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HC Wake-Up Call: Stanford Students Sue Amid Admissions Scam, Senate Votes to Block Emergency Declaration & House Votes to Make Mueller Report Public

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Stanford Students File Lawsuit Amid Admissions Scam

Two Stanford University students have filed a class-action lawsuit in a Northern California federal court Wednesday after prosecutors unveiled a massive college admissions scheme, arguing it may prompt future employers to wonder if they have “rich parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”

Students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods contend in the lawsuit that they followed the admissions rules when applying to the university, but were “never informed that the process of admission was an unfair, rigged process, in which rich parents could buy their way into the university through bribery,” ABC News reports.

The suit also names as defendants the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University, all of which had associated individuals implicated in the bribery case.

The lawsuit seeks class-action certification and demands the return of application fees, along with unspecified punitive damages.

According to The Huffington Post, both students allege that a Stanford degree is “now not worth as much as it was before, because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”

Olson, according to the lawsuit, wanted to attend Yale and had “stellar” standardized test scores and was a talented athlete and dancer as well. She paid the $80 application fee, but was ultimately rejected.

“Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school,” the lawsuit states. “She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process.”

Woods says she wanted to attend USC, and “was never informed that the process of admission at USC was an unfair, rigged process, in which parents could buy their way into the university through bribery and dishonest schemes.”

Stanford has said the lawsuit “is without merit,” ABC News reports.

“We take the issues raised through the events of this week very seriously. While we continue to closely examine our policies and processes to see if improvements should be made, we stand behind the integrity of our admissions process,” the university said in a statement.

Senate Votes to Block Trump’s Emergency Declaration

A dozen Republican senators joined Senate Democrats Thursday to rebuke the president’s national emergency declaration, rejecting his decision in a 59-41 vote.

A total of 12 Republicans voted along with all 47 Democrats in support of a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration. According to ABC News, voted to terminate the declaration last month.

But now this puts Trump in a position to use his first veto since entering office, which he is more than likely to do. After the vote took place, Trump made his intentions clear by posting a one-word tweet: “VETO!”

He then tweeted a subsequent message saying he looks “forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country,” adding that he would like to “thank all of the Strong Republicans” who voted to keep the national emergency declaration in effect.

Ahead of the vote Thursday, Trump reiterated his previous threat to veto the resolution.

“I don’t know what the vote will be. I’ll probably have to veto. It won’t be overturned and the legal scholars say it’s totally constitutional,” Trump said. “It is very important. It is a border security vote. It is pure and simple, a vote for border security.”

“If I do a veto, it’s not going to be overturned,” Trump added.

According to The Huffington Post, the White House and Senate Republicans tried to head off Thursday’s disapproval vote by drafting legislation that would alter the National Emergencies Act, in an effort to assuage senators that had issues with the president’s emergency declaration.

One of the proposals under consideration was from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), which was designed to give Congress more authority over the president’s emergency powers. Lee’s proposal would amend the law to say that a national emergency would automatically expire after 30 days if both chambers of Congress did not vote to approve it.

“It becomes a resolution of approval, not disapproval,” Lee told reporters Tuesday. But on Wednesday, Lee told reporters, “We tried to cut a deal, the president didn’t appear interested.”

In what appeared to be an effort to curtail the number of defectors, Trump tweeted ahead of the vote Thursday that he would support amending the law.

“Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress…If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!”

House Votes to Make Mueller Report Public

The House on Thursday voted unanimously on a resolution calling on the Justice Department to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation public and available to Congress. The Senate, however, blocked it.

The Democratic-backed resolution, which passed 420-0, comes as Mueller nears the end of his investigation.

The nonbinding resolution calls for the public release of any report Mueller provides to Attorney General William Barr, with the exception of classified material. It also calls for the full report to be released to Congress, The Associated Press reports. The resolution is predominantly an attempt into getting Barr to release as much information as possible when the probe is concluded, since, during his confirmation hearings, he did not commit to making Mueller’s findings public.

Democrats have said the only acceptable redactions for the report are grand jury material, classified information, and national security sources and methods.

“This resolution is critical because of the many questions and criticisms of the investigation raised by the president and his administration,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. “It is important that Congress stand up for the principle of full transparency.”

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said the vote on the resolution was unnecessary, but that he would support it anyway, adding he believes Barr will be “truthful to his word” in making as much of the report public as possible.

According to Politico, if a full report isn’t released, House Democrats have made it clear that they will do whatever is necessary to get their hands on the report. Nadler has threatened to issue a subpoena for the final report, and have even vowed to invite, or subpoena, Mueller to talk about the case.

What to look out for…

The new Avengers: Endgame trailer is here, and it features Captain Marvel!

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.