More of This The son of immigrants just became the first Half Tibetan, half Punjabi mayor of Cincinnati
Aftab Pureval won Cincinnati’s race for mayor on Tuesday, according to unofficial results, making the 39-year-old lawyer the first Asian American elected to lead the city.
Pureval defeated David Mann, a city councilor and fellow Democrat who previously served as mayor and in Congress, 66 percent to 34 percent with all precincts counted, according to unofficial results from the Hamilton County Board of Elections. Pureval will succeed term-limited Mayor John Cranley, who is seeking Ohio’s Democratic nomination for governor in 2022.
"Words can’t express how honored and excited I am to be the next Mayor of Cincinnati," Pureval said in a tweet late Tuesday. "Tonight, we made history! Let’s get to work!"
A son of immigrants, the half-Indian, half-Tibetan Pureval is viewed as a rising political star in the state. He was elected clerk of courts in 2016 after running ads with a stuffed duck quacking his name — “Aftab!” — in a campaign reminiscent of the old Aflac insurance commercials.
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More of This Too This lawyer just because the first person of color mayor of Boston
Michelle Wu, who entered public service out of frustration with the obstacles that her immigrant family faced, will be the next mayor of Boston, pledging to make the city a proving ground for progressive policy.
Buoyed by support from the city’s young, left-leaning voters and by Black, Asian and Latino residents, Ms. Wu, 36, soundly defeated City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George.
Ms. Essaibi George, who ran as a pragmatic centrist in the style of former Mayor Martin J. Walsh, had the backing of the city’s traditional power centers, like its police, its trade unions and its working-class Irish American neighborhoods.
“From every corner of our city, Boston has spoken,” Ms. Wu said, to a jubilant crowd in the city’s South End. “We are ready to meet the moment. We are ready to be a Boston for everyone.”
Conceding the race, Ms. Essaibi George said, “I want to offer a great big congratulations to Michelle Wu.”
“She is the first woman, first person of color, and as an Asian American, the first elected to be mayor of Boston,” she said. “I know this is no small feat.”
Ms. Wu — who grew up outside Chicago and moved to the Boston area to attend Harvard — was an unusual candidate for this city, and her victory sets a number of precedents.
Ms. Wu is the first woman and the first person of color to be elected mayor in Boston, which has been led by an unbroken string of Irish American or Italian American men since the 1930s.
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Less of This It’s Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Now
Emily Bazelon is a lawyer and author of “Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.” She is also a lecturer at Yale Law School.
The Supreme Court is about to have a week for the ages. On Monday, the justices will hear arguments about whether to allow a Justice Department suit to proceed against Texas’ near ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Two days later, they will consider a challenge to a New York restriction on who can carry a gun outside the home. These are blockbuster cases in which the court’s newly dominant conservative majority has the power to overturn precedent and alter the course of many Americans’ lives. The court is still readjusting after the most striking and consequential ideological shift in the 30 years since Justice Clarence Thomas, on the court’s far right, replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall, on its far left. This time, too, the departed member is a liberal (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just over a year ago), and the question is how far and fast the woman who moved into her chambers, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, will take the court in the opposite direction.
When Justice Barrett introduced herself to the country as President Donald Trump’s nominee in the Rose Garden last fall, the right celebrated her devotion to religion and her allegiance to the judicial philosophy of Justice Antonin Scalia, the archconservative for whom she had clerked. She inspired memes and coffee mugs and T-shirts. One anti-abortion writer crowned her a “new feminist icon.” She seemed perfectly positioned to be the religious right’s answer to the Notorious R.B.G., the celebrity persona that Justice Ginsburg embraced before her death.
But so far, Justice Barrett has not welcomed her celebrity status. “I don’t think she’s trying to be a persona in the way that some people on the right want,” John Inazu, a professor of law and religion at Washington University in St. Louis, told me. She rarely makes public appearances, keeping the low profile that’s traditional for junior justices.
In September, at her first speech since her confirmation, Justice Barrett expressed concern for the court’s image. “My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she said. (She picked an oddly mockable setting to make this case: an event hosted by a center at the University of Louisville named for one of her Republican backers, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who introduced her.)
Justice Barrett has been low-key on the bench, too. Justice Neil Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s first nominee, was far more aggressive out of the gate, correcting Chief Justice John Roberts at one of his first oral arguments and writing sweeping opinions that brim with self-certainty. Justice Barrett has written a total of eight opinions (the fewest among the justices last term). Her tone in writing and when she asks questions at arguments tends to be forthright but diplomatic. “We don’t know the full measure of Amy Coney Barrett yet,” said Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University.
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Speaking Of… Roe is as good as gone. We need a new strategy.
Kathryn Kolbert, the co-founder of the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the Supreme Court in 1992. Julie F. Kay is a human rights lawyer who argued against Ireland’s ban on abortion before the European Court of Human Rights.
For the first time in a generation, the Supreme Court appears likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. The end of Roe need not herald the end of an era of reproductive freedom. It may instead launch a new strategy that protects the fundamental human right to decide whether to have children and raise them in safety and dignity.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Monday in two separate cases challenging the new Texas law effectively banning abortion. The more direct nationwide threat to Roe, however, comes in December in a case challenging a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.
To fully grasp what is at stake now, it’s worth looking back. In 1992, one of us, Ms. Kolbert, argued on behalf of Pennsylvania abortion providers in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which challenged abortion restrictions including a waiting period requirement, biased mandatory counseling, parental and spousal notification requirements and other obstacles to care. At the time many court watchers believed Roe was doomed. Justice Clarence Thomas had just joined the court, and at least four other justices appeared likely to vote to overturn the ruling.
More than two decades later, Justice John Paul Stevens’s memoir confirmed how close supporters of abortion rights were to losing Roe: Following the oral argument seven justices agreed that most of the onerous Pennsylvania abortion restrictions should be upheld. Justice Stevens wrote that he and Justice Harry Blackmun “assumed that the result would be explained in an opinion overruling Roe v. Wade.” Indeed, Chief Justice William Rehnquist then “circulated a draft opinion for the court on May 27, 1992, that met our expectation,” Justice Stevens wrote. The drafted opinion did not explicitly overrule Roe, but it “effectively repudiated its central holding.”
Thankfully, at the 11th hour, Justice Anthony Kennedy had a change of heart. He quietly worked with Justices David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor to draft a joint opinion reaffirming Roe’s holding that a woman has the right to choose abortion until viability (usually at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy) and thereafter if necessary to protect her life or health. But the court reduced the high level of constitutional protection that Roe afforded, permitting states to impose restrictions on abortion so long as they do not constitute an “undue burden.” The court upheld most of the Pennsylvania restrictions, but fortunately, struck a provision requiring spousal notification.
In recent years, the courts have upheld more barriers to care under the Casey standard, effectively placing abortion out of reach for many women, particularly teenagers, those living in rural areas and low-income women — limitations that are disproportionately experienced by women of color.
Still, Casey supported legal abortion in all 50 states. Today, the votes are likely no longer there to save even this diminished version of Roe. The new ultraconservative-dominated Supreme Court is poised to give states the unfettered ability to ban most abortions.
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A new fund to harness the power of lawyers for good
The Legal Empowerment Fund was created as a response to the deepening public consciousness about the importance of law on social justice issues and the need for lawyers of all backgrounds to rise to the challenges posed by the ongoing racial reckoning and the lack of equal justice under the law.
More information + application here >