Year 3, Week 34 (September 8-14)

It has been another long week, and increasingly it’s easy to forget there was ever any other kind. Here’s hoping that next week is better than this one, because I’m here to tell you I prefer fewer constitutional crises with my breakfast cereal.

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 week’s news contains some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise — I’m a lawyer, not a Judicial Committee member! — 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:

We’re starting to see more movement on the Russia Investigation, though as with all things we see pushback whenever we see progress. Here’s what I have right now:

There was also a fair amount of Disregard of Governing Norms, and some of it is pretty extreme. Here’s what I have for you:

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • Purdue Declares Bankruptcy.* Purdue Pharma — the major pharmaceutical company widely regarded as responsible for sparking the opiate crisis — filed for bankruptcy this week. This may be an attempt to get out of the $1.2B settlement they agreed to a week or two ago, but it also might simply be true that their many lawsuits have bankrupted them. Either way, it almost certainly marks the end of the company, which brings grim satisfaction to many people touched by the opiate epidemic.

The Bad:

  • Synagogue Fire. A historic 119-year-old synagogue burned down this week in Minnesota, marking the destruction of the last historic prayer center of its kind in the region. Reports differ on whether it was arson or an accident, but the main suspect is not being charged with a hate crime. Even so, the fire is a painful loss felt more keenly because of the political atmosphere of 2019.

The Good:

  • Stores Take a Stand (continued). Modern businesses again expressed opinions about gun law reform this week, this time with a letter to Congress signed by CEOs of 145 different companies. The letter called the Senate’s current inaction “simply unacceptable,” urging them to enact existing House bills requiring expanded background checks and stronger red flag laws. We’ll see if anything comes of this, but even if it doesn’t, the sheer number of companies indicates that public sentiment is not in McConnell’s court here.

So that’s what I have for this week, and I think we can all agree that it’s more than enough. For making it through, you deserve this excited pup going down a slide and an eventual better government. I’ll be back next week with more (and hopefully better) news, and I hope you will be back as well — but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me more ice cream, cause we’re gonna need it!

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