On Politics: Trump Supports a Rewrite of Mandatory Sentencing Laws
Good Thursday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• President Trump threw his support behind a substantial rewrite of the nation’s prison and sentencing laws on Wednesday, opening a potential path to enacting the most significant criminal justice overhaul in a generation. Read the story and six takeaways on what the rewrite would do.
• From immigration to tax cuts, there is very little that Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on these days. But there may be one thing: the need to repair the criminal justice system.
• Thousands of ballots have been rejected in Florida because voters’ signatures don’t match what’s on file, and Democrats are calling it disenfranchisement. Here’s more on the status of the ballots.
• Marc Elias, an election lawyer representing Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, the Democratic incumbent, has been criticized from both the left and the right. Now he’s entwined in the Florida recount.
• House Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy of California as their leader, embracing continuity despite steep losses in the midterm elections. Read more about his selection.
• Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general did not take the usual path, in which temporary posts are filled by Senate-confirmed officials. Still, the Justice Department is defending his appointment.
• As the Federalist Society gathers for the conservative legal group’s annual convention, prominent lawyers on the right have urged others to speak out against what they call the Trump administration’s betrayal of legal norms. Here’s more on their critique.
• Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat, won a House seat after a drawn-out vote count. The victory leaves New Jersey with just one Republican in Congress.
• A day after Melania Trump issued an extraordinary statement condemning Mira Ricardel, the deputy national security adviser, the White House said Ms. Ricardel was leaving her post but would still work in the administration.
• Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday defended Mr. Trump’s order to deploy up to 15,000 troops to the southwest border to confront an incoming migrant caravan. But the long-term goals for the mission remain unclear.
• Europe’s top trade diplomat said the European Union was preparing to strike back against American industries should Mr. Trump follow through on his threat to impose auto tariffs. Here’s more on the trade fallout.
• Trade disputes have been the focus of souring relations between the United States and China. But efforts on both sides to dominate the Pacific have also become a volatile source of conflict — and tensions are rising.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Margaret Kramer in New York.
Check back later for On Politics With Lisa Lerer, a nightly newsletter exploring the people, issues and ideas reshaping the political world.
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