The news is a bit late this week–I wanted to see what was happening with the mifepristone story, which thankfully has hit a bit of a pause point as I type this. That said, there is just so much news from the last week and change that some of Tuesday and today’s stories will be covered next time. We’re hitting news overdrive right now, y’all, but I’m trying to keep it bite-sized for you.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I may be well into my seventh year of journalism, 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 injunction!–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 again have news about Trump’s New York cases on the Election Rejection front, though nothing as earth-shattering as last time. Here’s what has happened:
- New York State of Mens Rea. In New York, Attorney General James spent a full day this week deposing Cheeto Mussolini regarding his business fraud. Meanwhile, her colleague DA Bragg brought a federal suit against Rep Jim Jordan, on account of Jordan won’t stop interfering with the criminal proceedings against Trump. Finishing out the trifecta of Trump legal news is the fact that Trump is suing his former attorney because Cohen got him indicted.
There are a few different things going on right now on the Biden Rebuilding front, but as always, we’re going with the one I think is most ripe. Here’s what I have for you:
- Pentagon Leak Updates. On Friday, the FBI arrested a 21-year-old man named Jack Teixeira they suspect of leaking many highly-classified military documents from the Pentagon over several months, which have snowballed into a massive leak by the time that I type this. The documents were apparently shared on a small Discord server called Thug Shaker Central, where, in the New York Times’ words, about 20-30 people “came together over a shared love of guns [and] racist online memes.” The documents reveal U.S. positions on several different foreign matters, ranging from the war in Ukraine to weapons tests in China. Needless to say, it is… not awesome that this information has been publicly leaked, despite Biden’s attempts to downplay it, and it’s likely Teixeira will face pretty stiff penalties.
Your New Normal:
- Reproductive Justice Crossroads (cont). After last week’s dueling injunctions on the subject of medication abortion and DOJ’s appeal to them on the matter, the Supreme Court handled the situation on Friday by putting the mifepristone ban on ice for now. The case hit the Supreme Court’s desk after an unfavorable 5th circuit decision on the matter also came down on Wednesday of this week. That pause was then extended again today, so that the justices could conference privately on Friday of this week. Though it’s tempting to view these pauses as a sign they may reject the ban, I think it’s important to remember that this is the same exact court that struck down Roe in the first place, and the drug’s manufacturer also brought a countersuit this week arguing that they have “a constitutional right . . . to market mifepristone.” Frankly, it’s very likely that SCOTUS just doesn’t want to deal with the legal headache of leaving all of this pending at once.
- LGBT Losses. This was a very rough week for state LGBT legislation, and the overarching theme is expansive of scope. In Florida, the Don’t Say Gay rule was expanded by school board vote to encompass all public schools of all ages from K-12. This is, essentially, a massive expansion of an educational gag order, and it has a lot of implications for adolescents trying to grapple with their own identities. Meanwhile, in Missouri, the Attorney General unilaterally passed an emergency order, using the same public health emergency mechanisms federally used during the pandemic, to declare an “emergency rule” for gender-affirming care. The order dramatically curtails access for all denizens, of all ages, under both public and private insurance. Having forced myself to read the whole nonsensical, stomach-turning order, I agree with the 19th’s assessment that this intentionally makes gender-affirming care impossible to access for everyone in the state. I’m sure folks reading this are already aware, but that creates major health risks for the entire gender-diverse population of Missouri. Meanwhile, in Montana, Republicans are moving to censure the state’s first trans rep because she appropriately used a floor debate to rail against curtailing access to gender-affirming care.
- Recent Medical Resilience. Moderna and Merck & Co announced this week that early trials of an experimental vaccine for skin cancer have proven to help former patients stay in remission without relapse, which is a really promising sign for long-term cancer care. Amid this news, BioNTech announced that it will be starting its own trials for a similar vaccine in the fall. It’s really cool to see these further advances come using technology like that which created the COVID vaccine.
So that’s the news from this week Part 1, and don’t worry, we’ll be back with the other batch in just a few short days. For making it through, you deserve this otter hygiene routine 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 fewer weeks where I’m forced to write about gender-affirming care saving lives!