Election Day fallout, John Lewis Act vote, Pfizer kids’ vaccine: 5 things to know Wednesday
| USA TODAY
Election Day fallout: Youngkin defeats McAuliffe in Virginia, NJ too close to call
Polls have closed in an assemblage of off-year elections observers say could be clues about the themes and outcomes of the pivotal 2022 midterm races. At the top of the card was the race for Virginia governor. Early Wednesday, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a race that was the first major contest since President Joe Biden took office. The loss was a setback to Democrats one year ahead of the 2022 midterms that will decide control of Congress and impact President Joe Biden’s ability to govern and pass legislation. New Jersey’s gubernatorial race appears destined to be called on Wednesday or later this week as Republican Jack Ciattarelli clings to a slight lead over incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, as the race remains too close to call. One important caveat from Tuesday’s results will be how several candidates of color across the nation were elected. Michelle Wu, 36, became the first woman and person of color elected to be Boston’s Mayor and Ed Gainey will become the first Black mayor of Pittsburgh.
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Senate to vote on advancing John Lewis voting rights act
The Senate will vote on advancing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would replace part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 2013. That year, the high court ruled that states no longer had to comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required some states and municipalities with a history of discriminatory voting laws to obtain federal “preclearance” before enacting changes to voting laws or practices. The legislation passed the House in August 219-212 along straight party lines. The vote Wednesday in the Senate comes just two weeks after Democratic leadership attempted to advance another piece of voting rights legislation that was blocked by Republicans with the filibuster. Democrats have been pushing to get reform passed as new voting restriction laws have been passed in earnest after the tumultuous 2020 election.
Pfizer vaccine available for children ages 5-11
Children ages 5-11 may receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on an expert panel’s recommendation. Health providers can start vaccinating children in this age group “as soon as possible,” the CDC said in a release. Earlier in the week, presidential advisor Jeffrey Zients said that the Biden administration has ordered enough vaccines to cover all 28 million American children in the 5 to 11 age group. The administration’s distribution program will be “running at full strength” the week of Nov. 8, he said. The vaccines will be available at 100 children’s hospitals, temporary clinics in the community and at schools, as well as pharmacies and pediatricians’ offices.
Ahead of initial court appearance, Raiders release Henry Ruggs III
The Las Vegas Raiders released Henry Ruggs III just hours before the promising young wide receiver faced an initial court appearance on multiple felony charges after a fiery predawn vehicle crash Tuesday that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured. Ruggs, 22, and his passenger were hospitalized with unspecified injuries that police said did not appear life-threatening after the Chevrolet Corvette he was driving slammed at high speed into the rear of a Toyota Rav4 in a residential area in Las Vegas. The Toyota burst into flames and the driver and her dog died, police said. The woman was not immediately identified. Ruggs faces felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving, court records show. He was released from a hospital and taken to jail ahead of an initial court appearance scheduled on Wednesday. Ruggs was the No. 12 overall selection out of Alabama in the 2020 NFL draft.
700-year-old law may loom large in Supreme Court gun case
The Supreme Court is expected to debate a 700-year-old English law – and the influence it had on the framing of the Constitution – when it hears oral arguments Wednesday in a closely watched guns case. At issue is whether New York can require residents to have a good reason to obtain a handgun license, a question with ramifications for gun laws nationwide. To find an answer, the justices are expected to look closely at the “history and tradition” of the right to bear arms. That reaches back to the 1328 Statute of Northampton, which some historians say informed the Framers’ views of when people may carry their guns in public. While the court in recent years has affirmed the right to possess guns at home for self-defense, it left unanswered questions about carrying those weapons into public places.
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