Monthly Archives: October 2020

Life Of A Brave: Juan Archuletta, a coach to Bosco wrestling, bounces back from a featherweight title fight loss by winning the Bellator bantamweight championship

by: Andrew Fierro

Juan Archuletta, a bantamweight fighter in the Bellator organization, and a role model to Bosco’s varsity wrestling team acquires the bantamweight championship with a win over Patchy Mix on September 12.

Bellator MMA

Almost exactly one year after losing his first title fight against featherweight Patrico Freire, Juan Archuletta challenges for a title once again and this time gets a unanimous decision to take home the championship. His record is now 25-2 and he has only lost one time in the past 5 years. 

Archuletta’s great ground defense became a pivotal role in his win, with him being taken to the ground early in the first round and having to defend off many submission attempts from his opponent Patchy Mix. Though once he was able to get back to his feet it was obvious that he was in control of the fight with his superior boxing. 

Archuletta commented about the difference between wrestling in a regular match and a fight, saying, “it’s different because in a fight you’re getting punched, you can’t just shoot in when you’re tired”. He cited differences in the amount of things to worry about stating “there are a lot more things to worry about when you’re fighting because it’s not only about wrestling”.

Archuletta has helped the Bosco wrestling team in the past after meeting coach Ruben and was offered to come out and help train the boys. He has been helping them ever since. The wrestlers certainly like it and they can feel the difference between wrestling just another wrestler and a professional fighter.

“It’s just a different feel, his pace is hard to keep up with since his conditioning is better than anyone in the rooms,” said Oscar Aranda, a varsity wrestler on the St. John Bosco team.

One thing that Oscar said took him by surprise was how level headed and nice Archuletta was. He commented that he was very approachable and if you had a question he was happy to answer it.

Archuletta said that his experience training with the wrestlers was great for him and it helped him work on some of his fundamentals. 

“Those guys are some of the best in the country and not just random wrestlers” said Archuletta. 

He also commented that both wrestlers and anyone pursuing a career in MMA should “stick to your game plan and do what you think is best for yourself, don’t worry about what all these other guys are doing and focus on yourself”. Archuletta also talked about how wrestling is the base of mma and it is hard to compete at a high level if you don’t have the skillset that wrestlers possess.

Archuletta stated that wrestling helped him build character and that it is a great sport to get into, not just for the wrestling experience and background but because of the life lessons you will get from it. The earlier you get into wrestling the better it will help you throughout life is what Archuletta continues to preach each day.

A+E: Broadway Not Set To Open Until 2021, What Theatre Companies Are Doing To Attract An Audience

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause the country to be in a state of uncertainty, the main center for theatre around the world is not set to open until the Summer of 2021.

Broadway Will Remain Closed at Least Until June, and Probably Longer - The  New York Times

As many dates have been discussed about the future reopening of Broadway, the most proximate date would be somewhere between late-May and mid-June of 2021.

In recent data, according to Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin, 97,000 people rely on a recent reopening of Broadway for their livelihood. On top of that, Broadway is one of New York’s top tourist attractions, bringing in nearly $15 billion to the city’s economy, which has caused a great number of losses for the state.

As much of the country shut downed on March 12th, Broadway was no exception as that was the last night a show was able to be performed.

After the ongoing fight to keep Broadway alive, this pandemic is a crucial and determining factor for the future. As theatre becomes more and more elaborate, prices keep going up, making the artform harder to maintain accessible for everyone.

The pandemic extremely caused a lot of setbacks in theatres around the globe as well, with people hardly going to see shows before the pandemic, and now having funds on the line of bankruptcy for many companies.

Since the closing of Broadway back in March, at least ten shows have closed during the pandemic, leaving many on pending status for recent reopening.

Recently, a great amount of local theater companies have taken the initiative of producing shows via Zoom or other streaming platforms to give people a escape from reality, escaping the disasters of the world, as the artform has done in history.

Many states are even allowed to have shows in person, depending the number of cases and widespread measures in the state.

Perhaps the next big show will be televised or performed live in a streaming platform, taking Broadway from the big stages to a more economically beneficial platform. 

But even if that was the reality, many people would be left with no jobs in the big city of New York. The possibility for a soon competition in Broadway is still very unlikely as many theatergoers would not change the experience of traveling to New York and seeing a show live, with everything the experience has to offer.

As of right now, a soon reopening is far from becoming a reality, but many platforms can use that to their benefit to offer a quick fix to the problem.

Broadway as a whole cannot go away as many people, especially the state of New York, would not allow for a possibility to happen. Only taking measures to make everything better can allow for luck to change in theatres around the globe.

News/Op-Ed: Amy Coney Barrett Officially Confirmed, Sworn In As U.S. Supreme Court Justice

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

After the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18th, President Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett on September 26th to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court a mere thirty-five days before election day. On October 26th, Barrett was officially confirmed in a 52-48 vote by the Senate. 

Amy Coney Barrett (far left) completed her first of two swearing-in ceremonies at the White House Monday’s night after she was confirmed by the Senate, with Justice Clarence Thomas doing the honors alongside President Donald Trump.

In the immediate aftermath of Justice Ginsburg’s death, Democrats called for the Supreme Court seat to stay vacant until after the election was decided. The Democrats, as well as Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden, were sparked by Justice Ginsburg’s final statement on her deathbed, “My most fervent wish is that I not be replaced until a New President is installed.” 

After President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Democrats nationwide were outraged due to the proximity of the election, as well as the hypocrisy in which Senate Republicans acted once she was officially nominated to fill the vacancy. 

The outrage felt by Democrats was largely due to the fact that Republicans seemingly violated the precedent they established in 2016, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked hearings for then-President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than nine months before the end of President Obama’s term and the 2016 General Election. 

Furthermore, the official confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court means that President Trump and Senate Republicans have confirmed their third conservative justice in just four years, which has shifted the balance of the Supreme Court to the “right” for generations to come. Justice Barrett joins Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh as President Trump’s successful Supreme Court nominations.

A longstanding dispute has since arisen on whether Senate Republicans have politicized the federal courts and whether the Supreme Court should be politicized in the first place, as many Democrats fear that Justice Barrett will further advance President Trump’s agenda and work with her 5 Supreme Court Republican colleagues to declare the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – unconstitutional, a desire that the Trump Administration has long carried to follow through with. 

Furthermore, Democrats have become fearful that Justice Barrett would rule in favor of President Trump should a situation arise with the election results such as in the highly contested, notorious 2000 Election between George W. Bush (R-TX) and then Vice President Al Gore (D-TN), which came down to the Gore Campaign contesting results in Florida – which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bush by blocking a recount in Florida, giving Bush all electoral college votes from Florida, and thus the Presidency. 

In a situation that can very well happen given the uncertainty in 2020, Democrats fear Justice Barrett and her Republican Justice Colleagues would rule in favor of President Trump over former Vice President Biden should such a situation arise, thus securing the President’s reelection. 

Despite the opposition from House and Senate Democrats, as well as 2020 Democratic Nominee for President Joe Biden, the Senate Republicans, led by Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Majority Leader McConnell pressed forward with confirmation hearings and, of course, the official confirmation vote, which has come a mere eight days before the 2020 Presidential Election.

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett – and the 35 days between her nomination and the presidential election – has marked the shortest span of time between a nomination to the Supreme Court and a presidential election in the history of the United States. 

The seismic, unforeseen shift in the balance of the Supreme Court to the right – and the increased proliferation, polarization, and politicization of the federal courts – have cemented themselves as defining points of contention in the conservative legacies of President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

As expected, all Senate Democrats voted against the confirmation of Justice Barrett, with only one Republican Senator – Susan Collins of Maine – joining the Democrats in voting against Barrett’s confirmation to the highest court of the land. 

On the flip side of the hot button issue, longtime Senator, former Vice President, and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden has consistently maintained that he does not support “packing the court”, a solution offered by many Democrats to expanding the number of justices and filling those vacancies with liberal justices in order to combat the shift of balance in the court brought upon by President Trump and Leader McConnell. 

However, in a 60 Minutes interview with Norah O’Donnell, Vice President Biden did state that if he were elected President, he would formulate a bipartisan commission to analyze the federal court system and make recommendations to Biden on how to reform the courts as a direct alternative for the progressive calls to “expand the courts”, which also may very well be an attempt by Biden to depoliticize the federal courts. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing information, it is critical to understand the fact that no matter what happens one week from today in the presidential election, nobody can reverse a Supreme Court Confirmation and remove a Justice simply as a political “gotcha”. Justice Barrett is here – no matter what America may think of her – and is here to stay for the next few decades.

Despite opposition from Democrats and growing speculation that Justice Barrett will serve as a tool for President Trump’s agenda on health care and the revoking of rights of LGBTQ people and women, one thing is clear – the power of the U.S. Supreme Court has shifted dramatically for the next generation due to the efforts of President Trump and Leader McConnell, and it may stay that way until a vacancy needs to be filled, barring any unforeseen changes to the federal court system by a potential Biden/Harris Administration.

News/Op-Ed: Governor Gavin Newsom’s Plan For A Greener California

by Zach Gardiner

As California strikes to make powerful statements on climate change, Governor Newsom released a plan that could affect the future of the state.

Newsom orders California regulators to end sales of new gas-powered  passenger cars, trucks by 2035

When it comes to banning all gas powered cars by 2035, Governor Newsom has become a celebrity when talking on the subject. Regardless of his silence when discussing California’s serious problems of homelessness, environmental protection laws have covered a big focus of Newsom’s agenda. 

Newsom framed the plan as California’s answer to climate change and as an opportunity to benefit the state economically. 

“This is the next big global industry,” Governor Newsom said referring to clean-energy technology, “And California wants to dominate it”. 

Part of Newsom’s plan has set a goal for all heavy-duty trucks on the road in California to be net zero-emissions by 2045. He also plans to end all new permits for hydraulic fracturing by 2024, earning the criticism of oil and gas companies and their workers, who have called for an end to his plans as they threaten the stability of working people in the state. 

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, said she believed the Governor’s “ambitious” plan did not provide enough information about how the state would pay to build up infrastructure for electric vehicles, or how it would handle for how expensive gas would become for people who can’t afford to buy a new electric car. 

“I don’t see where A plus B equals C,” said Boyd.

Neither does the plan cover the transition for workers of the oil and gas production into green jobs, leading to her saying that there needs to be a serious conversation about relative pay. 

The Governor acknowledged that not everyone would embrace the 100% zero-emissions goal, but stated that nothing in his plan would prohibit Californians from owning gas-powered cars or buying or selling them.

“We’re not taking anything away,” Newsom said, “We’re providing an abundance of new choices and new technology, being agnostic about how we get to zero emissions, but being committed to getting to zero emissions by 2035.”

The Governor stated that the public’s action will help encourage greater innovation for clean energy vehicles by creating a broader market and will drive down the cost of those cars and trucks. More than 1.63 million new cars and trucks are expected to be sold in the state in 2020, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.

Newsom added that California is home to 34 manufacturers of electric vehicles, and that just under 50% of all the electric vehicle purchases in the country are in this state. Getting rid of manufacturing for gas-powered cars would ultimately help California’s economy and bring more jobs to California, contrary to belief.

Climate scientists and advocates say the world must stop the production of gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2030 in order to keep global warming at tolerable levels. California and other governments across the world are seeking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, most likely taking years for vehicles to turn over and be replaced by zero-emission models.

Sports: The Drought Is Over, Dodgers Capture Elusive 7th World Series Title With Game 6 Victory Over The Rays

by Eric Torres

A 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night saw the talented, fan favorite Los Angeles Dodgers end a 32-year World Series drought. 

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate on the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 to clinch the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

A fantastic effort from the Dodgers’ pitching staff led the way. Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw seemingly exorcised his postseason demons, allowing only three earned runs combined through two starts. He pitched 11.2 total innings, striking out 14. In addition, young phenom Walker Buehler, who was scheduled to start both games three and seven (if necessary), gave a quality start, allowing one earned run through six innings, and struck out 10.

Meanwhile, the Dodger bullpen anchored down these electric starts. In Games one, three, and five, the bullpen held onto leads without much trouble, only giving up three runs total. In game six, a scheduled bullpen game, seven different Dodger pitchers combined to allow only one run on four hits, and struck out 16, with Julio Urias slamming the door on any potential comeback. The only blemish on a wonderful bullpen performance was a disastrous game 4 ninth inning, where a fundamental error would lead to a blown save and a Rays win. 

To complement an electric pitching performance, the Dodgers’ dynamic offense, led by MVP Corey Seager and Mookie Betts, provided enough run support. Although the offense struggled at times, they always seemed to come up with clutch hits, scoring 18 runs throughout the series with two outs. Nine different Dodgers hit home runs in the series, with Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, and Corey Seager each homering twice. In a crucial turn of events in Game 6, the Dodgers jumped on a controversial decision by Rays manager Kevin Cash to pull ace Blake Snell, as Mookie Betts set up a momentum swinging inning with a double, leading to what would prove to be the game winning RBI from Corey Seager. 

Corey Seager, rightfully, was named the MVP for the Dodgers in the World Series. After a phenomenal postseason, he continued his hot streak into the World Series. In the World Series, Seager had a batting average of .400, and homered twice, in games two and four. Furthermore, Seager had four doubles, a stolen base, and reached base fifteen times. He scored seven runs and had five RBIs en route to earning World Series MVP. 

However, shortly before the end of the final game, controversy emerged. Before the 8th inning, Dodger third baseman Justin Turner was removed from the game due to a positive COVID-19 test. Although removed from the field, Turner returned to the field to celebrate with the team, and was even seen removing his mask to take pictures. However, the MLB released a statement condemning Turner, stating that Turner was initially placed in isolation following his removal from the game, but later chose to disregard protocols in order to return to celebrate with the team. The MLB has launched an investigation into the causes, and further tests for tracing, with more to come later in order to determine how COVID-19 entered the Dodgers’ soft bubble.

Although Tampa Bay came up just short, there are a lot of positives to take from the series, especially being the team with the third-lowest payroll. Randy Arozarena, a young star from Cuba, hit ten home runs throughout the postseason, the most ever in a single postseason. Furthermore, their ace, Blake Snell, pitched well in both games two and six. Although the bullpen didn’t fare as well in the World Series, the Rays got great production from them throughout the regular season and early postseason. The Tampa Bay Rays will look to be back in the World Series next season.

Life Of A Brave: Covid Strikes Again, College Scholarships Harder to Come By

by Aydn Morris

High school student athletes are now panicking as college scholarships won’t be any easy to come by this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic. 

St. John Bosco High School Athletic Director Monty McDermott, like many student-athletes and parents, is concerned about the matter. Around 500,000 students end up becoming a student athlete in college and from those 500,000 only 150,000 are under an athletic scholarship, according to Mr. McDermott. 

“Now it is even tougher to get a scholarship because the number of high school students are rising but the number of scholarships are decreasing,” said Mr. McDermott. 

Prior to the outbreak only 2% of student athletes were given a scholarship which resorted to only 15,000 students receiving one. It is no secret that it was already tremendously hard to get an athletic scholarship in general, and now it is going to reach a level of toughness we have never seen before.  

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has been trying to figure out a way to let as many high school students as possible play their respective sports. They came up with the idea of reducing the sports seasons by only having Winter and Spring seasons, which allowed the fall sports to practice and try out due to not being able to during the summer. 

Of course, as the virus has proven time and time again, it is unpredictable. If no change is made regarding positive cases, it won’t be surprising if there isn’t a season in general for many states around the nation this school year. 

Unfortunately, players who have played baseball and basketball during the same year will only be able to play one now due to both sports taking place during the same season. The “two season only rule” is hitting hard for multi-sport athletes, as their chance of getting an athletic option is greatly diminished because they won’t have a secondary sport option this year to solidify their case. 

CIF has also been trying to figure out how to get teams to practice in a safe way, and they came up with “day camp” protocols. The camp protocols for practicing include social distancing, not being allowed to practice indoors and only being allowed to share a ball with a few people. In addition, schools cannot do full practices, or do scrimmages against other schools, which is important to a team’s practice success. 

The state of California won’t be allowing fans, scouts or family members to watch games, which will only add burden to athletes wanting to get recruited. This can negatively affect the way a team plays and make some dreams a longshot for kids around the nation. 

They may start giving out less scholarships because senior students in college may be getting held back for their sport because of the redshirt rule. The redshirt rule is where senior students are allowed to stay another year in school to play their sport because their season may have been cut short. 

This is like a butterfly effect because seniors who are redshirted are taking up playing time and scholarship money from freshman and sophomore players and potential incoming recruits, respectively. This can also lead them into not wanting to give a lot of scholarships or not giving any full-ride scholarships because they can’t afford to pay for a freshman to play for minimal or no playing time. This is mostly involved with schools that don’t get a lot of players that go into the professional drafts. 

Truly the impossible is possible if the desire and commitment is there and high school seniors should not see this as an excuse to not give it their all for the remainder of the school year. 

“Stay positive to our circumstances, and especially keep their grades up,” Mr. McDermott said, as he hopes parents will be supportive for their kids during a year that has not gone anyone’s way. 

News/Op-Ed: Disneyland’s Reopening Hopes Swiftly Shut Down As California Governor Gavin Newsom Tightens Restrictions

by Aeden Alexander

Disneyland Park in Anaheim is struggling to reopen their doors due to the most recent Covid-19 requirements, or restrictions, released by the State of California. This marks only the third time in Disneyland history that the theme park has been closed.

In March of this year, Disneyland closed their doors “Out of Abundant Precaution” due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic.  Disneyland Parks in Anaheim, Disney World in Florida and Disney Paris were among the first Disney parks to close its doors. Following suit due to rising infection rates, the remaining parks and resorts throughout the entire world also closed their doors. 

Fast forward to 7 months later, all other Disney Theme parks and resorts in the entire world have managed to reach their state, county, or country’s mandated requirements to safely open and get back to business. The one outlier, though, is Disneyland in Anaheim due to California’s struggles to contain the virus. 

During a recent press conference, Governor Newsom discussed the reopening requirements. While the California government is working with the theme parks operations team, there is “ No Hurry in putting out guidelines” regarding theme parks until public health goals are met. However, Disney Resorts President Ken Potrock isn’t having any part of it, stating that the new guidelines are “Unfair” and “Unworkable”. The Mayor of Anaheim has also joined in with his opinion stating that “These guidelines fail working families and small businesses. As painful as this is, Disney and the City of Anaheim will survive. But too many Anaheim hotels, stores and restaurants will not survive another year of this”.

Chairman of Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro recently announced that 28,000 employees from the Parks in Anaheim and Florida and other Disney segments “at all levels” will be laid off. This is due to the long duration of Covid-19 with the limited capacity restrictions and social distancing required to reopen. D’Amaro also stated that this layoff for the Anaheim location is also “ Exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen”. 

The current requirements to reopen for Orange County, where the theme park is located, must reach the highest of four tiers and must also limit guest capacity to 25% allowed in the park at any given time once the park reopens.

The status to reopen Disneyland is still in limbo. President Ken Potrock stated that “These state guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California Communities”.  

As park goers, employees and business owners wait around for the state and theme parks to somehow work out a fair and safe agreement, the Happiest Place on Earth sits uncomfortably dark thinking only “Happy Thoughts” and crossing their fingers that someday soon Mickey and his gang will welcome them back with open arms to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Around Bosco: Fate of a Future Reopening? Short-Term Signs Leave Bosco in the Air of COVID-19

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

During recent months, several plans for a future reopening of the school have been thwarted by health guidelines keeping Los Angeles County in the state’s “purple tier,” as St. John Bosco High School waits to open its doors for in-person learning.

As cases in LA County remain high, the chance for the school to reopen in the near future gets further and further delayed. But that hasn’t been all negative, as it’s given Bosco time to prepare and create a safe environment.

“I think that COVID is something that could help us prepare for any type of challenge that comes in the future,” said Bosco CEO and President Dr. Brian Wickstrom. “We have implemented bipolar ionization, which actually helps viruses and bacteria in the air, which I think it’s a big positive in all student areas: classrooms, hallways, gathering spots. So I think our school is more prepared than most with all our agile space [on campus] for lunch and student gatherings.”

Dr. Wickstrom is one of the latest additions to the St. John Bosco community as the President and CEO of the school, and he and everyone inside the administration team and faculty have been working hard to make the overall experience during the pandemic better for all stakeholders and to ensure that we are prepared when we’re cleared to return. But in order to understand what the future of the school will look like, several factors, such as the tier system, need to be understood.

“We have been following the minimal requirements for a safe opening and more, but we are at the mercy of LA County Health. We need to pay attention to the tier system. We are currently at the purple stage,” said Vice Principal of Student Affairs Mr. Adan Jaramillo.

This means we can’t reopen. As the county stays in the purple tier, the only hope for a future reopening to occur is to hope for people’s cooperation with public health guidelines to reduce the risk of continued widespread cases, especially with flu season approaching and the holidays.

“Especially for [students] who live in multigenerational families, it is very important to take precautions and follow measurements when they are in school. When someone leaves Bosco, we don’t know what [their] practices are. Therefore, it is important for people to follow instructions – wear masks, stay six feet apart and take everything around us into consideration to take care of everyone,” said science teacher Ms. Allegra Weinstein, who has a master’s degree in Public Health.

For both students and teachers, challenges have come with a delay in reopening, as the school community continues to adapt to fast-paced online learning in the quarter system – a system which was developed in large part to reduce class sizes ahead of reopening in-person school. 

“Online learning has been very difficult with the quarter system. Trying to obtain the knowledge of a whole semester in a few weeks is very intense,” said senior Max Fernandez. “However, I feel that the school is trying their best in reaching out to families and allowing for the best method possible in these circumstances.”

The new system for remote learning also has affected the teaching styles, as teachers have had to adapt old lessons to new circumstances.

“The dynamics change [in online learning] as teachers,”  said Mr. Robert Linares, head of the Biomedical Pathway. “The relationship you have with students is less distracting when you’re face-to-face, which leads to more effective learning, I assume.”

Even despite challenges, the administration, faculty and students work hard every day to make sure that when all is done, actions prevail over promises. With hopes up and as teachers, staff and students miss the opportunity of seeing each other physically, a spirit of thankfulness is necessary to keep everyone’s morale high. Don’t give in to “COVID-19 fatigue.” The more diligent all our communities are outside of school, the sooner we all will be able to return inside of school.

News/Op-Ed: The Problem With Legal Fairness, And How To Depoliticize the Federal Courts

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

As tensions keep rising inside the government due to the nomination for the vacancy in the Supreme Court, the question of loyalty versus honest service alarms the American people.

“He [the president] shall have Power… [to] appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States.” US Constitution Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

Included as one of the presidential powers, the appointment of a nominee for the Supreme Court is heavily discussed, as Presidents will most likely favor members of their political party.

It is no surprise really that President Trump would do the same, as a Supreme Court position is vacant after the death of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

In historic events, the second President of the United States, John Adams, appointed 42 judges to both circuit courts and the Supreme Court on his last day as president in what is referred to as the “midnight judges”, in order to keep his political party’s interests dominant for a while.

The job of a Supreme Court Justice is essential for the American government, as they hold great authority over the law and order in the country, having the power of judicial review, where they can literally change or add a change to the Constitution, creating a whole new system.

But, what is the problem when parties take over the system to look over their interest instead of the people’s interest? Is judicial review too much power for a person to have, and should the people elect Supreme Court Justices, instead of the president having the full power to appoint someone from within party lines?

Well, while many theories can be created on whether the system is rigged, or possible changes to the system, the problem is obvious, as it is one that has granted presidents to keep their power going even after they leave office through the Supreme Court Justices they nominated to stay politically loyal. 

The nine Justices that serve on the highest court are all selected at one point in a presidency, by whoever is President when a vacancy needs to be filled, whether it is a conservative or liberal president. They decide on cases based on the ideologies of their parties and try to support their claims by deeming something constitutional or unconstitutional as their power allows them to. 

Now, if taken into consideration that human rights and the well-being of a state has nothing to do with power and political loyalty, why is this still a big part of the US system?

The short answer would be power, money, and hierarchies, but the answer as a whole is way more complex and has to do with history and the foundations that lay out the powers of government, the Constitution.

In a heavily politicized world from the beginning, the Constitution was created to settle the responsibilities of the government, and what is deemed legally right, and what is not. 

Whether they were based on principles of truth or not, the United States was divided between federalists and anti-federalists, which influenced the decision making into what the constitution was and how everything was modeled after.

Now, to discuss what could have happened in history is not the point, but rather how society can move on from the past and look into the future.

In a system where the courts decide on the future of a nation, politics has nothing to do with the decision-making process.

Looking for loyalties in order to keep a job defeats the purpose of Democracy, of a Republic and a legitimate state.

Nominees for the Supreme Court and any other high circuit courts in the nation should be nonpartisan and defend the constitution and the right of the people, and whatever that means for everyone is up to interpretation – but they should not show allegiance to a particular party. 

Whether more justices from a nonpartisan perspective are added, or all nine justices are remodeled to defend the law without any worries of political strategy, the system needs to be changed, and if it doesn’t change, peace around the country is only a utopian dream rather than a reality.

Cases such as Roe v. Wade show that it is possible to break party lines when deciding cases, as the majority of the Court was conservative, yet they decided to put those values aside and interpret their best version of law without putting party loyalties before the country. 

Rights are established, they are not controlled by a single party or the mentality of a single person, rather by what neutral law explains, which is that the sense of freedom and what is needed for life to be enjoyable are the qualities a government offers to the people but never controls.

Even as nominees can now serve as a way to entertain the people on whether the candidate answers something wrong, and then people mock them, it is really a decision of life and death. If the nominee does not serve for the country over their party, it can move a regime from democracy to authoritarianism in a manner that is technically considered legal under the Constitution. 

George Washington, the first President of the United States, advised the people to not make these mistakes in his farewell address by saying that political factions can only be effective when destroying the integrity and unity of the nation, while preventing the branches of government from working to help the people.

It is not a matter of left or right, blue or red, or right versus wrong; it is about country, the United States, and the powers of the Supreme Court are greatly influential in the system of the creating order, which may spur political parties to work hard and prevent success from happening in this vast nation. 

News/Op-Ed: President Trump And Former V.P. Biden Spar In Newly Formatted, But More Conventional, Debate

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

On Thursday night, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden clashed in the first debate since September 29th and the President’s COVID-19 diagnosis, with new regulations set by the Debate Commission in order to prevent the difficult conundrum and vitriol faced in the first debate. 

US President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden clash during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Since the first presidential debate on September 29th in Cleveland, Ohio, the campaigns of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have embarked on two completely different paths as the country nears Election Day. Just two days after the first presidential debate, on October 1st, President Trump, his wife Melania, and youngest son Barron all tested positive for COVID-19. After roughly two weeks of recovery and a controversial stay at Walter Reed National Medical Center, the President has gone back to holding campaign events and downplaying the virus in order to maintain a stranglehold on his base of support. 

On the flip side, former Vice President Joe Biden has continuously tested negative for COVID-19, while exhibiting extreme caution and hosting either socially distanced or virtual campaign events as he holds on to a national lead in the polls and in various battleground states. 

While the campaigns of both candidates have continued to operate in their usual different ways, both President Trump and former Vice President Biden have taken outside hits with alleged corruption scandals. On the Democratic side, Vice President Biden has faced a myriad of criticism from the President and the GOP after reports that his son, Hunter Biden, received $3.5 Million dollars from Russian and Ukranian shady business deals, which Vice President Biden allegedly knew about, though reports are conflicting, with former intelligence officials believing the scandal – first reported by the New York Post – to be Russian disinformation.

Meanwhile, President Trump has had his fair share of corruption accusations and scandals levied against him in the past few weeks. Recently, a report from the New York Times revealed that the President had a Chinese bank account, which resulted in the President paying almost $200,000 in taxes to the Chinese government. Furthermore, Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City and a member of President Trump’s legal team, has been mired in controversy after he was egregiously caught making a seemingly obscene advance toward a woman in a scene from the mockumentary comedy film “Borat 2”, as well as delving heavily into the investigation of Hunter Biden’s purported Ukranian corruption.

On Thursday, October 22 at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, the collected and settled Biden and the unpredictable, unorthodox Trump sparred once again in a much more controlled debate due to changes made by the Debate Commission three days before the debate. The Debate Commission, after the chaotic first debate, ruled that the two candidates would have their mics muted while the other candidate delivered their two minute opening remarks to each one of the questions from the six debate topics, as well as any interruptions made by either candidate counting against their allotted speaking times. 

In the actual debate itself, the American people received what they didn’t in the first debate – a decent and controlled debate in which both candidates were able to debate policy and visions without hapless, cynical remarks and interruptions. The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC, did a fantastic job handling the two personalities and ensuring each candidate was able to speak in their allotted times. 

In turn, the mere atmosphere of the debate for every American viewing at home was much less polarizing and contentious, and most certainly less of an anomaly than what Americans saw unfold last month in the first debate.

In every facet, the debate commissions rule changes, as well as moderator Kristen Welker’s conviction to uphold those rules, revitalized, even if in a very small way, the integrity of the debates, and allowed the American people to sit back, relax, and listen to the two candidates debate policy rather than deliver ineffective, mudslinging one-liners. 

The egregious debacle faced by Moderator Chris Wallace in the first debate was quelled by the compliance of the two candidates, the commission’s formatting changes, and Welker’s upholding of the integrity of the event. 

While critics may contend that the debate commission needing to make such changes is reflective of how traditional debate etiquette has gone awry, it may be a format the commission may continue to employ in future years to limit on-stage mudslinging, which may galvanize candidates into debating policy rather than engage in political food fights.

Most notably, President Trump appeared much more controlled and reserved than he was in the first debate, while former Vice President Joe Biden once again cleared the very low bar set on him by the President and right-wing media outlets by speaking directly to the American people and discussing his policies in detail. 

Despite the foregoing compliments on both candidates, it is imperative to understand that while the debate was controlled, it did not come without intensity and mudslinging. At the very beginning of the debate, when moderator Kristen Welker asked the candidates about COVID-19, President Trump instead touted the economy while also promising a vaccine to be distributed by the military “within weeks” while also saying that the virus is “going away”, to which the former Vice President responded by saying that the President does not hold himself accountable, nor does he have an adequate plan to reopen the economy, combat the virus, and put America back on track. 

Much like the first debate, there was a clear difference in rhetoric between the two candidates, with President Trump blaming Democrat Governors and “blue states” such as New York for their “failures” in controlling the virus, while the former Vice President said that he does not see the states as “red” or “blue”, but as simply the United States of America. 

Then, when it came to talks of foreign policy and protecting the elections from foreign interference, the mudslinging truly began, even if in a much more controlled manner than in the first debate. 

The former Vice President stated that if he were President, Russia and Iran would pay the price for interfering with American sovereignty and meddling with elections, while calling out President Trump for his ineptitude in responding to Russia and Vladimir Putin’s interference in the 2016 election. In response, President Trump erroneously claimed that Russia and Iran did not want him to win reelection, basically hinting at the fact that if the election results were meddled with, it would be skewed in favor of Vice President Biden, not him.

Furthermore, President Trump levied an attack on the former Vice President as well as his son, Hunter Biden, on the aforementioned purported claims that the former Vice President used his position of power in order to benefit his son and the rest of the Biden family, receiving millions of dollars from Russia for shady business deals. 

One of the highlights of the night came when President Trump was talking about his great relationship with the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un and touting his foreign policy handlings because there “is no war” and there hasn’t been any nuclear tests, to which Vice President Biden responded, “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded the rest of Europe.”

The difference in vision was evident, with the President once again promising a health care plan that has seemingly gone astray throughout the President’s first term, while attacking Obamacare and saying that the former Vice President is turning to “socialized medicine.”

Nearing the end of the debate, President Trump slightly loses his cool, bringing up New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for their Environmental and Health Care plans, to which the former Vice President responded that the President is running against him, not them. 

The final question of the debate from Kristen Welker asked both candidates what they’d say to Americans who didn’t vote for them on Inauguration Day in January, and both candidates answered in a way that has reflected the way each has campaigned in 2020 and have spoken to the American people rhetorically throughout their political careers.

Vice President Biden responded by saying he would be sure to highlight that he is an American President and will represent all Americans in every state, while being a President who unifies by choosing hope over fear and science over fiction. President Trump responded by saying that success would bring people together, but still did not provide words of unity, continuing the divisive rhetoric he has relied on throughout his Presidency and campaign.

The presidential debate cycles are over – if there is anything to take from them, it’s that both candidates were galvanized to speak policy when it mattered most, engendering them to make a last push for the votes of the American people and secure the Presidency. 

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