Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic U.S. Supreme Court nominee:
Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2021. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
President Joe Biden nominated federal appellate judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday to the Supreme Court. This fulfills President Biden’s two year old campaign promise to appoint a black woman to the court. The appointment will likely lead to a confirmation battle in the closely contested senate. If this happens, then Democrats can use the Vice President’s tie breaking vote to push through the nomination with zero Republican support. If she makes it through confirmation, then Jackson will join the Supreme Court as one of three liberal justices of the nine total. She served representing the district of Columbia on the US Court of Appeals. This nomination gives Biden an opportunity to shore up support ahead of midterm elections.
White House asks Congress for $6.4 billion for Ukraine crisis:
On Friday the White House asked Congress to approve $6.4 billion in aid addressing the humanitarian and security crisis in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. The request included $2.9 billion in security and humanitarian assistance and $3.5 billion for the Department of Defense. Congressional aides have said that Congress would consider the funding for the State Department and USAID to be an emergency bill. This money would also cover the implementation of sanctions punishing Russia for its invasion. The newly requested funds would augment the $650 million in security assistance and $52 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has already committed to Ukraine in the last year. In a depart from recent party divisions, both Republicans and Democrats have expressed strong support for increasing military and humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
Home prices skyrocketed last year. Two regions saw the biggest increases:
Home prices rose 18.8% in 2021, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index, the largest increase in 34 years of data and substantially higher than 2020's 10.4% gain. Price gains were seen in every region of the country but were strongest in the South and South East which were up over 25%, According to Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, home prices have been rising at high but decelerating rates over the past several months. The US National Index, which covers all nine U.S. Census divisions, showed home prices increase by 1.3% in December from November after seasonal adjustment. The strength of the market has in part been driven by Americans who decided to move during the pandemic. This high demand for homes led to the increase in prices, though rising mortgage rates could quench some of that demand. Mortgage rates began to abruptly climb in December and have since risen to nearly 4% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic US Supreme Court nominee | Reuters
White House asks Congress for $6.4 billion for Ukraine crisis | Reuters