On this episode of River to River, political scientists Sara Mitchell of the University of Iowa and Evan Renfro of the University of Northern Iowa join host Ben Kieffer for a look at top political headlines from the week.
Here are some of the headlines discussed during the podcast.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Iowa on Tuesday, offering comment on President Trump’s latest executive order, which was issued in response to growing national outcry over police brutality. “Like every American we cherish our First Amendment,” Pence said, speaking from Forest City. “We respect the concerns of peaceful protesters and we're going to listen, we're going to listen and we're going to lead, but we're not going to defund the police.”
Four years after Republican Donald Trump decisively won Iowa and the presidency, the state appears to be a toss-up as he seeks re-election this November, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.
President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against nonwhites. In a Rose Garden ceremony, which at times sounded like a campaign speech, Trump largely defended police officers, saying Americans "demand law and order. They may not say it, they may not be talking about it," he said, "but that's what they want."
In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The ruling was 6-3, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first appointee to the court, writing the majority opinion. The opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices.
Gov. Kim Reynolds will issue an executive order that automatically restores felon voting rights before the November election.
“We’re working on that right now, sitting down with various groups, listening to what they think is important what is contained in that executive order,” Reynolds said Tuesday in Osage, “and then I’ve got my legal team working on it.”
The former vice president had struggled with fund-raising throughout much of the primary campaign, but the pace of giving has sharply increased.