Justice conveys Court’s modern role

first_imgThough the federal government has shut down, Notre Dame students studying in Washington, D.C. listened to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy speak about the Court’s role in contemporary U.S. politics at a University of California, D.C. (UCDC) event Monday. Before the event, students submitted questions for Kennedy via a Google Doc for pre-approval by the planning committee. Students were told they would be able to ask unscripted questions later in the program if the committee did not select their submissions. Junior Nicole Sganga said time constraints prevented the Notre Dame students from asking a question, though she wanted to ask him about civic discourse in the United States.  “I was aching to ask Justice Kennedy his position on the current state of civic discourse,” she said. “Luckily, the moderator sneaked in a question regarding the current state of American politics toward the end of the Q & A. Justice Kennedy responded with an eloquent plea for a higher discourse founded on fact and reason [addressed to] his counterparts in the executive and legislative branches.” Junior Szymon Barnas said he hoped to ask Kennedy to elaborate on his description of the Supreme Court’s place in contemporary U.S. politics. “Justice Kennedy has been on the speaking circuit the past couple of weeks and has commented many times on the Supreme Court becoming an arena to settle the hot-button political issues of the day because of our dysfunctional democracy,” Barnas said. “As I read about the cases on the docket for this upcoming Supreme Court term regarding issues like campaign contributions, public prayer and affirmative action, I felt that Justice Kennedy’s description of the Court was all the more accurate and hoped he would comment with some thoughts on the upcoming term.”  Barnas said he was impressed by Kennedy’s forthright answers and engaging speaking presence.  “Justice Kennedy gave very forthright and though-provoking answers,” Barnas said. “I found his observations on what it takes to be a good judge and how the Court is affect by cultural pressures to be very insightful. I enjoyed his thoughts on the Court’s role in democracy. Kennedy said laws and the Supreme Court are really a ‘narrative of our moral sense’ and that ‘injustice is really hard to see in the present.’  “As a student who is thinking about attending law school, these observations really made me consider the interplay between justice, equality and the rule of law, [as well as] the more noble responsibilities of lawyers and judges.” Sganga said Kennedy’s remarks on the current government shutdown resonated with her. “When addressing politics, Justice Kennedy was very careful not to criticize or weigh in too much on the current state of the administration and Congress,” Sganga said. “He mentioned earlier that he is not a political man. However, he did say this much, [loosely] paraphrased, ‘Right now the whole world is watching the United States amid this government shutdown. And for half of them, the jury is still out on democracy. The way we conduct ourselves is a reflection on the nature of our governmental institution.’” Sganga said before she attended the event, she was excited by the prospect of seeing Kennedy speak because of the essential role he played in recent Court decisions.  “I’ve done some research on Justice Kennedy and even read a few of the decisions on gay rights and marriage that he had authored,” Sganga said. “Going into the presentation, I knew he was the swing vote. So, I figured it would be interesting to hear from a justice with such a large sway.” Sganga said she felt Kennedy connected with the students on a personal level. “Here was a man with so many experiences, so much wisdom, and so much say in how our government operates. Yet, he was funny, witty and even charming,” Sganga said. “He had a way of making the students he spoke to feel comfortable and at ease. … He came across as just so thoughtful and well spoken, as if he had really reflected upon each word he communicated.  “I guess that’s what you would like to hear about a Supreme Court Justice, but it also made me wish that more politicians in Washington, D.C. acted and spoke with the same care.” Kennedy’s talk was the highlight among other experiences she had with the Supreme Court while in Washington, D.C. this semester, Sganga said. “On Sunday, I attended Red Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral down the street and was lucky enough to sit through the same service as Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan,” Sganga said. “It was the icing on the cake to hear from Justice Kennedy the next day. Six Supreme Court justices in one week – not bad. Our class visited the Supreme Court a few weeks ago. … A few of us vowed to return now that the court is in session, we would love to observe an oral argument in person.” Barnas said even among the Notre Dame in Washington Program’s various meetings with influential individuals in national politics, Kennedy’s talk stood out as a “surreal experience.” “A valuable part of the D.C. Program is meeting with individuals who have a big impact in the public policy arena, ranging from senators, to lobbyists, to White House officials and now a Supreme Court Justice. I want to find out what inspires and informs these people and how I should strive to be in their place in the future,” Barnas said. “Justice Kennedy is often seen as having a very powerful position on the Court as the ‘swing justice’ and many upcoming decisions will be contingent upon his interpretation of the Constitution and Court precedents.”last_img read more

Venezuela arrests two Americans in failed ‘invasion’ try

first_imgPresident Nicolas Maduro, shown in a handout picture released by the Venezuelan Presidency speaking to members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, announced that two Americans were arrested for taking part in the failed “invasion.” AFP Maduro appeared on state television to show the passports of Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, and told the Venezuelan military high command that the pair were members of the US security forces. (AFP) The arrests came a day after the government said it foiled an “invasion” from the sea, killing eight assailants and capturing two others.center_img CARACAS – Two Americans were detained in Venezuela on Monday on suspicion of plotting to topple President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has accused US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido of bankrolling the scheme.last_img read more

Jill Ellis steps down as USWNT coach after back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles

first_img U.S. Soccer says it has paid women’s national team more than men’s team Megan Rapinoe writing book, wants to ‘inspire people to find what they can do’ Ellis, 52, became the eighth head coach of the national team when she took over in 2014 after serving two separate stints as interim coach. She replaced Tom Sermanni after his dismissal.2 – Jill Ellis will leave the #USWNT second in team history in wins and as one of two managers (mens or womens) to win multiple World Cups. Pinnacle. pic.twitter.com/KwpwzMFO72— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) July 30, 2019She saw much success as the national team’s leader as she became one of just two coaches (man or woman) to win back-to-back World Cup titles. The last time that feat was accomplished was more than 80 years ago when Vittorio Pozzo was leading Italy’s men’s national team in the 1934 and 1938 tournaments. She’s the first to win two Women’s World Cups. Ellis ends her career with an overall record of 102-7-18, winning eight major tournaments. The move doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as Ellis’ current contract is set expire Wednesday, though there was an option to extend her contract through the 2020 Olympics. The Equalizer notes that it was Ellis’ decision to move on.While this is the end of her USWNT coaching career, Ellis will continue to work with the federation for at least the next year in the role of an ambassador, representing U.S. Soccer at various events. For everything she has done and everything she has meant to this program we say, THANK YOU ❤️Jill Ellis will step down as #USWNT head coach in October.#ThankYouJill: https://t.co/5I3dwtQXIo pic.twitter.com/QkCAkMItQj— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 30, 2019“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ellis said in a statement. “I want to thank and praise them for their commitment and passion to not only win championships but also raise the profile of this sport globally while being an inspiration to those who will follow them.“When I accepted the head coaching position this was the time frame I envisioned. The timing is right to move on, and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Change is something I have always embraced in my life, and for me and my family this is the right moment.”  Related News FIFA wants to expand Women’s World Cup to 32 teams within days The U.S. women’s national team will have a new coach as it prepares for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Jill Ellis is stepping down as the national team’s head coach just weeks after leading the U.S. to the 2019 World Cup title, U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday. She plans to stay with the national team for its five-game World Cup victory tour, which starts Saturday against Ireland at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and will end in early October.last_img read more

From Balkans to Asia: all the Beauty of Winter Olympic Games’ Spirit (gallery)

first_img[wzslider]The 1984 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIV Olympic Winter Games, represents a winter multi-sport event which took place from 8–19 February 1984 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, in present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina. Other candidate cities were Sapporo, Japan; and Gothenburg, Sweden.It was the first Winter Olympics held in a Socialist/Communist state. It was also the second Olympics overall, as well as the second consecutive Olympics, to be held in a “Communist state” after the 1980 Summer Olympics were held in Moscow, Soviet Union. The only games that have since been held in a “communist state”are the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China. A fourth Olympic Games, and second Winter games, may be held in a communist country if Beijing is successful against Almaty in its bid for the 2022.With Beijing bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, China will be hoping to make more progress in winter Olympic sports in future.“Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will inspire the enthusiasm of engaging in winter sports across China, and even all over Asia,” Liu Peng, the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) president, said during Beijing’s presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Launsanne on Tuesday.China has remoulded itself from a winter sport minnow to a competitive force since its Winter Olympics debut in 1980.Claiming its first-ever Winter Olympic medal (a sliver) in Albertville 1992 and its first-ever gold at Salt Lake City 2002, China has collected 12 gold, 22 sliver and 19 bronze medals in the past 10 winter games.Two years after its historic haul of 51 gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, China reached its peak in winter sports with 11 medals, of which five are gold, in Vancouver 2010. For the first time China finished top 10 of the medals table at Winter Olympics.So far, China has ever qualified to compete in 11 sports of the past Winter Olympics, namely short track speed skating, speed skating, figure skating, curling, ice hockey, freestyle skiing, alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding.Liu believes that China, a world power in summer sports, will also become a giant in winter sports as being promised in Beijing’s bid file for the 2022 Winter Olympics.“The bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics will boost participation and involvement in winter sports across the country, open a bright future for winter sports in China, Asia and the world, as China has set off on an ambitious ‘Long March’ to get 300 million Chinese people involved in skiing and skating events,” said Liu.(Source: ST, xinhuanet)last_img read more