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The Graphic Truth: SCOTUS vacancies in presidential election years

When US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 — 269 days before the US election — Senate Republicans blocked then-President Obama from filling the vacancy, arguing that — ostensibly to respect the wishes of the voting public — the Supreme Court seat should be filled only after the the next US president was elected some nine months later. That precedent is now at the heart of the debate over whether the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday just 46 days before Americans head to the polls, should be filled immediately — or whether the process should be put on hold until the dust settles from the upcoming presidential election on November 3. President Trump has already pledged to nominate her replacement, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (who stalled the process in 2016) says he will put the nomination to a vote. It's an argument of power vs precedent. But what has happened in the past when Supreme Court seats have opened up in election years? We take a look at the ten vacancies that occurred closest to the vote in past years.

“A referendum for the whole world”: Global voices on the US election

In a few weeks, voters in the United States will go to the polls in an election that could reshape American life for years to come.

But in the stark choice between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Americans will also be choosing the person who will oversee the world's biggest economy, command its most powerful military, and govern a country that still has unparalleled global reach in commerce and culture.

In short, the impact of the election result will reverberate far beyond American shores.

In August, GZERO writers asked local journalists and commentators in 24 countries how the US election drama is playing out where they live, how the most unconventional presidency in modern American history has affected their countries, and what they expect to come next.

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The Graphic Truth: Third-party US presidential bids

John Adams, the second president of the United States, warned that the domination of the political system by two parties would inevitably become a "great political evil." Looking at the hyper-partisan state of US politics in 2020, it appears that Adams was onto something. Since the mid-1800s, the executive and legislative branches have been dominated by the Republican and Democratic parties. While historically presidential hopefuls outside the mainstream — commonly known as third-party candidates — have failed to make a dent in the two-party system's lock on power, at times they have garnered enough support to significantly impact the way that votes are distributed, thus influencing the outcome. Here's a look at how third-party candidates have performed in US presidential elections since 1992.

Why a disputed US election in 2020 would be so much worse than in 2000

The 2020 US presidential election is shaping up to be the most contentious in decades. But it might also produce the most bitterly contested result in American history.

Democrats are worried about Republican-orchestrated voter suppression and the post office's capacity to deliver an expected surge of ballots by mail before election day (November 3). President Trump, meanwhile, has cast doubt on some forms of mail-in voting himself and said that foul play is the only reason he'd lose. Add concerns about foreign meddling and there will be lots of grounds for both candidates – and their supporters – to contest an unwelcome result.

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The Graphic Truth: Racial diversity in US professional sports

In an unprecedented step to protest racial injustice, several US professional sports teams last week staged a walkout after the shooting of an unarmed Black man by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The boycott was initially led by the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association, a league where three-quarters of players are Black. But Bucks were soon followed by other teams and sports — including several from Major League Baseball, where whites make up nearly two thirds of players. As professional athletes take bolder stands on the contentious conversation about race relations in the run-up to the November presidential election, we took a look at the racial breakdown of the players in five major US professional sports competitions.

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