In a 5-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the electoral map violated the state’s Constitution by manipulating the district boundaries to marginalize Democratic voters, a practice called partisan gerrymandering.
A new map could give Democratic candidates a chance to capture as many as half a dozen Republican seats in Pennsylvania alone, with national polls showing voters strongly favoring Democrats in 2018.
The deal that ended the government shutdown on Monday paved the way for Senate consideration of immigration legislation, but it did nothing to ensure that the House would act on such a bill — or that President Trump would sign it.
That has raised fears among immigrant advocates that the shutdown-ending compromise merely sets up a repeat of what happened five years ago, when eight senators forged an immigration deal that passed the Senate but went nowhere in the House after the GOP’s conservative base revolted against any attempt to give “amnesty” to illegal immigrants.
The first government shutdown of Donald Trump’s presidency spanned 69 hours.
That was as long as Democrats could, or would, stand united against a Republican-backed temporary spending bill in pursuit of a plan to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. When the high-stakes game of chicken ended Monday evening, liberal activists were furious, Republicans were giddy, and vulnerable Senate Democrats were quietly relieved.
The episode exposed familiar political vulnerabilities for both parties — although perhaps more painfully for Democrats.
To help prevent cross talking, senators in the meeting used a stick, and later a ball, to help determine who had the floor. Manchin drew laughter from his colleagues as they tried to figure out speaking order during an impromptu press conference, saying they could “pass the ball around.”
When the group first met on Friday, there were 17 senators trying to come up with a way to prevent the closure. That number swelled to 25 on Sunday afternoon as the shutdown ground through the weekend.
“That is a powerful voting bloc in the Senate and it includes Republican members as well as Democrats,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said.
“The U.S. is now the most unpredictable actor in the world today, and that has caused profound unease,” said Paul Stares, the director of CFR’s Center for Preventive Action, which produces the annual survey.
“You used to be able to pretty much put the U.S. to one side and hold it constant, and look at the world and consider where the biggest sources of unpredictability, insecurity are. Now you have to include the U.S. in that. … No one has high confidence how we [Americans] would react in any given situation, given how people assess this president.”
This president might welcome the development. “I don’t want people to know exactly what I’m doing—or thinking,” Donald Trump wrote in 2015. “It keeps them off balance.”
Animus toward those of other cultures goes way back as a leitmotif in America.
In a notorious 1753 letter, the usually genial Ben Franklin wrote of the German immigrants:
Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation, and as Ignorance is often attended with Credulity when Knavery would mislead it, and with Suspicion when Honesty would set it right; and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain.