Originally, I had written that reviewing the news this week feels slightly less like drinking bleach than average, if you staunchly ignore the Elon Musk twitter purchase discourse. (Which I plan to do yet again this week, on account of that deal is not yet closed and also he sucks.) But then Politico dropped a freaking leaked SCOTUS draft overturning Roe v. Wade at 8:37 at night, so apparently I spoke too soon on the bleach front.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a grand jury!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
There were a number of updates on the Election Rejection front. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. There were more updates about the roles that various sitting Congress critters had in the January 6 insurrection, and we got more details about discussion of martial law happening then as well. Meanwhile, the RNC tried to block release of records again, which didn’t go so well for them even with a Trump appointee hearing the case. And speaking of Trump, he was held in civil contempt of court after refusing to cough up business records to New York Attorney General Leticia James. Finally, the grand jury convened in New York to explore Trump’s tax crimes is expiring without charges this week, but another one is forming in Georgia to address his election-related crimes there, so I suppose that evens out.
This was also a bit of a weird week on the Biden Rebuilding front. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. There has been a lot of will-he–won’t-he again this week about Biden forgiving student loans, and the negotiation on reaching some kind of Build Back Better deal is no less hazy. But Biden did reinstate pre-Trump standards for high energy light bulbs, so I guess there’s that.
Your New Normal:
- Miscellaneous Court Misery (again). I was originally planning to draft this paragraph about SCOTUS’s recent decision to exclude Puerto Ricans from disability-based social security benefits, which I think is monstrously wrong particularly in light of Puerto Rico’s history in the U.S. And I’m also still mad about that one doctor who is suing over the No Surprises Act and the recent federal court decision to reinstate blocking asylees at the border. But honestly, I think we have to talk about the draft opinion leaked today that will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s important to stress that laws legitimized by that opinion have not gone into effect yet. However, I also want to stress that the opinion as drafted lays groundwork to challenge over fifty years of precedent protecting not just reproductive rights but also same-sex marriage, access to contraceptives, and possibly even interracial marriage. Finally, we need to accept the fact that a draft leak itself is a big deal, as it highlights the rapidly-decaying infrastructure of a branch of government that notoriously insists that it can self-govern.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID news… where do I even start? A CDC report published this week estimates that 60% of Americans have had COVID by this point, and cases continue to rise thanks to increasingly contagious new subvariants. Reflecting this reality, the Biden administration is shifting its focus to access to treatment, though that is not without risks. Finally, we’re still waiting for clarity about what’s happening with pediatric vaccines for children under 6, but Moderna has officially requested authorization and we’ll hopefully see movement from the FDA soon.
- Recent Reproductive Resilience. In light of today’s news, I want to spend a few moments on recent state decisions to actively protect reproductive health. This past week, Connecticut passed a law which legally protects reproductive health patients and providers from lawsuits originating in other states. Now’s also a fine time to mention the sixteen states that have codified protections for reproductive health services. For more information about what’s going on in your state, check out NARAL and Guttenmacher‘s excellent summary pages. There are and will continue to be a lot of opportunities for advocacy and activism at the state and federal levels. We can–and will–continue to fight this fight.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this stealthy sea lion as well as a more consistently improved government. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved 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 your links about places to donate and call!