This was another week of oddly off-kilter news–there were a lot of stories that were surreal or seemed to have disingenuous reporting. That said, some of it was also hilarious, which I don’t get to say very often. So I suppose I’ll take it.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I guess after six years I’m conceding that I’m a journalist, but I summarize news within my areas of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not an economy!–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:
We appear to be watching an Election Rejection flying circus trifecta, and I suspect that may be how we roll for a while yet. At least some of it was hilarious. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Update: FBI Tour of Mar-A-Lago. This was a weird week on the ole Mar-A-Lago front, I tell you what. First Trump stunned everybody by announcing on Fox News that he could declassify documents telepathically (no, seriously). Then the Special Master that he requested went ahead and told him that he was gonna have to provide some actual facts about, y’know, literally anything he said. Meanwhile, the Eleventh Circuit pretty much immediately granted the DOJ’s appeal of the injunction on document seizure, basically reading Judge Cannon and Trump for filth in the process. Unsurprisingly, Legal Twitter was all too happy to gleefully deconstruct everything I just typed, so there are a lot of credible summaries out there for you to enjoy.
- Insurrection Update: Other Trump Charges. As foretold by prophecy, New York Attorney General Letitia James did indeed announce this week that she was bringing a big ole honking civil suit against pretty much all of Trumplandia. The suit names Trump, the company, the kids, and the dog as defendants. (Just kidding, nobody trusts him with a dog. Also, nobody charged Tiffany.) Apparently the end goal, per James, is to block them from ever doing business in New York again. Frankly, I cannot blame her.
- Election Rejection: Jan 6 Jury Stuff. But wait, there’s more Trump news! Namely, that he’s still trying to keep people from testifying in the ongoing DOJ probe into January 6, which will likely escalate in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Ginni Thomas finally agreed to meet with the House panel on Jan 6, which she’d been avoiding for quite some time. Finally, jury selection began today for the upcoming Oath Keepers’ sedition trial, which will almost certainly see a lot of media coverage. We’ll be back with more on that next week.
On the Biden Rebuilding front, the name of the game this week is money. Here’s what has happened:
- Economy etc. People remain concerned about what’s happening with the economy for another week, as the Fed raised its interest rate yet again in an attempt to stave off inflation and the Dow decisively entered a bear market (rawr). There was also a Congressional Budget Office report regarding Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, but even the outlets reporting on it concede that it’s not a fair estimate because it’s estimating changes in income stream rather than identifying potential prospective costs. And speaking of Biden’s loan forgiveness plan, he’s already being sued by the Pacific Legal Foundation, an ultra-conservative excuse for a nonprofit that somehow managed to drum up a plaintiff.
Your New Normal:
- Contagion Corner. Unsurprisingly, after Joe Biden’s opining last week, there were a lot of pieces this week about how the pandemic’s not really over–which seems like it should have been obvious, but here we are. On a related note, Pfizer and Moderna both are seeking FDA approval for an omicron vaccine for kids, which we might see rolled out as soon as mid-October. Finally, the DOJ has charged 48 people in Minnesota with embezzling over $250M in COVID relief funds, making up recipients who didn’t exist and then spending the federal money on all kinds of things.
- Reproductive Justice Rough Stuff. You’re getting a double dose of reproductive justice bad news this week, I’m afraid, because I wasn’t able to fit everything in last week. First, we should probably talk about the federal 15-week abortion ban that Lindsey Graham wants to bring before Congress, even though it likely won’t get traction because most Republicans don’t exactly seem thrilled by it. There are also new and strict bans in Indiana and West Virginia, although an Ohio ban was paused temporarily and as of Thursday the Indiana ban is paused too. Meanwhile, a judge in Arizona resurrected a ban from 1864 that predates Arizona even being a state. Finally, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that four different states have referenda in November that will decide whether reproductive health remains available.
- Recent Paxton Schadenfreude. This isn’t good news so much as just funny, but apparently human toxic waste and Texas AG Ken Paxton tried to make a break for it because he didn’t want to be served process papers for a lawsuit. Unsurprisingly, the lawsuit involved people being pissed off about his heinously impractical and absolutely bonkers abortion bounty hunter law, and it would appear that he did eventually get served the papers despite literally trying to run away from them.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. Nonetheless, for making it through, you deserve these serenading pancakes and a more functional 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 more hours in the day!