1. The Trump administration appealed the transgender people military ban case to the Supreme Court last month after the case appeared locked in lower district courts, many of which refused to uphold the ban. The Supreme Court just handed down its decision. What is the Supreme Court ruling?
a. The ban on transgender people from serving in the military is now official and can be enforced
b. The ban on transgender people from serving in the military is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced
c. The ban can be enforced for now, but the Supreme Court will hear the case in full and make a decision at a later date
d. The ban cannot be enforced for now, but the Supreme Court will hear the case in full and make a decision at a later date
2. Which Democratic candidate officially announced his or her 2020 presidential campaign on MLK Day?
a. Former Vice President Joe Biden
b. California Senator Kamala Harris
c. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders
3. Also on MLK Day, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made what assertion regarding Michael Cohen’s false testimony about Trump’s plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign?
a. Giuliani said that Trump did not speak with Cohen before Cohen’s false testimonial to Congress but conceded that Trump’s legal team did speak with Cohen’s before speaking with the House and Senate intelligence committees in Sept. 2017
b. Giuliani said that Trump did not speak with Cohen before the false testimonial and denied any contact between the legal teams before Cohen spoke to Congress or the intelligence committees
c. Giuliani said that Trump or Trump’s legal team did directly speak with Cohen before he appeared before Congress
4. Which person considering a 2020 independent presidential bid recently got a response from the top Democratic senator in his or her home state, telling him or her to simply not do it?
a. Former pro wrestler and current actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
b. Attorney for Stormy Daniels Michael Avenatti
c. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
5. Oscar nominations became official the morning of Jan. 22. Two directors, considered by many to be locks, did not receive directing nominations. Who were they?
a. Spike Lee, for “BlacKkKlansman” and Adam McKay, for “Vice”
c. Bradley Cooper, for “A Star is Born” and Peter Farrelly, for “Green Book”
c. Alfonso Cuarón, for “Roma” and Ryan Coogler, for “Black Panther”
1. c. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the ban on transgender people serving in the military, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, the ruling, which was a ruling in response to the emergency appeals by the Trump administration, only lasts until the court hears the case in full. The court will likely continue to uphold the ban when the case reaches it, as it ruled in favor now. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan held the dissenting votes.
2. b. Harris officially announced her bid for the presidency on MLK Day, joining a list of Democrats looking to challenge Trump that includes Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Richard Ojeda and Andrew Yang. Additionally, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have both announced exploratory committees. According to the Los Angeles Times, in her announcement Harris promised to care about and fight for the American populace over self interests.
3. a. Giuliani said that members of Trump’s legal team, including ex-head counsel John Dowd, confirmed that Trump did not speak with Cohen about the testimonial prior to it, according to New York Daily News. However, Giuliani also said that the legal team did meet with Cohen’s, and possibly Cohen himself, before Cohen spoke in front of the intelligence committees in Sept. 2017. Giuliani further argued that any meeting would have been part of a joint defense agreement and that everyone involved believed Cohen was being truthful. Cohen has said that he lied to Congress out of loyalty to Trump.
4. c. After The Washington Post reported that Schultz was considering a 2020 presidential bid as a Democrat, Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington state’s Democratic Party released a statement saying “Just. Don’t,” according to The Seattle Times. Podlodowski echoed a fear many Democrats may have: that an independent run may split votes and allow a second Trump presidency, if he were to run again.
5. b. Cooper and Farrelly did not receive directing nominations though many considered the two to be locks for the category, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lee, McKay and Cuarón all did receive directing nominations. “Roma” also earned Netflix its first ever best picture nomination and received 10 nominations overall while “Black Panther,” with a best picture nomination itself, is the first comic-book adaptation to receive the nomination.