National News Roundup: Week 27 (July 23–29)

Holy monkeys, what even happened this past week? (Honest answer: A lot.) It’s a wild roller coaster ride that we’re all still processing, though I’ll do my best to unpack it for you all.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. This news continues to contain multiple headlines each week outside my area as a legal generalist — still a lawyer, not a spy! — but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

Given everything else that was going on this week, it was very easy to miss the things happening on The Russia Collusion Investigation — Kushner sort-of-testified and then all healthcare hell broke loose. But since it’s still very important to track all of it, here’s a recap:

Your “Normal” Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

  • Mueller Protection Legislation. Senator Lindsay Graham has signaled that he intends to bring a bill this week designed to protect Mueller from being fired by the Department of Justice, which is honestly probably a good idea right now. Graham worked on the bill with Democratic senator Cory Booker (and this week is probably the first time anybody has ever written that sentence). The action is part of a growing movement among Republicans to set boundaries with the Trump administration, presumably because they figure it’s better late than never.
  • Racial Profiling Against a Court Order: Still Illegal. Today, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court by bench trial, mostly because he blatantly ignored a court order to end his racial profiling in traffic patrols. Arpaio, who doesn’t exactly have an awesome record when it comes to human rights, apparently continued the practice he had been ordered to stop for a full year and a half after the order was issued — a pretty textbook definition of contempt of court, so the verdict is unsurprising. U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton was less than impressed by his public statements flaunting his noncompliance, and relied on them in part to find “a flagrant disregard” for the order. Arpaio nonetheless remains convinced that a jury would not convict him, and plans to appeal the bench trial to get a trial by jury.

And that’s the week’s news! The news cycle has become so rapid that I bet tomorrow we’ll be in a different posture, but I’ll do my best to keep hitting all the key points each week. In the meantime, daily news summaries like WTFJHT and Today in Resistance are an excellent resource until we meet again!

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