Committee votes on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination
The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene Monday to vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court. Before the vote, each of the 11 Democrats and Republicans on the committee will have unlimited time to offer their recommendations. Although some Republicans have announced their plans to vote against her, Jackson is all but ensured to be confirmed as the first Black woman to serve on the high court. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced last week she would back Jackson, guaranteeing the nominee bipartisan support. And if the Senate chamber splits 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris would break the tie and provide Jackson with the deciding vote.
- New poll: Two-thirds of Americans back Jackson.
- ‘I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified’: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says he will vote for Jackson.
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March Madness finale: Kansas, North Carolina clash for hoops glory
And then there were two: Kansas and North Carolina will battle it out for the men’s college basketball national championship Monday night (9:20 p.m. ET, TBS). Saturday, the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks played the part as the favorite in dispatching Villanova, while the No. 8-seeded Tar Heels escaped with a thrilling win over rival Duke. The Blue Devils’ loss capped an emotional ending to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s storied career and a chance at winning a sixth title. Which team will come out on top tonight? USA TODAY’s Scott Gleeson looks at the keys to victory for each team.
- ‘I’ve seen enough’: Charles Barkley predicts Kansas will win title.
- Thank the transfers: NCAA rule change brought stars to Kansas, UNC.
Grammys: Jon Batiste wins album of the year, Silk Sonic takes record, song honors
The 2022 Grammy Awards show is in the books, and Jon Batiste ruled on a night that celebrated young hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo and embraced the funk of Silk Sonic. Batiste, who went into music’s biggest night with a leading 11 nominations, won album of the year – the top prize of the night – for “We Are” at Sunday’s 64th Grammy Awards. Silk Sonic, the super duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, took home record and song of the year for “Leave the Door Open” while Rodrigo was named best new artist. It was a night of many performances, by Justin Bieber, BTS and Lady Gaga, and also of important tributes. Billie Eilish wore a T-shirt honoring the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a prerecorded message at the Grammys paired with a rousing rendition of “Free” by John Legend. Zelenskyy urged artists to “fill the silence with your music.”
- The most memorable Grammy moments, from Gaga’s Tony Bennett tribute to Zelenskyy’s plea
- Brutally honest reviews of every Grammys performance, including BTS and Billie Eilish
- Grammy winners: Who won on music’s biggest night? See the full list.
Jury to deliberate in case of 4 men charged in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot
A prosecutor urged jurors Friday to convict four men in a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, saying they were anti-government extremists “filled with rage” and intent on touching off a civil war in the final weeks of the polarizing 2020 general election. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler summed up the evidence on the 15th day of trial, tracing the group’s secretly recorded words as well as testimony from agents, an extraordinary informant and two star witnesses who pleaded guilty. Defense attorneys, meanwhile, panned the government’s case: One said the men were turned into “terrorists” by rogue investigators, while another pleaded with jurors to put the brakes on the FBI. After listening to hours of closing arguments, the weary jury said its deliberations would start Monday. Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta – who were arrested in October 2020 – are charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Three of them also face charges related to weapons.
- Coverage from the Detroit Free Press: FBI agents made up Whitmer kidnap plot to ‘build their careers,’ defense tells the jury.
- Lawyer for Whitmer kidnap suspect Caserta: He was only a ‘keyboard warrior.’
- Rare move: Judge tells jury it can consider entrapment defense in Whitmer kidnap trial.
Jury gets case of 4 charged in Whitmer kidnap plot
Jurors have heard closing arguments and will begin deliberations Monday in the trial of four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (April 1)
Ken Burns explores the flawed-but-fascinating Benjamin Franklin on PBS
Filmmaker Ken Burns says each of his nearly 40 documentaries ponders the same deceptively simple question: “Who are we? Who are the strange and complicated people who like to call themselves Americans?” His latest effort to answer that question – the two-part “Benjamin Franklin” – premieres Monday and Tuesday on PBS (8 EDT/PDT; check local listings). Burns calls the Founding Father the “most compelling American character of the 18th century.” Franklin, he says, “is on the $100 bill because he’s about striving to lift yourself up. His story is so fundamentally American in lots of really good and really bad ways that it is, to me, irresistible.”
Contributing: The Associated Press