Supreme Court’s Student Debt Ruling Could Affect Millions of Swing-State Voters

Supreme Court’s Student Debt Ruling Could Affect Millions of Swing-State Voters

Dante Chinni for NBC News reports that the Supreme Court questioned the survival of the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan during oral arguments last week. The executive action could offer more than $400 billion in debt relief for more than tens of millions of people and was announced in August prior to the election with the intention of motivating young voters. In the month that the program was open before it was halted by the Supreme Court case, more than 26 million people from every state applied to be part of it or were told they qualified. Chinni highlights that the 2020 election between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump was decided by less than 4 points in eight states, and that seven of them had more than 400,000 student debt applications. PRRI research finds that people of color and young people are particularly concerned about affording their student loan payments.

What Ron DeSantis’ Budding Presidential Bid Could Mean for Florida Abortion Laws

Mel Leonor Barclay and Shefali Luthra for 19th News report that when Students for Life Action polled the crowd at its annual summit in January about their choice for president, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis beat out every other Republican in the presumptive 2024 presidential primary field. Lawmakers in Florida will begin their legislative session next week, and pro-life groups are pushing DeSantis to pass a 6-week abortion ban that would replace the current 15-week ban. “As he attracts the national spotlight with a book tour and speaking engagements across the country, DeSantis may use the power of his office to gratify Republicans’ evangelical base with an anti-abortion victory,” Barclay and Luthra write. Florida Democrats and pro-choice advocates acknowledge that they do not have the ability to block DeSantis from passing a tighter ban. PRRI research finds that only 7% of Americans and 14% of Republicans believe abortions should be illegal in all cases.

A Texas GOP Bill Wants to Stop Credit Card Companies From Processing Abortion Pill Payment

Tori Otten for The New Republic reports the latest attempt to curb abortion access in Texas is a bill that would ban credit card companies from processing transactions for abortion pills. Proposed by Representative Drew Springer, the bill would classify processing credit card transactions for “the provision of an abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery, or mail service” as a felony. The bill was not specific as to how the state would monitor credit card purchases for abortion pills, nor how civilians would know which card companies continue to process the transactions, Otten explains. According to the Guttmacher Institute, medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the United States. PRRI data show that eight in ten oppose laws that make it a felony crime to seek an abortion (17% favor vs. 80% oppose). The vast majority oppose laws that restrict what types of birth control can be used to prevent pregnancy (14% favor vs. 84% oppose).

Kung Fu Nuns of Nepal Smash Convention

Sameer Yasir for The New York Times reports on an 800-year-old Buddhist sect called Drukpa whose followers mix meditation with martial arts. One religious order is known as the Kung Fu nuns. Yasir writes that every day, the nuns swap their maroon robes for an umber brown uniform to practice Kung Fu as a part of their spiritual mission to achieve gender equality and physical fitness, also noting that their Buddhist beliefs call on them to lead an environmentally friendly life. Throughout history, women in the Himalayas who sought to practice as spiritual equals with male monks were stigmatized, both by religious leaders and broader social customs, Yasir writes. The Kung Fu nuns spearheaded this movement, led by Jigme Pema Wangchen, who “was willing to disrupt centuries of tradition and wanted nuns who would carry the sect’s religious message outside monastery walls.” Drukpa nuns take on a host of other issues, including walking and cycling thousands of miles to promote green transportation, pick up plastic litter, and educate people in rural parts of both Nepal and India about gender equality and the importance of girls.

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