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Happy 🐪 day, OnPolitics readers!
Good news on the pandemic front: President Joe Biden announced the United States met early his goal of administering 200 million shots in his first 100 days. (ICYMI all adults ages 16 and older became eligible for vaccination in every state on Monday.)
Plus, the reactions to the Derek Chauvin trial continue to pour in.
It's Mabinty, with the day's top political news.
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The Chauvin trial is over but political reactions are just getting started
An exclusive USA TODAY/Ipsos snap poll found Americans overwhelmingly approved of the jury's guilty verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The survey found 71% of Americans agreed Chauvin was guilty. Democrats strongly concurred, at 85%, with Republicans at 55% and independents at 71% – “a rare moment of bipartisan consensus,” according to Ipsos’s Cliff Young.
From the White House: Biden called for a “moment of significant change” to fight systemic racism in policing Tuesday after Chauvin was found guilty.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department is launching a federal civil rights inquiry into Minneapolis police operations and its use of lethal force, a day after the trial concluded.
Let's talk about qualified immunity
All of this comes as civil rights leaders and progressive Democrats rapidly shifted from praising the guilty verdict this week to calling for systemic changes to law enforcement, reenergizing a debate over a controversial legal protection that has shielded police from liability.
The issue: Qualified immunity. The doctrine protects police and other government officials from civil liability when they do not violate “clearly established” law. The issue has snarled Washington's effort to respond to police misconduct.
The Supreme Court dodged addressing this last year, declining to hear a number of cases dealing with the doctrine. But, the court has more recently instructed the lower courts to reconsider claims of qualified immunity in a handful of cases.
What's Congress doing? They've stalled on legislation to unwind the protection for police. Republicans have proposed their own policing bill, authored by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., which Democrats say doesn't go far enough partly because it doesn't address qualified immunity. Meanwhile, a House-approved bill faces resistance from Senate Republicans. Biden encouraged Congress to act on the Democratic bill.
Still, lawmakers of both parties are optimistic they can reach a compromise to overhaul American policing standards.
Outside of the trial, here's what else is going on:
If it hasn't been said yet: You deserve joy in your life —Mabinty