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- As populism rises, fragile democracies move to weaken their courts
It’s not even just the fact no American president has muzzled, jailed, or, in some cases, killed, real or perceived rivals, as have leaders of those and other authoritarian regimes. The fundamental dividing line, which is becoming increasingly stark worldwide, and spotlighted by the controversy around President Trump’s post-election shakeup of his Justice Department, is the existence of the rule of law, underpinned by an independent judiciary. Not just in the US, but other countries with judicial oversight, politicians have bristled not just at specific court challenges, but at the fact judges are in a position to make them in the first place.
- Vote counts: In Georgia, questions of fairness remain week after Election Day
A week after the 2018 mid-term elections, Democratic lawyers are searching for provisional ballots that may have been lost in the mail in Georgia’s Doherty County. On Election Day, Chatham County voters said they were told that they could not cast provisional ballots because there were none left.
- Vote counts: In Florida, recount fuels widening electoral distrust
There are 27,195 reasons why Republicans in Florida distrust Brenda Snipes. Broward County’s supervisor of elections has been at the center of a number of election controversies in her 15 years on the job. On election night, Gov. Rick Scott (R) appeared headed for victory in his bid to oust incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D).
- California’s fires as both tragedy and lesson
It also hints at the question of whether humans are disrupting that order – such as with climate change – even as they struggle to find a harmonious place in it. Ancient humans may have “discovered” fire. Compared with other states, California has done well in dealing with an increase in wildfires and in trying to find a balance between human structures and the grasslands, brush, and trees that are tinder for wildfires.