Sam Gringlas

Sam Gringlas is a producer for NPR's All Things Considered and is helping cover the 2020 election for the Washington Desk. He's produced and reported with NPR from all over the country, as well as China and the U.S.-Mexico border. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.

A day after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, chants of "Fill that seat! Fill that seat!" broke out during President Trump's campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday.

"That's what we're going to do. We're going to fill that seat!" Trump said, saying his supporters should print "Fill that seat!" on T-shirts.

The first Jewish woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died Friday night as millions of American Jews were getting ready to celebrate the first night of Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year.

Justice Stephen Breyer learned midway through the traditional Mourner's Kaddish that his colleague had died. When word of Ginsburg's death spread, many Jews were in services, praying from their homes as congregations broadcast over livestream.

President Trump says that he expects to announce a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death "next week" and that the pick will likely be a woman.

"A choice of a woman would certainly be appropriate," he told reporters at the White House on Saturday before leaving for a campaign rally in North Carolina.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When President Trump learned Friday night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, he told reporters she was an "amazing woman." Later, in an official statement, he called her a "titan of the law." And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a statement that he would bring a vote for a new justice to the floor, Trump did not weigh in.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down several voting-related decisions Thursday that are likely to help Democrats this fall.

The court extended the deadline for accepting mail ballots, will allow voters to submit their ballots through drop boxes, and removed the Green Party's candidate for president from the ballot.

The decisions come less than two months before Election Day and as a flurry of election-related lawsuits continue to pile up around the country.

Distributing a vaccine or vaccines for the coronavirus will be one of the biggest challenges the next president faces, Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday.

"The development of a vaccine is only part of the battle. Distributing a vaccine to the entire population is as complex and challenging as one of the most sensitive military operations," he said in prepared remarks in Wilmington, Del., after he received a briefing from a panel of vaccine experts.

People filed indoors for a massive gathering in violation of state guidance. There was no social distancing, and mask use was uneven.

President Trump's rally Sunday in Nevada underscored the differences in how he and Joe Biden are approaching campaigning in the presidential race's final weeks.

As Republican Sen. Rand Paul left the White House on Thursday night, he was surrounded by a group of protesters and was escorted by police to a nearby hotel.

Hours before the final night of the Republican National Convention, President Trump visited FEMA headquarters in Washington for a briefing on Tropical Storm Laura.

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Top White House officials are brushing off the significance of NBA protests this week over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

President Trump also weighed in, lamenting Thursday that the NBA has become "like a political organization," but saying he didn't know much about the protests.

"I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests," Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Vice President Pence used his convention speech on Wednesday to rail against his predecessor, Joe Biden, and the woman Pence will face on the debate stage this fall, Sen. Kamala Harris.

With Fort McHenry in Baltimore as his backdrop, Pence warned that a Biden administration would threaten American freedoms and crumble the nation's economy. In making that case, Pence deployed several inaccurate or questionable claims. Here are a few of them:

Abortion

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

Even before the Republican National Convention began, government ethics experts warned that hosting campaign events from the White House South Lawn and the Rose Garden could violate federal ethics law.

But in the convention's first two days, Trump has gone even further — wielding the powers of his office and the federal government to promote his reelection campaign.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Thousands of Democratic delegates were supposed to be in Milwaukee this week. Instead, like the rest of us, they're experiencing the convention virtually. NPR's Sam Gringlas had a window into what this week's been like for two Michigan delegates.

The second night of the Democratic National Convention began with a montage of young elected leaders — 17 of the party's "rising stars" delivering a joint keynote from across the country.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


As the coronavirus spread across the country in March, President Trump held a conference call with the nation's governors and reportedly told them they should try to find their own supplies of ventilators and respirators.

As demonstrators gathered around the White House last weekend, Howard University law student Tope Aladetimi leaned her cardboard protest sign against the street median and took a load off her feet. She had already been out protesting for a few hours, and the temperature was climbing into the 90s.

"There's a power in using your body, and actually physically being here," Aladetimi said. "Oftentimes, our voices aren't heard and this is the only way we're able to get our message across."

Domonique Dille, a Howard law school classmate, feels an urgency to this moment.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced on Thursday an expansive plan to restart the economy and protect public health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including federally funded testing for every worker called back on the job, guaranteed paid sick leave for workers affected by COVID-19 and a federally coordinated contact tracing workforce.

As protests against police brutality have unfolded across the country, calls to defund or abolish police departments are picking up traction among activists and even sparked a pledge by the Minneapolis City Council to "dismantle" the police force there. But Joe Biden's campaign said on Monday that the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee does not support that approach.

OK America, we see your sourdough starters, and your Duolingo sessions and your new cross-stitch hobby, and we raise you a Doorway to Imagination.

That's the backyard branch and wood art piece that David North built with all his social distancing-created free time.

His niece Kimberly Adams, a correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace, tweeted about it.

My grandpa Sol Gringlas was born in August.

But every year, on April 11, I drop by his house in Michigan, or call him on the phone, to wish him a happy birthday.

That's because my grandpa considers April 11 his "second birthday."

It's the day in 1945 when his life started over again — when he was liberated from the Nordhausen concentration camp in Nazi Germany by American soldiers.

The day has always been special to my grandpa, and I never miss the ritual birthday greeting.

Among the more than 1,200 people in Michigan who have died during the coronavirus pandemic is Otis Knapp Lee, better known as Detroit's king of corned beef. He died Sunday, at age 72.

Lee opened Mr. Fofo's Deli in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood in the early 1970s when he was 25.

In Indiana, restaurants and bars are shuttered, schools are closed, and like much of the country, people are being ordered to stay home.

The Indiana Historical Society is trying to document what it's like to live in this time, and have asked the public to help.

"We thought, this is a period of time people are going to study for centuries," says Jody Blankenship, president of the Indiana Historical Society. "And we need to collect the voices of our community right now."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii U.S. representative and Iraq war veteran who has stirred controversy within her own party, is suspending her bid for the White House.

She had been one of only three candidates left in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite only garnering two delegates.

Gabbard made the announcement in a video posted Thursday morning, and said, "It's clear that Democratic primary voters have chosen" former Vice President Joe Biden to be the person to take on President Trump in November.

Officials are stepping up their warnings to younger Americans about the coronavirus, because they can more easily spread the virus without having symptoms and now because new evidence shows the potential for some younger people to suffer severely from it.

Rep. Dan Lipinski, a moderate eight-term Democratic congressman from Illinois, lost his primary on Tuesday to progressive challenger Marie Newman.

Newman, a business consultant and founder of an anti-bullying nonprofit, narrowly lost to Lipinski in a 2018 primary in a suburban Chicago district by about 2 points.

With a shiny city bus as backdrop, Vice President Joe Biden rolled up his shirtsleeves for a 2015 speech in Detroit.

"Detroit isn't just an important city," he told the crowd at an event celebrating the arrival of 80 new city buses. "It's an iconic city."

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was scheduled to be in Dallas last night, rallying voters before Super Tuesday. Instead, he flew home to Indiana and suspended his presidential campaign. NPR's Sam Gringlas was in Dallas and sends this postcard.

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