Expect Dems to grill him on his views on abortion, health care, and executive power. He also might get asked about what's in the tens of thousands of docs the White House is keeping on lock from his time working for the Bush admin. Or he might be asked about the 42,000 pages of documents that were released hours before the start of the hearings.

How likely is it that he'll get his robes?

Very likely. Republicans have a veeery slim majority in the Senate. Democrats tried (but failed) to delay the hearings. And will prob try (and fail) to block his nomination.


Trump is on his way to getting his second SCOTUS nominee confirmed in less than two years in office. If Kavanaugh gets the OK, it would shift the highest court to the right. And give him the power to help make decisions that will affect Americans for generations to come.

PS: Our app has audio episodes (aka Skimm Notes) that go deep on topics you need to know about. Including Brett Kavanaugh. Get it here.


What people are calling out…

Myanmar. Yesterday, a judge there sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for illegally possessing top-secret documents. The journalists were covering the Rohingya crisis there – the military crackdown on a Muslim minority group that's left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. These journalists reported on the killing of 10 Rohingya men in a piece that came out earlier this year – weeks after their arrests. They had been in custody for almost nine months before their conviction yesterday. Human rights groups are calling this an attack on free press. This also comes after the UN last week said some of Myanmar's military leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, and that the mass killing of Rohingya amounted to genocide.

What people are watching…

Detroit. Today, kids there are making their way back to school. But here's the catch: the city turned off the drinking water for the public school system, since there are concerns over high copper or lead levels in the water. Instead, they'll use water coolers. Yes, this is reminding people of the Flint crisis – when the city used a contaminated river as its main water source back in 2014. But this time, the concern is with schools' old plumbing systems, which could be contaminating perfectly good water. 24 schools were tested for water quality, and last month 16 came back with concerning results. The superintendent said it's shutting down the district's 106 public schools' water until the problem is fixed. Meanwhile, Baltimore students are saying 'welcome to our world.' A bunch of water fountains there have been shut off for more than a decade.

What to say to your friend who's a history buff…

You hear about Brazil? Over the weekend, a fire tore through the 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. It's thought to have destroyed most of the museum's 20 million objects. Among the artifacts held there were a meteorite and an 11,500-year-old human skull. It's unclear how the fire started but people say poor funding and upkeep could be to blame for the massive loss.

What to say when your friends tell you to "just do it"...

Colin Kaepernick did.

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