Richmond Politics 02/25/2022 | | richmond.com – Richmond.com

COMPILED BY ANDREW CAIN
February 25, 2022
Gov. Glenn Youngkin shakes a student’s hand Feb. 16 before signing a bill to remove mask mandates in Virginia’s public schools.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s effort to bar teaching of “inherently divisive concepts” in Virginia’s public schools has become a divisive concept in the General Assembly.
Mel Leonor reports that the Republican governor’s new education department has scrapped dozens of resources for schools aimed at promoting diversity and equity, calling them divisive and at times discriminatory.
The administration took aim at virtually every equity and diversity resource the Virginia Department of Education handed down to schools as part of its educational equity initiative, called “EdEquityVA.” That included an entire website dedicated to increasing cultural competency among Virginia teachers, and a suggested readings list that includes historian and MacArthur Fellow Ibram X. Kendi.
On Jan. 15, the day he took office, Youngkin signed an executive order that directed state education officials to audit initiatives and resources for signs of “inherently divisive concepts” and “Critical Race Theory,” an academic concept that conservatives broadly use to refer to the idea that racism is ongoing and systemic in the U.S.
In a memo accompanying her initial report to the governor, state schools Superintendent Jillian Balow describes affirmative action policies as discriminatory, suggests that historic discrimination in education may not be to blame for disparate outcomes among students of color, and rejects the idea that white people might unwittingly benefit from systemic racism and discrimination.
Youngkin praised Balow’s work as “the first step in improving Virginia’s education system, restoring high academic expectations, equipping our future generation to be career or college ready, and providing equal opportunities for all Virginia students.”
Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, accused Youngkin’s education department of “cruelly tearing away every attempt at promoting equity and healing division” and “instead replacing those initiatives with whitewashed history and fake news.” READ MORE
Kyiv: A battle is underway for control of Ukraine’s capital.
 
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson spoke Friday after President Joe Biden announced her as his nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring at the end of the term this summer.
Supreme Court: AP reports that President Joe Biden nominated federal appeals court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court, two years after he pledged to put the first Black woman on the high court. READ MORE
VDH: Mel Leonor reports that Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s new health commissioner sparred with the state’s top epidemiologists over COVID guidance. READ MORE
Masks: Eric Kolenich reports that most Richmond-area residents can stop wearing masks under new CDC guidance. READ MORE
Economic forms: Patrick Wilson reports that filings show the stock and business interests of key members of Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s team. READ MORE
Schapiro: Politics columnist Jeff Schapiro writes that two GOP state senators who backed a $70 million audit of a Virginia election that Joe Biden won by 10 points are running for Congress in “a MAGA state of mind.” READ MORE
HBCUs: Eric Kolenich reports that following bomb threats, Gov. Glenn Youngkin will ask for emergency funding for security at historically Black colleges and universities. READ MORE
 
Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would mean the U.S. Supreme Court retains parity, in one respect.
If Jackson succeeds Justice Stephen Breyer, it will mean that four of the court’s nine justices still have law degrees from Harvard – Jackson, Chief Justice John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Elena Kagan – and four from Yale Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett received her law degree from Notre Dame.
Harvard law (with 17 graduates) and Yale law (with nine graduates) have produced the most Supreme Court justices, followed by Columbia with four graduates.
Virginia law schools also have made supremely important contributions. (See trivia question below.)
President Woodrow Wilson nominated James McReynolds, a UVA law graduate who served on the Supreme Court from 1914 to 1941. 
Washington and Lee’s law school produced two justices. Joseph Rucker Lamar, nominated by President William Howard Taft, was a justice from 1911 to 1916.
Richmond’s Lewis F. Powell Jr., another Washington and Lee alum, was nominated by President Richard Nixon and served on the court from 1972 to 1987.  Powell was chairman of Richmond’s School Board before and after Brown v. Board of Education. In 1990 Powell made history one more time when he swore in Doug Wilder, the nation’s first elected Black governor.
William and Mary, where George Wythe was the nation’s first law professor, might have Virginia’s greatest legal claim to fame. It produced four future Supreme Court justices, including Richmond’s John Marshall.
Mila Demchyk Savage, right, talks about her home country, Ukraine, as her mother, Polina Demchyk, looks on Friday at their home in Powhatan.
• Lyndon German reports that a Ukrainian family in Powhatan is leaning on faith and each other as they watch Russia’s invasion from across the world. READ MORE
• Columnist Michael Paul Williams writes that democracy isn’t only under assault in Ukraine. He writes that “we need to stand our ground here.” READ MORE
• Michael Martz reports that a House panel again blocked localities from raising the sales tax on themselves for school construction. READ MORE
• Martz reports that the League of Women Voters is joining the NAACP and other groups in calling for House of Delegates elections this year. READ MORE
Not all of the disagreements are inside the state Capitol.
Who was the last Supreme Court justice who did not have a law degree?
 
“We have an obligation to tell the truth. If that is divisive then let it be because the truth shall set us free.”
– Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond
 
The last Supreme Court justice who did not have a law degree was Stanley Forman Reed, an FDR appointee who served as a justice from 1938 to 1957. Reed did not complete his law degree at the University of Virginia – but that doesn’t mean he was cavalier about the law.
Reed also studied law at Columbia University and at the Sorbonne in Paris.
 

Virginia Tech’s enrollment has grown 25% in the past decade. But Radford and Longwood have dropped more than 20%. 
It’s Facebook official: Mayor Levar Stoney, 40, is engaged to Brandy Washington.
Popular fast-casual burger chain Shake Shack is coming to the Richmond region.
Henrico County-based Acorn Sign Graphics Inc., makers of custom architectural signs that has landed twice on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’…
Public schools would get big boosts in the state budgets the General Assembly money committees approved on Sunday, from restoring state fundin…

The Richmond Police Department, working with multiple other law enforcement agencies, said Monday they stopped hundreds of motorists from participating in a roadshow of wheelies, burnouts, doughnuts and other illegal activities on public intersections late Saturday night.
CHARLOTTESVILLE
With a deadline looming for the Richmond School Board to pass an annual budget for next year, the governing body sent an ultimatum to Superint…
In a 4-minute, 41-second floor speech on Jan. 26, Del. Don Scott Jr., D-Portsmouth, apparently got Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s attention with four w…
Richmond Superintendent Jason Kamras will continue working with the School Board on tweaking his budget proposal for next year, he said Wednes…
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson spoke Friday after President Joe Biden announced her as his nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring at the end of the term this summer.
Mila Demchyk Savage, right, talks about her home country, Ukraine, as her mother, Polina Demchyk, looks on Friday at their home in Powhatan.
Not all of the disagreements are inside the state Capitol.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin shakes a student’s hand Feb. 16 before signing a bill to remove mask mandates in Virginia’s public schools.
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