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Democratic voters are slightly more likely than their Republican counterparts to view the Supreme Court as “very important” in guiding their choice for president in the 2020 election, according to a new poll.

Following Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Ginsburg discharged from hospital after nonsurgical procedure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill MORE’s recent disclosure of a recurrence of liver cancer, 57 percent of registered Democratic respondents now say the court will loom large at the ballot box in November, a 9-point increase since May, according to Morning Consult/Politico pollsters.

 

In addition to growing concerns over the health of the court’s aging liberal bloc, the Supreme Court in the past two months issued blockbuster rulings, decided by razor-thin 5-4 margins. Those decisions struck down a Louisiana abortion restriction and blocked the Trump administration from ending an Obama-era deportation shield for young undocumented immigrants.

Other close rulings were handed down in recent months, including a split decision over access to President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE’s tax returns and a ruling to extend federal anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people in the workplace. 

While the recent developments appear to have increased Democrats’ focus on the court, the share of Republican voters who view the Supreme Court as “very important” has remained unchanged at 53 percent since the spring.

The contrasting emphasis on the Supreme Court is even more stark when comparing voters who cast ballots for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Should Biden consider a veteran for vice president? Biden leads Trump by nearly 40 points in California: poll MORE and then-candidate Trump in 2016. Among Clinton voters, 61 percent say the court is very important in 2020, compared to 53 percent of Trump voters.

A slight majority of all voters, 52 percent, say the Supreme Court will be critical in November, though a larger share of voters prioritize other issues like the economy, health care and the coronavirus pandemic.

Tags Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Supreme Court presidential election

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Pol Blames ‘Race Card’ for Backlash to Island Camp for Miami’s Homeless

With a deeply controversial plan to erect a pilot homeless encampment on a remote barrier island in Miami on the ropes, its chief proponent is accusing opponents of “playing the race card” in an ugly new chapter in a local controversy gone haywire.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Miami Mayor Frances Suarez announced the city’s intention to hold off on pursuing a pilot program to build dozens of “tiny homes” on Virginia Key for at least six months. The “transition zone” program moved forward in a 3-2 vote earlier this month and promptly spurred a furious outcry from every type of Miamian—from environmentalists worried about destroying the island’s ecosystem to advocates for the homeless concerned about the lack of infrastructure in the area off Rickenbacker Causeway to wealthy residents of nearby posh enclaves like Fisher Island.

But before it was the site of a tug-of-war between almost every constituency in Miami, Virginia Key was a Black beach at the height of Jim Crow-era segregation.

On Monday, backer City Commissioner Joe Carollo agreed to pause the pilot program while the city works with Miami-Dade County officials to update the plan. But the Republican wasted no time going after his critics. Calling opponents “elitists” who have strayed into ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY)-style rhetoric, Carollo accused some critics of playing the “race card” in light of Virginia Key’s racial history.

“What does this have to do with the historical Black beach?” Carollo said in response to a question at the press conference. “That’s a mile and a half away, the place that we’re looking at. It’s got nothing to do with the historical Black beach, and those that are using that as the final straw to throw at us, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

    Carollo did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

    To David Peery, executive director and founder of the Miami Coalition to Advance Racial Equity, Carollo seems to be trying to “trivialize… the racial issues” in his plan to move homeless people to a flood-prone barrier island. Noting that a majority of homeless residents in Miami are Black, Perry slammed the idea of “dumping people” in an area that is miles away from the nearest grocery store.

    “This plan inherently has some racial issues, and for someone to say that we are playing the race card when we are talking about the homeless is absurd,” Peery told The Daily Beast. “He fully knows the significance of Virginia Key Beach and the segregation that this place represents for Black residents in Miami.”

    Peery noted that this is not the first time Carollo has spurred outrage amongst homeless advocates. Around the time he first proposed the encampment program last October, the city commissioner was also instrumental in the passage of a new ordinance to clear tent encampments, which resulted in an ongoing lawsuit against the city of Miami.

    “This is all a distraction against the biggest problem: the whole plan is a racist plan,” he added.

    Commissioner Ken Russell, who voted against the plan and was present at a Saturday protest in Virginia Key, claimed victory to The Daily Beast on Tuesday, arguing that “activism built pressure for the policymakers to seek another solution.

    “I wouldn’t comment on another commissioner’s statement,” Russell added. “I am happy, however, that the program is not moving forward at this time.”

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