News Briefs: November 2018

Jonah Austin and Miles Gelatt


By Jonah Austin

Schrier wins House seat over Rossi in District 8 midterm elections

The result of the midterm elections places Kim Schrier (D) as the new representative for District 8 with 6.36 percent of the votes over Dino Rossi (R).

Shrier had previously acquired 18.7 percent of the vote in the primary election against Rossi at 43.1 percent. According to The New York Times, pediatrician Shrier entered the race because of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. From this, she emphasized health care in her campaign for the representative seat. Rossi, on the other hand, emphasized his ability to “[accomplish] bipartisan solutions” during his campaign, describing himself as a “fiscal conservative with a social conscience.”

Schrier’s election constitutes a portion of the tilt in power from red to blue by 27 seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans held control over the House from the start of 2012 and through 2018, making this past election the first time that Democrats have held control of the House in the last eight years. The Republicans gained two seats in the Senate.



By Miles Gelatt


Washington state Supreme Court rules death penalty unconstitutional

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 11 that capital punishment in the state is “unconstitutional”. The court said that the current system is “arbitrary and racially biased.”

This court order is just a continuation of the many issues concerning the death penalty in Washington state in the past few years. In 2014 Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill temporarily putting a halt to the process of the death penalty in the state. Washington has joined the nineteen other U.S. states and the District of Columbia which have also struck down the use of capital punishment citing that they are a form of cruel and unusual punishment, which would violate the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The court also ruled that those who are currently on death row will have their sentences altered to life imprisonment, but it is still unknown if whether or not this is the final ruling on the death penalty in Washington.  




By Miles Gelatt

Trump administration considers reversing transgender rights

According to an untitled draft memo written by a D.C. advocacy group on Oct. 21, the Trump administration is reportedly considering a massive roll back of transgender rights, many of which were passed during the Obama administration.

One of the topics included in the draft memo is the possibility of changing the definition of gender to “ a person’s status that as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”            

This is not the first time that the Trump administration has proposed pulling back transgender rights. In July of 2017, President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in “any capacity in the U.S. military. The administration has also starting rolling back other transgender rights from the Obama era as well, which could be met with civil rights lawsuits and further criticism if the administration moves forward.