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3 Stories You Should Read 10/09/2019: Rape Kits, Domestic Terrorism, Elizabeth Warren

3 Stories You Should Read 10/09/2019: Rape Kits, Domestic Terrorism, Elizabeth Warren
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In the category of:  The great political experiment

Warren Won’t Do Big Money Fundraisers In General Election

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate had previously said she would skip them only for the primary.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said in an interview posted Tuesday she will not hold big-money fundraisers at any point during her presidential run.

Warren had previously said her plan to bypass the standard grip-and-grin fundraisers with expensive tickets only applied to the primary. But in an interview with CBS News, Warren said she wouldn’t do high-dollar fundraisers during the general election if she wins the party’s nomination.

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In the category of:  The elephant in the room

White Domestic Terrorism as a National Security Threat Presents Challenges for 2020 Presidential Candidates

U.S. national security conversations have traditionally focused on perceived foreign threats, such as a nuclear-ready Iran or North Korea. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have resulted in discrimination against brown people of Middle Eastern descent with law enforcement subjecting them to intense—and often illegal—surveillance.

But recent mass shootings carried out by white supremacists against ethnic minorities and increases in hate crimes connected to President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric have pushed presidential candidates to reframe the narrative on what terrorism is. It also tasks them with explaining how they plan on keeping the country safe from domestic white supremacists who have wide-ranging access to assault weapons. Indeed, the uptick of hate crimes during the Trump administration has compelled the Department of Homeland Security to add white supremacy to its list of national security threats.

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In the category of:  Too little, too late

Women All Over the Country Are Suing Police for Failing to Test Their Rape Kits

But they faced a blow from the Supreme Court on Monday.

As awareness about untested rape kits has increased, questions about how to hold police departments accountable for failing sexual assault survivors have lingered. The wave of lawsuits filed in the last few years, mostly in federal court, are an attempt to force police departments to complete the investigative steps they should have been taking all along. They argue that local governments are violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by under-policing sexual assault, a crime that disproportionately affects women. In doing so, they apply old ideas about the meaning of “equal protection”—stemming from Reconstruction-era concerns about unpunished white violence against black citizens—to modern-day concerns about how the criminal justice system handles sexual violence, according to Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University. “The rape kit issue is really the most visible, most tangible, most easy-to-get-our-hands-around manifestation of a much deeper, more pervasive, more systemic issue,” Tuerkheimer says.

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