Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1.President Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Outlining Better Police Practices
Following weeks of national protests since the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 16 that he said would encourage better police practices. President Trump met privately with the families of several African-Americans killed in interactions with police before his Rose Garden signing ceremony and said he grieved for the lives lost and families devastated. But then he quickly shifted his tone and devoted most of his public remarks to a need to respect and support “the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe.” He characterized the officers who have used excessive force as a “tiny” number of outliers among “trustworthy” police ranks. “Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals,” he said before signing the order, flanked by police officials. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have been rushing to respond to the mass demonstrations against police brutality and racial prejudice that have raged for weeks across the country in response to the deaths of Floyd and other black Americans. It is a sudden shift that underscores how quickly the protests have changed the political conversation and pressured Congress to act. But President Trump, who has faced criticism for failing to acknowledge systemic racial bias and has advocated for rougher police treatment of suspects in the past as well as mass incarceration and the death penalty for even the most minor crimes, has continued to hold his ’law and order” line. At the signing event, he railed against those who committed violence during the largely peaceful protests while hailing the vast majority of officers as selfless public servants.
2. Supreme Court Rules That Federal Civil Rights Law Protects LGBTQ Workers From Discrimination
Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers, the Supreme Court ruled on June 14. The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation. The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices. “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” Gorsuch wrote. “There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decisionmaking,” the opinion read.
3. 2020 Election: Joe Biden Opens Up 13 Point Lead Against President Trump
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has opened up a 13-point lead over President Donald Trump, the widest margin this year, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll as Americans grow more critical of President Trump over the coronavirus pandemic and protests against police brutality. In the June 10-16 poll, 48% of registered voters said they would back Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the Presidential election, while 35% said they would support Trump. Biden’s advantage is the biggest recorded by the Reuters/Ipsos poll since Democrats began their state nominating contests this year to pick their party’s nominee to challenge Trump in November. A similar CNN poll from earlier this month showed Biden with a 14-point lead over Trump among registered voters. The Reuters/Ipsos poll also showed that 57% of adults disapproved of Trump’s performance in office, while just 38% approved, marking Trump’s lowest approval rating since November of 2019 when Congress was conducting its impeachment inquiry into the Republican President. In a clear warning sign for Trump, his own support base appears to be eroding. Republicans’ net approval of Trump is down 13 points from March to June, declining every month in that span.
4. Amid Rising Tensions With NATO, President Trump Announces US Troop Cutbacks In Germany
President Donald Trump said on June 14 that he plans on cutting back the number of US troops in Germany to 25,000, faulting the close US ally for failing to meet NATO’s defense spending target and accusing it of taking advantage of America on trade. The reduction of about 9,500 troops would be a remarkable rebuke to one of the closest US trading partners and could erode faith in a pillar of postwar European security: that U.S. forces would defend alliance members against Russian aggression. It was not clear whether Trump’s stated intent, which first emerged in media reports on June 5, would actually come to pass given criticism from some of the President’s fellow Republicans in Congress who have argued a cut would be a gift to Russia. Speaking to reporters, Trump accused Germany of being “delinquent” in its payments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and vowed to stick with the plan unless the German government changed course. “So we’re protecting Germany and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense. So I said, we’re going to bring down the count to 25,000 soldiers,” Trump said, adding that “they treat us very badly on trade” but providing no details. NATO in 2014 set a target that each of its 30 members should spend 2% of GDP on defense. Most, including Germany, do not.