A judge has ordered the majority of a Southern California city’s governing body to be removed from office, concluding that the trio illegally held power by refusing to hold an election as required.
The order finalized Wednesday by Orange County Superior Court Judge Walter Schwarm calls for three members of the five-member city council in Mission Viejo to vacate their positions by 5 p.m. Pacific Time today, but it will be stayed for 30 days as lawyers for the city and councilmembers appeal.
The extraordinary development follows years of political wrangling in the 95,000-resident Orange County suburb over how to address a state law that calls for members of representative governing bodies to be elected through separate districts within a jurisdiction, instead of an at-large system where all voters select their top choices from all candidates. Lawyers for the resident who sued say the case exemplifies the dangers of unchecked power and the need for transparency with local governing bodies as public scrutiny becomes more scarce
Michigan elections board on Wednesday rejected an abortion rights initiative after its two Republican board members voted against putting the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
The two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers voted in favor, but getting the measure on the ballot required at least three votes of the four-member board. The Reproductive Freedom for All campaign, which gathered signatures to get the measure on the ballot, is expected to appeal to the Democratic-leaning Michigan Supreme Court in the coming days….
The Bureau of Elections verified last Thursday that the abortion ballot initiative petition contained enough valid signatures for the amendment to qualify for the ballot and recommended that the state Board of Canvassers approve the measure.
On Wednesday, Mary Ellen Gurewitz, a Democratic canvasser, said the board had “no authority to reject this petition due to challenges to the content of the petition.” But Tony Daunt, a Republican canvasser, said errors in some petition language were “egregious.”
The Michigan Board of Canvassers, comprising two Republicans and two Democrats, has become increasingly partisan in recent years.
The board made national headlines following the 2020 presidential election when one member, who has since resigned, abstained from voting to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The other GOP board member, who voted to certify, wasn’t nominated again by the state GOP party and was replaced by Tony Daunt, the board chairman.
Earlier this year, two leading candidates for the GOP nomination for governor were dropped from the primary ballot after the board deadlocked along partisan lines on whether too many fraudulent signatures on their nomination papers made them ineligible. A tie vote meant the candidates lost.
Lots of pixels have been spilled on a legal theory once considered fringe, the Independent State Legislature doctrine. This theory threatens to wreak havoc with centuries of election law. Two upcoming Supreme Court redistricting cases cite this doctrine. Both are brought by Republican-controlled legislatures, so you’d think it would be of net benefit to their party. I did the math. Like the web ads say, the answer might surprise you.
Until recently, the theory was considered radical. It is based on Article I and II of the Constitution, which assign state-level power to regulate federal elections to legislatures. In two cases, Moore v. Harper and Costello v. Carter, lawyers representing Republican legislators question how much of a role the word “legislature” leaves for state courts.
A favorable ruling would go against precedents going back to George Washington’s first term of office. Ironically, the North Carolina General Assembly itself, represented in Moore v. Harper, passed a law two decades ago explicitly handing authority over redistricting to the state Supreme Court they now oppose. But recent Supreme Court rulings – on abortion, on religious expression, and on election law – make clear that the Court is unafraid to break from the past when there’s power or policy at stake.
If the Supreme Court does rule in favor of the theory, voters across the nation will take a major hit in the form of fewer competitive seats. Legislators generally draw safer districts than courts or independent commissions. I have analyzed ten states whose redistricting will potentially be affected by the ISL doctrine. In these states, up to 25 competitive Congressional districts would be replaced by single party-drawn plans. That’s over half of the competitive districts drawn this year! (Contrary to what is being said out there, there’s actually a fair lot of competition in the new maps. That’s a topic for a different day.)
The Independent State Legislature theory would disrupt the partisan balance that has emerged in many states. To determine this, I estimated what a party-blind redistricting process would produce in the ten states* that would be currently affected by the theory. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project has performed computer simulations** and used fairness metrics to identify neutral ranges of outcomes. Only two states, both under single-party control, have outcomes outside the range, Florida (R) and Maryland (D). Left unchecked, single-party control would let the other eight states join them.
However, Congressional power is determined not by single states, but by their combined total representation. So let’s add it all up….
John Eastman, the lawyer who developed strategies to block certification of the 2020 election, is “probably a target” in the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn Donald J. Trump’s election loss in Georgia, one of Mr. Eastman’s lawyers said on Wednesday. Mr. Eastman spent the morning appearing before an Atlanta special grand jury looking into the matter.
The assertion that Mr. Eastman could face indictment in the Georgia case came from Harvey Silverglate, a well-known Boston-area criminal defense lawyer and civil liberties advocate who is representing Mr. Eastman.
Mr. Silverglate said that his client had not been identified as a target by Fulton County prosecutors in Atlanta, as a number of other pro-Trump figures have been, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who served as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer after the November 2020 election.
However, in a phone interview on Wednesday morning, Mr. Silverglate said of Mr. Eastman: “I think he’s probably a target, but I don’t think he’s a legitimate target,” adding that he believed Mr. Eastman had broken no laws in Georgia.
“I don’t think my client is going to be convicted of anything,” Mr. Silverglate said. “If he is indicted, a motion to dismiss will end the case.”
In a brief phone interview after he left the Fulton County courthouse — where he appeared behind closed doors in front of the special grand jury — Mr. Eastman said that he never sought to overturn the November 2020 election but rather was calling for investigations into what he described as “illegality” in the process.
“We really take issue with the district attorney’s office appearing, apparently, to criminalize contested legal theories,” he said. In a statement, Mr. Silverglate and another of Mr. Eastman’s lawyers, Charles Burnham, said they advised Mr. Eastman “to assert attorney client privilege and the constitutional right to remain silent where appropriate” in Wednesday’s grand jury appearance.
From Eggers v. Evnen, in an opinion by Judge Raymond Gruender, joined by Judge David Stras (some citations omitted):
The Nebraska constitution gives voters the power directly to enact statutes and constitutional amendments placed on the general-election ballot. Neb. Const. art. III, § 2. To qualify for placement on the ballot, a proposed statute or constitutional amendment must satisfy two conditions. First, at least seven percent (in the case of a proposed statute) or ten percent (in the case of a proposed constitutional amendment) of registered voters must sign a ballot petition. Id. Second, the signatories must “be so distributed as to include five percent of the registered voters of each of two-fifths of the counties of the state.”
This case concerns the second requirement (the “signature distribution requirement”). On September 2, 2021, [Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana] initiated petitions to place proposals to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes on the November 2022 ballot. Eggers is a paid contractor, volunteer, and sponsor of NMM. On May 16, 2022, Eggers and NMM sued the Nebraska Secretary of State in federal court. As relevant here, the plaintiffs claimed that the signature distribution requirement violated Eggers’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause because it devalued her signature relative to the signatures of citizens in less populous counties. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the signature distribution requirement is unconstitutional on its face and an injunction against its enforcement. . . .
The plaintiffs’ contention is foreclosed by circuit precedent. No right can qualify as “fundamental” for purposes of equal-protection analysis unless it is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. And we have repeatedly stated that the right to place initiatives on the state ballot “is not a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution, but is a right created by state law.” [string citation, including,] cf. John Doe No. 1 v. Reed, 561 U.S. 186, 212 (2010) (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (“[Initiatives and referenda] are not compelled by the Federal Constitution. It is instead up to the people of each State . . . to decide whether and how to permit legislation by popular action. States enjoy considerable leeway . . . to specify the requirements for obtaining ballot access . . . .” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Contra Idaho Coal. United for Bears v. Cenarrusa, 342 F.3d 1073, 1077 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2003). In fact, we have applied this principle to the very provision at issue here, distinguishing the “right to vote in an election of political representatives,” which we recognized is “fundamental,” from the right burdened by the signature distribution requirement “to participate in [placing] initiatives and referenda” on the ballot, which we held is “state-created” and thus “nonfundamental.”
Judge Jane Kelly dissented:
The district court relied on Moore v. Ogilvie, 394 U.S. 814 (1969), for the premise that access to the ballot is a right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At issue in Moore was an Illinois statute requiring independent candidates to provide an “aggregate total of 25,000 signatures” including “the signatures of 200 qualified voters from each of at least 50 counties” in order to qualify for the ballot. The Court held that because the requirement “discriminates against the residents of the populous counties of the State in favor of rural sections” it “lacks the equality to which the exercise of political rights is entitled under the Fourteenth Amendment.” . . .
The plaintiffs have persuasively argued that Nebraska’s signature distribution requirement may restrain the fundamental right to vote, thus triggering heightened scrutiny review. And the Secretary’s arguments in favor of the signature distribution requirement do not survive strict scrutiny. “[T]he States are required to insure that each person’s vote counts as much, insofar as it [i]s practicable, as any other person’s.” Hadley v. Junior Coll. Dist. of Metro. Kan. City, 397 U.S. 50, 54 (1970). Nebraska’s requirements discriminate against voters in more populous counties in precisely the same manner as the Illinois state law struck down in Moore, a violation of the one person, one vote principle.
The Secretary claims, and the court accepts, that there should be a distinction between the right to vote for a political representative and the right to vote on an initiative, the latter right granted only by the states and thus not guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. But the right addressed in Moore included the right to vote for presidential electors, a right not guaranteed by the Federal Constitution but instead granted by the states. See Moore, 394 U.S. at 815; Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 104 (2000) (“The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States.”). This distinction, therefore, cannot be dispositive. See Bush, 531 U.S. at 104-05 (“Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.”); see also San Antonio Indep. Sch. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 35 n. 78 (recognizing that “the right to vote, per se, is not a constitutionally protected right,” but is “shorthand” for “the protected right, implicit in our constitutional system, to participate in state elections on an equal basis with other qualified voters whenever the State has adopted an elective process for determining who will represent any segment of the State’s population”). In any event, the Supreme Court has not expressly limited the “right to vote” in the way the court does today.
Cailin Slattery post.
Arizona’s ballot in November will exclude a sweeping election reform proposition after the state Supreme Court upheld a decision to throw out the majority of the nearly half-million petition signatures collected.
The measure would have checked the power of the state Legislature to overturn the results of a federal election, as Republican allies of former President Donald J. Trump attempted to do after he lost to Joseph R. Biden Jr. in 2020 in the battleground state.
It also would have established same-day voter registration in Arizona, restored a permanent early voting list that Republicans repealed last year and prohibited partisan audits like those initiated by state lawmakers.
In a two-page order signed on Friday by Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed a lower court judge’s earlier decision to reject more than 238,000 signatures from the petition to place the measure on the ballot.
To qualify for ballot access, the signatures of 237,645 Arizona voters were needed to support the measure — and more than 475,000 signatures were collected by a coalition of groups aligned with Democrats. But an onslaught of challenges followed from conservatives, including those with ties to Mr. Trump, with the petition drive falling short by 1,458 signatures and supporters of the measure decrying the ruling.
“What we’re seeing here is the result of 20 years of Republican efforts to chip away at democracy in Arizona,” Stacy Pearson, a spokeswoman for the coalition supporting the ballot measure, said in an interview on Tuesday.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a conservative group that challenged the signatures and whether petition circulators enlisted as part of the effort had complied with the state’s rules, called the measure a “radical” election initiative.
Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for the group, said in an email on Tuesday that the invalidated signatures included 20,000 duplicates.
“These cases are extraordinarily difficult for the courts and litigants alike,” Mr. Langhofer said. “They involve hundreds of thousands of signatures and must be resolved in a few weeks, before ballots print. Given those hurdles, only sophisticated clients can bring or defend cases like this.”
The measure’s opponents included a Republican-backed election law group called Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, which is led by Derek Lyons, a former White House counsel for Mr. Trump.
The group, whose board members include William P. Barr, an attorney general under Mr. Trump, described the election reform package as a “liberal wish list of election integrity-destroying measures.”
Democrats who backed the initiative accused the Arizona Supreme Court of defying the wishes of voters and noted that five of its seven members were appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican who opposed the measure and earlier expanded the court.
Tom Edsall NYT column:
What would it be like living in this country in 2025 if Trump, DeSantis or one of their emulators wins the White House backed by Republican majorities in the House and Senate?
I posed this question to a number of experts and received a wide range of responses….
Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, wrote in an email that “if a Trump Republican becomes president in 2025, I am less worried about church-state relations, or a federal ban on abortion, the passage of extremely illiberal national legislation, and so on.”
Instead, Diamond said, “I am worried about the extreme politicization and abuse of federal government power, the targeting of political enemies, and the mobilization and emboldening of the violent, well-armed, extremist fringe of Trump followers — who, even though they may represent a small percentage of Trump supporters, are in absolute numbers significant.”
If Trump wins, Diamond continued, he will initiate the removal of government officials believed to be disloyal, including those currently protected by Civil Service regulations:
He would stack the upper reaches of government with absolute loyalists who would follow his wishes on domestic policy, foreign policy, and abuse of power, rather than try to delay, obstruct, or undermine his anti-democratic impulses. He would fire Christopher Wray at F.B.I. and install a loyalist to politicize that crucial agency. He would also install individuals he could trust to follow his authoritarian orders and sympathies to head other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and he would purge career professionals in numerous government departments and agencies suspected of disloyalty to him personally.
Richard Hasen, a law professor at U.C.L.A., argued in an email that should Republicans prevail in the 2024 election, the crucial question will be how victory was achieved: “It is important at the outset to differentiate between a Trump (or another candidate’s) legitimate win and one that would come through some form of election subversion.”
If Trump fails to win legitimately but finds a route to being installed as president, Hasen wrote, “then at that point the United States ceases to be a democracy. Such a move to steal an election would likely be followed by other means of solidifying and maintaining power, such as control over the military and reformulation of election rules so that the regime would be self-perpetuating.”
Such a scenario, in Hasen’s view,
would no doubt lead to massive street protests, and these could well be put down with violence. Such violence could then deter people from speaking out in media. There could also be soft or harder controls over the media. There would be tremendous uncertainty over what a post-democracy period would look like in the United States. People would not feel free to speak out against the regime, much like there are penalties for doing so in other repressive societies.
Conversely, Hasen wrote,
If Trump (or another candidate like Trump) legitimately wins office in 2024 then I think we would not likely see all of those things I mentioned, including a takeover of the military or massive disenfranchisement or electoral manipulation. Instead I think we would see much of what we saw during Trump’s first term, only more extreme. He would put more of his loyalists in key places in the government, and push the limits of what is allowed in terms of taking power and changing society toward his desires.
The lesson to be drawn from the second Trump impeachment, according to Hasen, “is that Republicans who challenge Trump will be drummed out of the party. That means Trump would be able to get away with a lot more without Republican pushback.”
Richard Pildes, a law professor at N.Y.U., based his emailed comments on the premise that “democratic backsliding is not about ordinary policy conflict, but an attack on the mechanisms and values that sustain democracies.”
In the United States, Pildes wrote, “one might imagine the party in power during unified government would seek to dramatically expand the number and size of the federal courts, then fill these new positions.” Trump, Pildes noted, has already indicated that “one of the first things he’d do if re-elected would be an executive order reassigning tens of thousands civil servants into ‘Schedule F’ positions — which would mean they would lose their Civil Service protections and could be fired and replaced with new appointees the President would choose.”
Instead of censorship, Pildes wrote, an authoritarian-leaning president would seek to control the media
through exacting economic leverage against it or delegitimating it by calling it “fake news.” As they insulate themselves from accountability, these governments then use their discretionary powers over grants, licenses, and the like to pressure businesses and others to extract “donations” to political campaigns, toe the party line, or at least not to challenge it publicly. We saw a glimpse of this during Covid, with President Trump saying he would provide desperately needed equipment to governors who were “nice” to him, not “nasty.”
North Carolina has now filed its opening brief. I want to single out one aspect of that brief here.
As I’ve emphasized, there are at least two different versions of ISLT on the role of state constitutions. The more sweeping one is that state constitutions cannot impose any substantive constraints on state laws regulating national elections (I’ll just call these state laws, to condense). The other is that specific constitutional constraints can apply, but state courts cannot rely on broad, general provisions – such as those that guarantee “free and fair elections” – to invalidate these state laws. Under the first theory, a state constitutional provision that specifically bans partisan gerrymandering would be enforceable. But state courts could not rely on general provisions to get to the same result.
The North Carolina case presents a version of the second situation. The NC Constitution does not contain any express ban on partisan gerrymandering. Instead, the state court relied on general state constitutional provisions, such as those providing that elections must be “free” and protections for the rights of free speech, assembly, the press, and the state’s equal protection clause. Before the Supreme Court, the state could have taken the narrowest position necessary to get to the result it seeks; it could have argued that this case does not present the question of how specific provisions in state constitutions apply to these state laws. NC could have argued that, in this case, the question is whether state courts can rely on general provisions to invalidate these state laws.
But instead, NC is arguing for the much more sweeping position. Or rather, it trades off between these two positions. Its Question Presented, for example, frames the issue as one involving allegedly “vague constitutional provisions.” Parts of the brief continue to hammer away at the “vagueness” of the relevant provisions. But other parts of the brief essentially argue that state constitutions cannot impose any substantive constraints on these state laws, regardless of how specific those provisions might be. Here is one of many such passages in the brief: “When a state legislature’s election regulations are nullified by a state court on state-constitutional grounds, the practical result is that the State has reallocated a portion of the authority assigned specifically to its legislature by the federal Constitution and parceled it out instead to its courts.” The central position of the NC brief is that no substantive state constitutional provisions can constrain these state laws.
How many Justices on the Court have indicated they start out likely to support the principle that at least some limits exist on the substantive constraints state constitutions can impose on state laws regulating national elections? I count three: Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch.
Justice Barrett has not yet expressed any view on any version of the ISLT at all.
Chief Justice Roberts has taken the view that a state constitution cannot transfer the authority to design congressional districts completely out of the hands of the state legislature. But he has not expressed a view about specific substantive state constitutional constraints on state legislation regulating national elections.
Justice Kavanaugh’s stated positions require a bit more unpacking. In his own words, in the one statement he has issued on the ISLT, he has indicated some support only for the position that the Constitution constrains state judicial interpretation of state laws regulating national elections. He has not himself addressed the role of state constitutional provisions.
On the other hand, he did join a statement of Justice Gorsuch’s in the DNV v. Wisconsin State Legislature case (on the eve of the 2020 election) concurring in the denial of a stay application. I’m not sure what to make of that statement, because Justice Gorsuch asserts there that even federal courts cannot apply the federal constitution to invalidate these state laws. I doubt anyone on the Court believes that, and I’m not even sure Justice Gorsuch does – this statement was issued in incredibly rushed circumstances in the final days of the 2020 election. That position would mostly be unnecessary, in any event, because if upper-level courts disagree with the way a federal court has applied the Constitution, they can always reverse that judgment on the merits. In any event, this Justice Gorsuch statement is puzzling enough I am not inclined to read much into Justice Kavanaugh signing it.
Thus, I read three Justices as having indicated initial support for the position that at least some state constitutional provisions can’t be enforced against state laws regulating national elections. This isn’t to predict how many votes there will be on the merits for the broad position that state constitutions cannot constrain these state laws. It’s just an accounting of what various Justices have said in opinions or statements in cases thus far.
One week after a team of F.B.I. agents descended on his private club and residence in Florida, former President Donald J. Trump warned that his followers were enraged by the search — and that things could get out of hand if the Justice Department kept the heat on him.
“People are so angry at what is taking place,” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “Whatever we can do to help because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”
This week, one of Mr. Trump’s closest allies, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, issued a similar warning that Mr. Trump quickly reposted on his social media platform. Mr. Graham, in a Fox News appearance on Sunday, predicted that if the search of Mar-a-Lago led to a prosecution of the former president, there would be “riots in the streets.”
The assessments by both men were worded carefully enough that they could be defended as efforts to spare the nation unnecessary strife, and on Monday, Mr. Graham tried to walk back his remarks, saying, “I reject violence.”
But the statements could also be perceived as fanning the same flames of outrage they claimed to be trying to avert. They carried a distinct echo of Mr. Trump’s calls after the 2020 election to do what was needed to keep him in office, signals that contributed to the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol soon after he urged his supporters to “fight like hell.”
In a broader sense, the F.B.I.’s search of Mar-a-Lago has emerged as the latest rallying cry for those on the right who have long been suspicious that the powers of the federal government could be turned against them. It has prompted calls to dismantle or defund the F.B.I. and furious denunciations of what far-right supporters of Mr. Trump increasingly portray as an overreaching national security apparatus.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump spent much of the morning reposting messages from known purveyors of the QAnon conspiracy theory and from 4chan, an anonymous message platform where threats of violence often blossom. Some were outright provocations, such as a photograph of President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi with their faces obscured by the words, “Your enemy is not in Russia.”
Over the past several years, intimations of violence have become more common in the Republican Party, a trend fueled in large part by Mr. Trump’s lies about his election loss. Threats of violent responses from the right have also shown up around policy changes such as the recent gun legislation signed into law by Mr. Biden and surrounding hot-button social issues like transgender rights and the teaching of antiracism themes in schools.
Now the response by Mr. Trump and some of his allies to the search at Mar-a-Lago — including statements laced with fury at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. — is underscoring yet again the degree to which threatening undertones are creeping into Republican political speech, raising concern about words spilling over into violent action.
Former President Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning posting inflammatory messages on social media, including many explicitly promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
While Trump has in the past promoted QAnon-inspired accounts and theories, the posts on his Truth Social account were his most explicit, unobscured, QAnon-promoting and QAnon-baiting posts to date.
In one, he reposted the QAnon slogan — “Where We Go One We Go All.” In another, he re-posted a 2017 message from “Q” that’s critical of the intelligence community. The QAnon conspiracy theory was built around Q, an anonymous account that posts periodically on 8kun, often with vague or symbolic language that is then interpreted by followers. The account claims to document a secret battle being waged by Trump against the Democratic Party, which followers of the theory contend is run by satanic, child-eating cannibals who run a pedophile ring filled with celebrities and political elites who have been covertly running the United States government for decades. None of the posts’ concrete predictions have come to fruition.
Users of QAnon forums rejoiced at Trump’s apparent endorsement of the conspiracy theory and its mythology. The top response on the most visited QAnon forum to one of Trump’s posts about the conspiracy theory read simply, “Wipe them out sir.” Others pleaded with Trump to “nuke them from orbit” and to “sir, please finish them off,” referring to QAnon enemies such as Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden.
In addition to the QAnon-adjacent posts, Trump shared several conspiracy theories Tuesday on his Truth Social site and he re-posted a picture of Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the words “Your enemy is not in Russia” written in black bars over their eyes.
The posting spree comes one day after Trump posted a message that he should be reinstated as president — “Declare the rightful winner, or hold a new Election, NOW!” — and as he’s come under increased scrutiny from federal investigators who executed a search warrant at his Florida resort earlier this month and recovered troves of classified documents.
A conservative group has filed a complaint against President Biden accusing him of violating federal election law by not officially informing the Federal Election Commission that he plans to run again in 2024.
The complaint is unlikely to succeed or be resolved quickly — not only because the commission has been hobbled for years by partisan infighting, but also because of the high burden of proof required to show that Mr. Biden has in fact decided to pursue re-election.
It nonetheless highlights the political bind the White House has found itself in while facing grumbling about the president from his fellow Democrats, as well as the gridlock that has crippled the nation’s top election agency and has led it to be mocked on late-night talk shows.
President Joe Biden plans to deliver a prime-time speech this week about how America’s “rights and freedoms are still under attack,” returning to the core message of his 2020 campaign as Americans are getting ready to vote in the November midterm elections.
A White House official said Thursday’s address at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia would focus on “the continued battle for the soul of the nation” and show how the president sees the central argument of his 2020 candidacy remains as salient as ever with the midterm elections coming into clearer focus.
The president will lay out how America’s standing in the world and its democracy are at stake, the official said. Biden will highlight what he sees as progress over the past two years to protect our democracy, but note that rights and freedoms remain at risk.
“He will make clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy,” the official said.