Political Rewind: Kemp tackles school mask mandates; restrictions on abortions pills; Sunday voting
Adam Van Brimmer — Editorial page editor, Savannah Morning News
Chuck Williams — Reporter, WRBL-TV Columbus
Kevin Riley — Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Maya Prabhu — Statehouse reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. Gov. Brian Kemp: Let parents opt students out of masks.
- The governor says he will propose a measure allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates.
- Most Georgia school districts do not have mask mandates outside of the Atlanta metro area.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that school districts in the Atlanta area have seen a 50% drop in cases.
- Several states including New York, California, and Illinois are dropping or loosening mask restrictions.
- But Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is still standing by mask in schools.
2. Bill to ban the mailing of abortion pills moves forward in Ga. General Assembly.
- SB 436 passed committee with a 7-5 vote along party lines.
- The bill would require pregnant women to see a doctor in person before being able to obtain mifepristone, the abortion pill.
- That doctor would also have to perform an ultrasound.
3. Push for rural Sunday voting begins with launch of "Patriotic Souls to the Polls."
- The effort was launched by three Republican legislators at the capitol on Tuesday: State Rep. Matt Dubnik, Rep. Wes Cantrell and Rep. Todd Jones.
- Two conservative groups, Georgia Capitol by Look Ahead America and Turning Point Faith, also back the legislation.
- Georgia’s voting law, Senate Bill 202, kept Sundays as optional voting days during three weeks of early voting.
4. Court backlog puts strains on families across Georgia.
- Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice David Nahmias used his first state of the judiciary speech to describe the long backlogs of cases in courts across the state.
- One example he highlighted was the Southwestern Judicial Circuit, which covers six counties. In 2019, it had 377 open felony cases; it now has more than 900.
5. Deborah Lipstadt’s nomination to lead the Biden admin's effort to confront antisemitism has been held up in the U.S. Senate for months.
- Lipstadt, an Emory professor, was nominated last July.
- She faced scrutiny from Republicans for her past public criticism of what she identified as dangerous rhetoric from conservatives.
- Lipstadt has called out several lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Johnson who serves on the panel in charge of her nomination.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
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