This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Feb. 8, 2017 for week ending Feb. 17, 2017

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"President Trump said he wanted somebody who would be as far to the right as [Justice Antonin] Scalia, and frankly he's done even better than that; he has found somebody who in some respects, is to the right of Justice Scalia."

– Elliott Mincberg, senior fellow with People for the American Way, on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's career


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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If Senate Confirms Gorsuch for Supreme Court, Corporate America Wins, Workers Lose

MP3 Interview with Elliott Mincberg, senior fellow with People for the American Way, conducted by Scott Harris

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After the death of the Supreme Court's staunchest conservative and longest-serving justice, Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13 last year, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asserted that the nomination of a replacement should wait until after the November 2016 presidential election. In March, President Obama, following the U.S. Constitution, nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the vacancy. As promised, the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a hearing or vote on Garland's nomination, resulting in a Supreme Court short one justice, leading to several 4 to 4 ties between the conservative and liberal wings of the court on key cases.  Story continues

DeVos Narrowly Confirmed by Senate, Resistance to Privatization of Education Continues

MP3 Interview with Carol Burris, executive director of Network for Public Education', conducted by Scott Harris

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Among President Trump's many controversial nominations to his Cabinet, his pick of Betsy DeVos to become Education Secretary drew some of the most passionate and widespread opposition. DeVos, a billionaire philanthropist, charter-schools advocate and one of the nation's largest contributors to Republican Party candidates came under withering criticism for her efforts in her home state of Michigan and across the country to dismantle and privatize public education. A longtime supporter of for-profit public charter schools and giving taxpayer-funded vouchers to parents who send their children to private schools, DeVos personally never attended or sent her children to public schools.  Story continues

“Inside the Box” Project Aims to Inspire Movement to End Solitary Confinement

MP3 Interview with Keishar Tucker, former Connecticut inmate, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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The concept of prison solitary confinement was originated two centuries ago to give incarcerated individuals a chance to reflect on their crimes and vow to follow the straight and narrow upon release. But now, extended solitary confinement – more than 15 days – is considered torture under international law. At any given time in the U.S., it's estimated that more than 80,000 people are being held in solitary confinement, which means being isolated in a cell with no human contact for 23 hours a day. Of that number, many inmates have been held under those conditions for years and some for decades.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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