The news is actual nightmare fuel for another week, and the biggest stories are somehow getting worse, not better. I legit don’t know what to say here, except that it’s important to get the rest you need, because we’re going to be fighting these fights for a while yet. You have to keep putting the oxygen mask on the horse. Or something.
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 state bill!–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:
It wasn’t anyone’s main focus, but I do have updates on the Election Rejection front. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. We’re getting a bit of a Carolina election ballot redux, as Rep Madison Cawthorn faces challenges to his campaign legitimacy because of his January insurrection a la Marjorie Taylor Greene. Meanwhile, Trump is already trying to shake last week’s civil contempt order, but the New York court is having none of it. And in other January 6 news, Trump Jr met with the House panel and another Oathkeeper pled guilty, giving more details about insurrection planning as he did so.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t have a lot for you on the Biden Rebuilding front. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Economy Stuff.* The big news in Biden land, other than the obvious, is that the Fed raised its rate by half a percentage point this week, hoping to combat unprecedented inflation. In likely related news, stocks took a huge dip on Thursday and Friday as well. And though jobs were added in April, unemployment rates remain unchanged.
Your New Normal:
- Reproductive Justice News. We’ve had a week to unpack this toxic suitcase of a Dobbs draft, and let me confirm for you that very little of America actually wants the sludge coming out of it. Sadly, Chief Justice Roberts has confirmed the authenticity of the draft, along with a bunch of other leak-related pearl clutching, and it’s likely this court will not find popular opinion very persuasive. (That said, right now, Kavanaugh’s neighbors are in the process of finding out how persuasive he finds protests outside his house.) In response to SCOTUS response, Senate Dems are attempting to pass federal abortion protections–though as many outlets have gleefully noted, they don’t have the votes for that because they won’t tank the filibuster. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is already threatening a federal abortion ban if the GOP takes back Congress in the midterms. And at the state level, conservative states appear emboldened by the draft opinion, as the Mississippi governor is starting to talk about banning contraceptives and Louisiana is introducing a bill that would create criminal homicide charges for abortions. For more legal unpacking, I continue to highly recommend the Boom!Lawyered folks of Rewired News Group, who are full-time reproductive justice legal advocates.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID news is bleak for another week as well. We’re expected to crest one million COVID-related deaths in the U.S. in the near future, and we have the highest rate of any individual country in the world. We’re also nearing 15 million deaths worldwide. This is in part because new mutations of the omicron strain (again) are colliding with relaxed health restrictions to create another nation-wide bump in cases, likely heralding another new wave. Experts are also concerned about waning immunity as we head into the fall and winter. And speaking of immunity, the FDA is curtailing use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine moving forward because blood clot risks remain consistent. So that’s… a lot.
- Recent State Resilience. I’m excited to share a bit of resilience from my home state of Massachusetts this week. In both houses of state government, a bill enabling all qualified state residents to obtain a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status, has passed by a veto-proof majority. Governor Baker has not yet signed the bill as I type this, but since he can’t veto it, hopefully this bill has cleared all of its major hurdles already.
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 clever horse 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 pictures of your pets!