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THE WEEK'S BEST QUOTES. . .
REPORTER: We don’t have guns in the U.K., that is true, but we don’t have mass shootings, either. Children aren’t scared to go to school.
GREENE: You have mass stabbings, lady. You have all kinds of murder. And you’ve got laws against that.
REPORTER: Nothing like the same rates here.
GREENE: Well, you can go back to your country and worry about your no guns. We like ours here. https://twitter.com/RepMTG/status/1539751476507066369
Tuesday’s hearing makes clearer than ever how deeply Trump and his acolytes have already damaged democracy at the ground level, driving honest election workers into hiding and creating a vacuum that fascists are in the process of filling. Only a clean sweep can hold back this tide. — Laurence Tribe. https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1539353560172969985
[Gov. Ron DeSantis] is a far better option for leading the Republicans into the 2024 election than Donald Trump…He’s just younger, fresher, and more exciting than the aging, raging gorilla who’s become a whiny, democracy-defying bore. The game’s up for the Donald…It’s time Republicans put their faith in the Ronald.” -- Piers Morgan in his weekly New York Post column. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/06/desantis-fever-is-spreading-across-murdochs-media-empire
“They want to move the trial to some place where the Proud Boys have a better reputation. Like 1930s Berlin.” — Stephen Colbert addressing Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs’s attorney’s claim that shows like The Late Show and Morning Joe continue to saturate the jury pool of media-obsessive Washington, D.C. https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/06/stephen-colbert-is-thrilled-to-roast-the-proud-boys
“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon. Throwing out a precedent overnight that the country has relied upon for half a century is not conservative. It is a sudden and radical jolt to the country that will lead to political chaos, anger, and a further loss of confidence in our government. -- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/3536066-collins-abortion-ruling-inconsistent-with-what-gorsuch-kavanaugh-told-me/
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized. This decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.” — President Joe Biden castigating the court for its decision. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2022/06/24/a-fractured-supreme-court-upends-american-politics-00042301
U.S. Senator James Lankford, then a newly elected congressman, testified in a deposition that he believed a 13-year-old could consent to sex. This after the family of a 13-year-old girl sued a 15-year-old boy who was alleged to have had sex with her at the camp where Lankford was the director of youth programming. https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-sexual-abuse-by-clergy-oklahoma-city-7c198e08793337f620e26f2cfcbb7c0f
“God made the decision.” — Donald Trump telling Fox News that divine intervention was responsible for the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-praises-supreme-court-decision-overturning-roe-v-wade
Anarchy is a likelier future for the west than tyranny.The trend of events is not towards strongmen but towards ungovernability.” — Financial Times https://twitter.com/FT/status/1539243302385553408
“"I would just say to people in the United States that this is something that America historically does and has to do, and that is to step up for peace and freedom and democracy. And if we let Putin get away with it, and just annex, conquer sizable parts of a free, independent, sovereign country, which is what he is poised to do ... then the consequences for the world are absolutely catastrophic.” — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Sunday morning, hours after Russian missiles hit Kyiv, shattering what had been relative calm in the Ukrainian capital. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/26/politics/boris-johnson-cnntv/index.html
One of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime. Obviously the immediate consequences will be suffered by women in the US - but this will embolden anti-abortion & anti-women forces in other countries too. Solidarity doesn’t feel enough right now - but it is necessary. -- Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/25/us/abortion-roe-wade-supreme-court
“We haven’t seen this kind of battle about … the reach of the jurisdiction of one state over another in a very long time. Nothing of this magnitude have we seen since the Civil War.” — Wendy Parmet, director of Northeastern University’s Center for Health Policy and Law about Republican-controlled states setting up potential constitutional showdowns by banning abortion pills. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/06/25/abortion-pills-supreme-court/
Reminder of corporations funding anti-abortion political committees since 2016: Coca-Cola: $2,624,000, Comcast: $1,869,600, AT&T: $1,472,800, CVS: $1,380,000, Walmart: $1,140,000, Amazon: $974,700,Verizon: $901,100, Google: $525,700, T-Mobile: $343,400. Spread their shame.— Public Citizen https://twitter.com/Public_Citizen/status/1540400249251962881
In 2022 alone, there have been:
49 mass shootings in June
63 mass shootings in May
57 mass shootings in April
42 mass shootings in March
36 mass shootings in February
34 mass shootings in January
Yet somehow, states can’t regulate guns but can regulate a woman’s body. — Public Citizen https://twitter.com/Public_Citizen/status/1540470056915722248
So, to sum up the Supreme Court’s week: life begins at conception and ends in a mass shooting. — Arianna Huffington https://twitter.com/ariannahuff/status/1540366118866587648
I will“make sure” that a “kid” in the womb is as safe as those in a classroom. -- Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders the same day 19 children and two teachers were shot dead by a gunman — in a classroom — at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. There have already been 27 school shootings in the U.S. so far this year alone. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sarah-huckabee-sanders-abortions-school-shootings_n_62b8ce17e4b06169caa89c7c
“The president’s party often struggles in midterms, although extraordinary circumstances can save them from losses. The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade could be 2022’s extraordinary circumstance.” — Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball https://centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/politics-in-the-post-roe-world/
VIDEOS“I'm a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent – a police officer – violently attacked me. This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office. I won't give up.” — Jennifer O’Rourke (D) on Twitter about Jeann Lugo, an off-duty Providence police officer who was running for state office as a Republican who has now dropped out of the race on amid a criminal investigation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/abortion-protest-officer-gop-punch-providence/
A new ad from Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is spotlighting his GOP opponent, Frank Pallotta, for refusing to denounce the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group that helped plan the Jan. 6. riot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqeSiHrjxCw
LIZ CHENEY: Gen. Flynn, do you believe the violence on Jan. 6 was justified morally?
MICHEL FLYNN: Take the Fifth.
CHENEY: Do you believe the violence on Jan. 6 was justified legally?
CHENEY: Gen. Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America?
FLYNN: The Fifth. https://twitter.com/VeraMBergen/status/1541852420334288896
Tucker Carlson, interviewing John Eastman, urges people who didn't vote for Joe Biden to erase their text messages and emails "every single day.” https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1541580447469244417
There is an old maxim: it's never the crime, it's always the coverup. Things went very badly for the former President today. My guess is that it will get worse from here. — Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney https://twitter.com/MickMulvaney/status/1541858206720434179g
“Our descendants are going to ask us what we know about Cassidy Hutchinson. That's a name that they will know. This is a day that is going to loom very large in American history.” — Historian Michael Beschloss' reaction explaining the historical significance of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony at Tuesday’s January 6 Committee hearing. https://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/michael-beschloss-this-is-a-day-that-is-going-to-loom-very-large-in-american-history-143016005882
“The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does.” Her comments were first reported by the Denver Post. — Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) told worshipers at a religious service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWOSF3SHdUo&t=5271s
Jordan Klepper Shows Trump Supporters January 6th Hearing Clips | The Daily Show: https://youtu.be/hNIJH5gufaQ
Trump’s January 6th Fury Revealed by Cassidy Hutchinson & Giuliani Gets “Slapped” | The Daily Show: https://youtu.be/2Uv2GDcTHgI
LITIGATION TRACKERPending Criminal and Civil Cases Against Donald Trump. https://www.justsecurity.org/75032/litigation-tracker-pending-criminal-and-civil-cases-against-donald-trump/
IN THIS ISSUE
IN THE NEWS
|IN THE NEWS...|
Andy Borowitz: Trump Claims Ketchup Would Never Have Hit Wall if Giuliani Had Not DuckedDisputing Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the January 6th committee, Donald J. Trump claimed that ketchup would never have wound up dripping down the Oval Office wall if Rudy Giuliani had not ducked.
“Lyin’ Cassidy said that I threw my lunch at the wall,” Trump wrote on his social network, Truth Social. “I actually threw it at Rudy Giuliani, and he ducked.”
“It was a perfect throw,” he boasted.
Trump said that, had the former New York mayor not ducked, “ketchup would have been dripping down Rudy’s head like his hair die [sic] does.”
Trump expressed some surprise that Giuliani was able to evade the flying lunch. “When you consider how bombed he was, the guy had incredible reflexes,” the former President observed. https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report
Democrats' House and Senate campaign’s launch new anti-abortion websitesDemocrats' House and Senate campaign arms launched websites on Monday — less than 72 hours after the Supreme Court ruling — blasting GOP candidates' abortion records.
The House Democratic (DCCC) site is called "Extreme GOP. https://dccc.org/extremegop/
The Senate Democrats' (DSCC) site is: "This is the GOP on Abortion.” https://www.goponabortion.com/
Battleground Republicans squeezed hardest on abortion after Roe falls
Multiple Republicans in tough races this fall — incumbents in districts Joe Biden carried — avoided abortion questions in the hours after the decision. Several others said only that it was an issue for states, not whether they’d support any legislation Democrats might put on the floor. That includes a proposal led by GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska that would codify Roe’s nationwide right to an abortion without expanding access, as Democrats have previously put forward.
Democrats say that silence, or occasional deflection, is a telling sign that Republicans know abortion rights remain broadly popular with much of the electorate — and that the GOP will soon face the wrath of suburban and purple-district voters. Some Republicans, too, acknowledge that abortion rights polling generally favors the left. But they say voters are harder to pin down when it comes to “late-term” abortion or “heartbeat” bans — terms the GOP leveraged to define the debate in recent years as the religious right gained influence. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/26/republicans-biden-abortion-roe-00042371
Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more.
On the heels of their greatest victory, antiabortion activists are eager to capitalize on their momentum by enshrining constitutional abortion bans, pushing Congress to pass a national prohibition, blocking abortion pills, and limiting people’s ability to get abortions across state lines.
“It’s not over,” said Oklahoma state Rep. Todd Russ (R), who attended the conference. At this point, Russ said, the ideas are like “popcorn in a popcorn popper.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/
Trump’s Plan To Avoid Prison Involves Throwing His 1/6 Co-conspirators Under A Bus
Over the past several months, Trump has been strongly advised by lawyers and several associates not to openly discuss Eastman or his work—and to personally avoid the man altogether, according to three sources familiar with the matter. At this time, Trump, his legal advisers, and various political counselors would prefer to cut ties with Eastman and keep their distance, in a perhaps vain attempt to build a firewall between the lawyer who enthusiastically pitched strategies for delegitimizing the 2020 election outcome and the ex-president who repeatedly sought his help.… In the top ranks of MAGAland, there’s a clear attitude towards Eastman (“Johnny,” as some Trump advisers derisively call him): He might be going down. So be it, as long as he doesn’t take anyone else down with him. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/06/donald-trump-john-eastman-january-6-strategy
The lonely chief: How John Roberts lost control of the court
As the shock waves spread Friday from the Supreme Court’s momentous decision striking down Roe v. Wade, one notable casualty of the ruling became evident: Chief Justice John Roberts.
After nearly seven months of deliberations, Roberts found precisely zero takers among his fellow justices for his incrementalist approach that would have avoided overruling Roe for now, but allowed Mississippi to impose a near ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The court’s conservatives dismissed Roberts’ stance as unprincipled and impractical, while the liberal justices called it “wrong” without detailing their objections.
Ultimately, Roberts’ opinion amounted to an afterthought that had no impact on the outcome of the case. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/25/chief-john-roberts-court-00039237
Democrats look to Roe decision to drive voter turnout
For months, we’ve been waiting to see if the high court overturned Roe to evaluate its impact on the midterms.
Well, it’s no longer an if.
And now that the battlelines have been fully drawn, our previous expectations for these midterms, lower turnout, less enthusiasm from Democrats, a cycle 100% dominated by pocketbook issues, needs to be recalibrated.
A lot has changed. Abruptly. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/first-read/abortion-ruling-set-shift-2022-landscape-rcna35452
Republicans Busted In Illegal Scheme To Fund Liz Cheney’s Primary Challenger
On the 22nd, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that “Snow Goose, LLC,” and any unknown person(s) who made contributions to the super PAC Wyoming Values in the name of Snow Goose, LLC, violated federal campaign finance laws and deprived voters of information essential to a transparent political process.
The Wyoming Values super PAC has been active in one race. It has been opposing Liz Cheney and supporting her primary opponent Harriet Hageman.
Dark money spending is a danger to US democracy. Voters don’t know where the money is coming from in Wyoming. As mentioned above, Republicans want to be rid of Cheney, who is doing patriotic work on the 1/6 Committee, so badly that they are willing to break the law to rig a primary against her.
Democrats may disagree with Liz Cheney on 99% of policy, but Rep. Cheney deserves a free and fair primary election. https://www.politicususa.com/2022/06/22/liz-cheney-gop-busted.html
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) facing NIGHTMARE: Clooney Documentary About Cover-Up of Ohio State Abuse About to Hit
One of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in college sports occurred at Ohio State University where team doctor Richard Strauss abused young men – wrestlers, young men who were above the age of consent, but are considered victims due to the power imbalance between the doctor and the athletes. Jim Jordan is caught up in the scandal because he was an assistant coach at the time and allegedly witnessed the abuse and said nothing, and then later when the abuse was exposed, he begged witnesses and people who knew of the scandal to let it go for the good of the program.
But Jordan may be about to face the consequences. None other than George Clooney has arranged for the creation of a documentary, one that will soon be released on HBO, highlighting the entirety of the scandal, educating people who never knew, reminding those who do, and informing all about the seriousness of his role. https://realpolitick.com/2022/06/jordan-facing-nightmare-clooney-documentary-about-cover-up-of-ohio-state-abuse-about-to-hit/
Stephen Colbert explains staff arrests at Capitol: ‘This was first-degree puppetry’
Stephen Colbert has broken his silence after several members of his staff were arrested at the US Capitol. The "Late Show" host joked that the "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog" incident was one of "first-degree puppetry." He then went after the dishonest coverage the matter received on Fox News, where hosts used the arrests to suggest that Democrats and the media were the ones really guilty of grave security violations at the US Capitol.
"It's predictable why these TV talkers are talking like this on the TV. They want to talk about something other than the January 6th hearings on the actual seditious insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people," Colbert said. "But drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died." https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/21/media/stephen-colbert-late-show-capitol-arrests/index.html
New Bill Would Codify Abortion Pill AccessSenator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to defend access to medication abortion in states where the right to an abortion is still protected. The bill would protect current FDA guidelines so that women can always access medication abortion through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. Of the one in four American women who will have an abortion, over half will use medication abortion. In the 20 years since its approval, the evidence has shown that medication abortion can be prescribed to patients without an in-person appointment, is safe and effective for people to take. https://www.smith.senate.gov/u-s-senator-tina-smith-introduces-legislation-to-protect-access-to-medication-abortions/
Judge: Fox Corp. can’t wiggle out of Dominion’s ‘big lie’ lawsuit
The role of Fox Corporation chair Rupert Murdoch and his son, Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch, in the programming of Fox News — is at the center of a closely watched lawsuit in Delaware. In 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed a suit against Fox News, several of its anchors and pro-Trump guests, and an additional action against its corporate parent, Fox Corp., and Fox Broadcasting. Both actions stemmed from claims on the network that Dominion had participated in a nationwide voter-fraud scheme that deprived then-President Donald Trump of victory in the 2020 presidential election. Those claims were baseless.
Delaware Judge Eric M. Davis on Tuesday rejected Fox Corp.’s motion to dismiss, concluding that Dominion had “adequately pleaded proximate causation based on its ‘factual allegations of wrongdoing attributable to the corporate parent’ — i.e., Fox Corporation.” The ruling follows similar court defeats for the conglomerate: In December, Davis rejected a dismissal motion in Dominion’s case against Fox News, and in March a New York judge did likewise in a defamation suit brought against Fox News, Fox Corp. and others by voting firm Smartmatic.
These developments turn up the heat on Fox News and its corporate parent for what stands out as the most irresponsible and destructive strain of coverage at a network that specializes in such material. And Tuesday’s ruling by Davis is particularly important because it invigorates a proceeding focused on Fox Corp. management — the folks poised to stop it all. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/23/judge-rejects-fox-dismissal-effort-dominion-lawsuit/
Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Newsmax can proceed, judge rules
Judge Eric Davis in the Superior Court of Delaware denied a motion from Newsmax to dismiss the defamation lawsuit against Newsmax filed by Dominion Voting Systems, saying the company “knew the allegations were probably false” about the voting technology and “there were enough signs indicating the statements were not true to infer Newsmax’s intent to avoid the truth.”
“Given that Newsmax apparently refused to report contrary evidence, including evidence from the Department of Justice, the allegations support the reasonable inference that Newsmax intended to keep Dominion’s side of the story out of the mainstream,” Davis wrote in his opinion. https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/3526974-dominion-voting-systems-lawsuit-against-newsmax-can-proceed-judge-rules
The DAILY GRILL“You have mass stabbings, lady. You have all kinds of murder. And you’ve got laws against that.” — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) responding to a British reporter who observed that “We don’t have guns in the U.K., that is true ... but we don’t have mass shootings, either. Children aren’t scared to go to school.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/23/mtg-when-brit-asked-about-mass-shootings-what-about-mass-stabbings/
The United States actually has a higher rate of stabbing homicides than the U.K., 6.3 per million residents vs. 3.9 per million. But since the rate of deaths from firearms is so much higher — 61.9 per million in 2020 — we rarely discuss the frequency of stabbing deaths. — Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/23/mtg-when-brit-asked-about-mass-shootings-what-about-mass-stabbings/
“I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody.” — Former President Donald Trump lauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-praises-supreme-court-decision-overturning-roe-v-wade
The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will be “bad for Republicans. It will anger suburban women, a group who helped tilt the 2020 presidential race to Joe Biden, and will lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.” — Mr. Trump to friends and advisers. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/us/trump-roe-wade-republicans.html
1984 called and they want their bleak, immoral, thuggish and deadly totalitarian dystopian future back. — Lauren Boebert https://twitter.com/laurenboebert/status/1535301701757980674
1776 called and wanted to know why you were live-tweeting Nancy Pelosi's location during an attempted insurrection. — Jeff Tiedrich https://twitter.com/itsJeffTiedrich/status/1535431903767056384
Alan Feuer and Glenn Thrush: Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony Highlights Legal Risks for TrumpIt was one of the most dramatic moments in a presentation filled with them: Just before President Donald J. Trump went onstage near the White House last year and urged his supporters to “fight like hell” and march on the Capitol, an aide testified on Tuesday, he was told that some of them were armed.
It was also a potentially consequential moment for any prosecution of Mr. Trump, legal experts said. Knowing that his crowd of supporters had the means to be violent when he exhorted them to march to the Capitol — and declared that he wanted to go with them — could nudge Mr. Trump closer to facing criminal charges, legal experts said.
“This really moved the ball significantly, even though there is still a long way to go,” said Renato Mariotti, a legal analyst and former federal prosecutor in Illinois.
The extent to which the Justice Department’s expanding criminal inquiry is focused on Mr. Trump remains unclear. But the revelations in the testimony to the House select committee by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, both provided new evidence about Mr. Trump’s activities before the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and chipped away at any potential defense that he was merely expressing well-founded views about election fraud.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the question of criminal intent when it comes to a president, but what just happened changed my bottom line,” said Alan Rozenshtein, a former Justice Department official who teaches at the University of Minnesota Law School. “I have gone from Trump is less than likely to be charged to he is more than likely to be charged.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/28/us/politics/trump-legal-risk-jan-6.html
John Cassidy: Political Lessons for Democrats in a Post-Roe America
Republicans claim to have discovered hitherto undiscovered rights residing in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, including the right to carry guns for self-defense.
Having claimed that the Constitution prevents New York and other states from forcing people to get a special license to carry a firearm, the Court, the very next day, turned around and said the Constitution also implies that the decision on how to regulate decisions to end pregnancies should be left to the states. Evidently, consistency really is the hobgoblin of small minds—the heirs to Scalia and Robert Bork don’t bother themselves with it.
Another lesson from the past few days is that brazenness and ruthlessness pay off, or, as Mitch McConnell might put it, “There are no absolute rules of conduct, either in peace or war. Everything depends on circumstances.” Actually, this quotation comes from Leon Trotsky’s autobiography, but he and McConnell aren’t so far apart. In the past few decades, the G.O.P. has turned into a party of permanent counter-revolution, and its leaders wage this campaign with a wanton disregard for established rules and norms that the old Bolshevik would have admired. https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/political-lessons-for-democrats-in-a-post-roe-america
Jeff Greenfield: What Happens if the GOP Tries to Leave Trump Behind
It’s not exactly a thunderous roar, more like a stage whisper, running through the ranks of what we used to think of as mainstream Republicans: “Maybe he doesn’t have to be our nominee in 2024.”
They grasp, if not at straws, then at green shoots springing up in one place after another. In Georgia, virtually all of Donald Trump’s favorites lost their nomination fights. A new poll out of New Hampshire shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis running a couple of points ahead of Trump among GOP voters; last October, by comparison, Trump had a 25-point margin. The revelations from the Jan. 6 Committee, while apparently changing few Republican minds, has painted a picture of presidential misconduct so blatant that nearly six in 10 Americans believe he should be charged with criminal conduct. (Pro Tip: A presidential candidate under criminal indictment is in a suboptimal situation). More and more Republicans, while not confronting Trump directly, speak in Aesopian terms about not fighting past battles, about looking to the future, about nominating someone with vaguely humanoid hair (OK, not that last one just yet).
But if Republicans are thinking optimistically about a 2024 campaign without Trump as their nominee, they are also in the grip of an illusion — one which demonstrates a striking lack of understanding about who Trump is.
A Trump who is denied the nomination — which, by his account, must have been the product of horrible, disgusting cheating the likes of which nobody has ever seen — is a Trump with the inclination and the resources to run an independent campaign for president. And he’ll have enough true believers to doom whoever the GOP nominee is. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/06/24/desantis-trump-2024-00041790
Jia Tolentino: We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We’re Going Somewhere Worse
Half a century ago, the anti-abortion movement was dominated by progressive, antiwar, pro-welfare Catholics. Today, the movement is conservative, evangelical, and absolutely single-minded, populated overwhelmingly by people who, although they may embrace foster care, adoption, and various forms of private ministry, show no interest in pushing for public, structural support for human life once it’s left the womb. The scholar Mary Ziegler recently noted that today’s anti-abortion advocates see the “strategies of earlier decades as apologetic, cowardly, and counterproductive.” During the past four years, eleven states have passed abortion bans that contain no exceptions for rape or incest, a previously unthinkable extreme.
In Texas, already, children aged nine, ten, and eleven, who don’t yet understand what sex and abuse are, face forced pregnancy and childbirth after being raped. Women sitting in emergency rooms in the midst of miscarriages are being denied treatment for sepsis because their fetuses’ hearts haven’t yet stopped. People you’ll never hear of will spend the rest of their lives trying and failing, agonizingly, in this punitive country, to provide stability for a first or fifth child they knew they weren’t equipped to care for.
In the face of all this, there has been so much squeamishness even in the pro-choice camp—a tone that casts abortion as an unfortunate necessity; an approach to messaging which values choice but devalues abortion care itself, which emphasizes reproductive rights rather than reproductive justice. That approach has landed us here. We are not going back to the pre-Roe era, and we should not want to go back to the era that succeeded it, which was less bitter than the present but was never good enough. We should demand more, and we will have to. We will need to be full-throated and unconditional about abortion as a necessary precondition to justice and equal rights if we want even a chance of someday getting somewhere better. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/we-are-not-going-back-to-the-time-before-roe-we-are-going-somewhere-worse
Dave Haller: Nixon tried to rig an election, too. But unlike Trump, at least he tried to hide it
Watergate’s 50th anniversary has prompted an intense debate over who more threatened American democracy: Nixon, or Donald Trump? Reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who broke some (but not all) of the Watergate story, think it’s Trump: “the first seditious president in our history,” they write.
Others say we shouldn’t forget Nixon’s crookedness, or the crimes of those around him. It’s a close call. Better, perhaps, to think of Trump and Nixon as two sides of the same coin: Both embraced illegal behavior to win, and to stay in office. Where they differed is their approach to lawlessness. While Nixon tried to hide it, Trump advertised it.
There he is, pressuring state legislators to break the law and certify him. Now he’s calling Vice President Mike Pence a vulgarity for refusing to stop the Electoral College count in Congress. Somewhere, Nixon is smiling. Trump revels in his law-breaking — indeed, some believe that’s the source of his remaining appeal to some voters. “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” Nixon later told interviewer David Frost, a proposition that shocked the nation but Trump seems to have adopted as true. “You’ve got to fight like hell,” Trump told the Jan. 6 rioters. And they did. https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dave-helling/article262798313.html
Lucian K. Truscott IV: They folded up the Constitution and shoved it where the sun does not shine
With its Siamese-twin decisions on Thursday and Friday, the Supreme Court didn’t just turn back the clock or flip through the pages of the calendar looking for a new decade — or century — to love. Calling themselves textualists and originalists, they simply put the Constitution through a search engine and told it to look for some key words: Abortion? Uh-huh, not there. Gay sex? Not in 1791 or 1868! Same-sex marriage? Are you kidding?
But guns? Well, the founders spelled it “arms,” but we know exactly what they had in mind! The right to walk around with your guns on your hip or slung over your shoulder because you need ‘em for self-defense!
It’s tempting to say that the justices handed down these two decisions because they could, but what they did and how they did it is even worse: Just a month after 19 elementary school children and their two teachers were shot dead with a semiautomatic military weapon of war, they mumbled about life and provided for the mechanics of death and set forth the new outlines of an obscene legal regimen.
What the six so-called conservatives are relying on these days are two words not found in the Constitution: history and tradition. Both are suddenly seen as absolutely necessary in determining whether certain rights deserve to be preserved. The decisions are rife with phrases like, “We then canvassed the historical record, and found yet further confirmation,” and you know what the “historical record” confirmed, don’t you? Exactly what the majority wanted it to. It turns out that in order for a constitutional right to be enjoyed by American citizens, it must be old, and the older the better. If a right existed in the 18th and 19th centuries, well, this court is fine with it. But if that right wasn’t enjoyed by the citizens of, say, 1816 — like the right to privacy, under which various other so-called modern rights exist, such as the right to purchase and use contraceptives, the right to have sex in the manner you choose, and the right to marry a person of your own sex — then those rights simply don’t exist.
The majority leaves out the inconvenient truth that abortions, legal or otherwise, have been performed since the beginning of history as we know it, and the ownership of guns and other weapons of death and destruction have been restricted by class, income, social standing and political power for just as long.
It took the Civil War to end slavery. All it took to return to enslaving women by forcing them to bear an unwanted child and go through the pain and sometimes life-threatening act of giving birth was the six signatures of the Republican majority. For the likes of Thomas and Alito and the rest of them, if it was good enough for the founders, it’s good enough for us.
Oh, by the way: here’s another word that’s not in the wonderful founding document we call the Constitution: Woman. https://luciantruscott.substack.com/p/they-folded-up-the-constitution-and
Rick Hasen: No One Is Above the Law, and That Starts With Donald Trump
In a 2019 ruling requiring the former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify at a congressional hearing about former President Donald Trump’s alleged abuses of power, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson declared that “presidents are not kings.” If we take that admonition from our next Supreme Court justice seriously and look at the evidence amassed so far by the House select committee on the Jan. 6 attack, we can — and in fact must — conclude that the prosecution of Mr. Trump is not only permissible but required for the sake of American democracy.
This week’s hearings showed us that Mr. Trump acted as if he thought he was a king, not a president subject to the same rules as the rest of us. The hearings featured extraordinary testimony about the relentless pressure to subvert the 2020 election that the former president and his allies brought against at least 31 state and local officials in states he lost, like Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. He or his allies twisted the arm of everyone from top personnel at the U.S. Department of Justice to lower-level election workers.
The evidence and the testimony offered demonstrate why Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Justice Department should convene a grand jury now, if it hasn’t already, to consider indicting Mr. Trump for crimes related to his attempt to overturn the results of the election, before he declares his candidacy for president in 2024, perhaps as early as this summer. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/opinion/trump-jan-6-prosecution.html
Robin Abcarian: Banning abortion is the first step. Brace yourselves for the end of many hard-fought rightsGoodbye, legal right to abortion.
Goodbye, separation of church and state.
Goodbye, common-sense gun laws.
Goodbye, Miranda rights.
And that’s just the beginning.
With a fundamentalist, conservative Supreme Court majority in charge, brace yourselves for the possibility of the end of so many civil rights we take for granted: privacy, contraception, in vitro fertilization, gay marriage, interracial marriage.
Here’s how radical the majority is: The court was not even asked to overturn Roe vs Wade; it simply could have upheld Mississippi’s law. That five justices were willing to go so much further tells you this court has absolutely no qualms about tossing Americans’ hard-fought rights back to the states, where many Christian-conservative dominated legislatures will simply erase them.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump has been telling people privately he thinks overturning Roe will be “bad” for Republicans, who will suffer a backlash this November.
God, I hope he’s right. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-06-25/roe-vs-wade-abortion-rights-overturned-supreme-court-more-rights-threatened
Michael Hiltzik: America is in the grip of a right-wing minority
The options for restoring abortion rights at the federal legislative level, where things must happen to “codify Roe,” as the principle is labeled, are limited but real. One is to build on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which has been passed by the House but blocked in the Senate. The measure would prevent states from imposing excessive restrictions on abortion providers to interfere with women’s reproductive health choices.
A reworked bill could set acceptable limits on abortions, say by restricting them to the first trimester of pregnancy, but also protect providers acting to safeguard the health of the mother and to ensure abortion rights in cases of rape or incest. The measure could also prohibit states from penalizing women who seek abortions outside the state or those who help them do so.
The chief obstacle to such a law is politics. Passing it in the Senate would probably require ending the filibuster — now may be the time.
It’s conceivable that the Supreme Court could invalidate the new law, but that would be a more radical step than the current court majority has been willing to take even in the abortion and gun rights cases because it would mean reinterpreting the Constitution’s commerce clause, which gives Congress the exclusive authority to regulate interstate commerce.
Though this court has lurched far to the right, this might be a bridge too far — especially if its public legitimacy continues to crumble. After all, it was the threat of a deterioration in its public reputation that prompted the 1930s court to reverse itself in its approach to liberal reforms to stave off FDR’s court-packing scheme.
Can the Supreme Court continue to turn the clock back? In the short term, the damage has been done. In the longer term, it is standing in front of a powerful tide.
“The long arc of American history has bent more steeply towards gender equality in the past few decades,” wrote 154 economists in a friend-of-the-court brief in the abortion case. The trendline has been broken at the moment, but not forever. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-06-27/the-abortion-ruling-shows-that-america-is-in-the-grip-of-a-right-wing-minority
David Frum: Roe Is the New Prohibition
The culture war raged most hotly from the ’70s to the next century’s ’20s. It polarized American society, dividing men from women, rural from urban, religious from secular, Anglo-Americans from more recent immigrant groups. At length, but only after a titanic constitutional struggle, the rural and religious side of the culture imposed its will on the urban and secular side. A decisive victory had been won, or so it seemed.
The culture war I’m talking about is the culture war over alcohol prohibition. From the end of Reconstruction to the First World War, probably more state and local elections turned on that one issue than on any other. The long struggle seemingly culminated in 1919, with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment and enactment by Congress of the National Prohibition Act, or the Volstead Act (as it became known). The amendment and the act together outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States and all its subject territories. Many urban and secular Americans experienced those events with the same feeling of doom as pro-choice Americans may feel today after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. https://www.pacesconnection.com/blog/roe-is-the-new-prohibition-theatlantic-com