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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Hawley criticized for heated questioning of Muslim American judicial nominee

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Monday, December 18, 2023   

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has drawn fire for his questioning of the first Muslim American judicial nominee.

Hawley, along with Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, posed what the Council on American Islamic Relations called "irrelevant" and "hostile" questions to the Democratic nominee about Israel, Palestinians and the Middle East.

Edward Mitchell, national deputy director of the council, denounced the three senators for their treatment of President Joe Biden's historic judicial nominee, Adeel Mangi, during his confirmation hearing.

"Singling out a Muslim judicial nominee and forcing him to answer 'gotcha questions' about the Middle East simply because of faith or because of his tangential connections to Muslims who comment on the Middle East is un-American and Islamophobic," Mitchell stated.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., presided at the hearing and said Republican senators have "reached a new low, hurling unfounded accusations of antisemitism at an historic Muslim American judicial nominee today." He read out a letter from The National Council of Jewish Women noting their endorsement of Mangi's nomination.

Hawley was the last of the three GOP senators to question Mangi and pressed him multiple times on whether he believed Israel is a colonial state, an occupying force in Palestinian territory. Mangi reiterated he is not an expert on the Middle East, and such policy questions weren't relevant to why he was there.

"Senator, I have no basis as a judicial nominee to cast a view on the Middle East," Mangi said.

The questioning became so hostile Durbin banged his gavel several times to tell Cruz to stop and to tell Hawley his time was up. Hawley said he asked the same question in four different ways and Mangi did not give a clear "yes" or "no" answer.


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