The year 2020 has had its fair share of major historical events, including the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the pandemic that made the United States the most affected country, the Black Lives Matter protest and the related political battles. in the Supreme Court and in the elections.
1. The impeachment trial of Donald Trump
2020 will have been a lively year full of political twists and turns, starting on January 16 with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Senate, a month after his indictment by the House of Representatives, where the Democratic Party holds the majority , for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a Ukraine-related matter.
The Senate, controlled by the Republicans, acquitted him.
The impeachment process can be seen as somewhat analogous to criminal proceedings. The Chamber, like a grand jury, collects evidence, hears testimony, and drafts articles of impeachment against the president. After the House, which voted to impeach the president on December 18, 2019, the Senate held a trial where both sides presented their cases to senators acting as jurors. All under the watchful eye of the Chief of the Supreme Court, John Roberts.
Donald Trump is the third president in United States history to face an impeachment trial, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999.
2. Soaring pandemic
The United States quickly became the country most affected by the coronavirus, despite the many measures taken by each state to try to contain the pandemic. The first case of Covid 19 was reported in Washington state on January 20: it involved a 30-something who was returning from China, where the epidemic began.
On March 13, Mr. Trump declared a national emergency, releasing $ 50 billion in relief funds. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants emergency authorization for a coronavirus test by Swiss manufacturer Roche. On March 18, the President signs the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and announces that he will invoke the Defense Production Act to improve America’s medical resources.
On March 26, the number of infections reached 82,000, beating the figures for China and Italy. On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend wearing the mask in public. On April 11, the United States becomes the country with the highest number of reported deaths, more than 20,000.
On October 1, with the presidential campaign in full swing, the President and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive and entered quarantine. On October 5, Trump returned to the White House after three days at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, where he received experimental treatments.
On November 18, the country exceeded 250,000 deaths and 12 million cases 3 days later.
3. The “Black Lives Matter” movement
The United States also distinguished itself in 2020 through the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of African-American George Floyd, asphyxiated by a police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, which triggered demonstrations against racism and police violence.
The protests quickly spread to several American cities. Some were staged for another black victim, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, shot dead by Louisville, Kentucky, police while on an arrest warrant in a narcotics investigation. The young woman was not a target of the investigation and no traces of drugs were found in her apartment.
More localized unrest has reappeared in some cities following incidents involving police officers, most notably after Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, which led to protests and riots in that Wisconsin city.
Arson, vandalism and looting caused an estimated $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion in damage in less than a fortnight, making this phase of the protests the highest-damage civil unrest in state history. -United.
At the end of June, at least 14,000 people were arrested during protests. Polls estimated that between 15 and 26 million people participated in the protests in the United States. These challenges have led to demands at the federal, state, and municipal levels to tackle police brutality, blunders and immunity.
The protests also led to a public campaign to remove monuments and memorials to the pro-slavery Southern rebellion, as well as other historical symbols deemed racist.
4. The Supreme Court without Ruth Bader Ginsburg
One of the highlights of the American news in 2020 was the death on September 18 of judge and women’s rights advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the age of 87, leaving a vacant seat on the Court. supreme. Several politicians, Democrats and Republicans, and leaders around the world, have paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pivot of the Supreme Court for 27 years.
A few days after his death, President Donald Trump declares that he will choose a woman to replace him. The announcement is causing a stir among Democrats who oppose the appointment of a judge appointed for life before the November 3 election. An argument put forward by Republicans in March 2016 when former President Barack Obama appointed judge Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February.
On September 26, Mr. Trump announced that he had chosen 48-year-old judge Amy Coney Barrett. On October 12, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins four days of hearings to determine Amy Coney Barrett’s suitability for a post on the Supreme Court. She unanimously votes on the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, as Democrats boycott the roll call. On October 26, the Senate, with a Republican majority, confirmed Amy Coney Barrett as a judge of the Supreme Court.
President Trump will, in four years, have appointed three judges deemed conservative to the temple of American law. During this period, he installed 216 judges in lower federal courts who also rule on the constitutionality of important laws before litigation reaches the Supreme Court. A politician’s initiative of good war knowing that the Democrat Jimmy Carter had appointed 262 in just four years, between 1976 and 1980.
The arrival of Judge Barrett strengthens the majority of judges considered conservative, the latter are now six against three considered progressive.
5. The Trump-Biden duel and the saga of protest
The year 2020 ends with the elections of November 3, an unparalleled ballot, which saw Joe Biden elected president, after a bitter pitched battle of long months between Republicans and Democrats, between pro-Trump and anti-Trump. A battle that intensified during the electoral campaign, in the form of inflammatory diatribes on both sides aimed at asserting his own camp, his own certainties and thus further mark the divisions in the country. This divide within the American population will be widely commented on and decried by the media, beyond the borders.
The 2020 presidential election unfolded like no other before, due to the pandemic, which will force states to offer the option of postal voting to all voters. Although already in effect for various ballots in most jurisdictions, this process will prove to be more complex than it appears in an electoral context where very tight scores are expected.
Americans will respond in large numbers to the postal and advance vote before the November 3 date. The election saw a record turnout not seen since 1900, when Republican William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan with a turnout of 73.7%. Since then, no presidential election has exceeded 65.7%.
The outgoing president has still not admitted defeat and has not congratulated his opponent as is customary. He continues to denounce electoral fraud, even though all the states and the federal capital, Washington, have certified their votes and confirmed the victory of Joe Biden with a majority of large voters, or 306 of the 538 in the country.
An America rich in emotions
The year 2020 in the United States ends with many uncertainties related in particular to the management of the pandemic and the outcome of the elections.
But all these events are auspicious because they retrace a society which asserts itself according to its antagonisms, its differences, its objections, among a thousand other disputes, but above all, an exclusive, singular entity, acting under the banner of United States, States whose strength lies in their own autonomy while remaining attached to a sacred union.
America is not in decline. Its strength lies in the inexhaustible will to always know how to get up in all circumstances. America has its history. She has always overcome difficulties, as she has just done during a year rich in challenges, rich in diversity, rich in emotion, without ever losing reason.