The abortion ruling came amid a string of high-profile decisions, including ones expanding gun rights and curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to curb carbon emissions. On Thursday, the court agreed to consider whether state lawmakers have the sole authority to determine how federal elections are run and where congressional district lines go.
Many of the recent rulings issued — but especially the overturning of Roe — elated conservatives and enraged liberals, sparking protests and condemnation from lawmakers, celebrities, corporations and civic groups who said they worried the court was becoming another political branch of government. After the court spent decades expanding the rights of many Americans, including by allowing same-sex marriage and protecting voting rights, many were stunned to see a right rolled back.
[F]or a man who famously avoids leaving emails or other trails of evidence of his unspoken motives, any doubts about what was really going through Mr. Trump’s mind on that day of violence seemed to have been eviscerated by testimony presented in recent weeks by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack — especially the dramatic appearance last week of a 26-year-old former White House aide who offered a chilling portrait of a president willing to do almost anything to hang onto power.
More than perhaps any insider account that has emerged, the recollections of the aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, demolished the fiction of a president who had nothing to do with what happened. Each revelation was stunning on its own: Mr. Trump knew that weapons were in the crowd as he exhorted supporters to “fight like hell,” and even tried to stop anyone from disarming them. He was so determined to join the mob at the Capitol that he lashed out at his Secret Service detail for refusing to take him. And he was so nonchalant about the bedlam he had unleashed that he suggested Vice President Mike Pence might deserve to be executed for refusing to overturn the election.
But when added together, the various disclosures have produced the clearest picture yet of an unprecedented attempt to subvert the traditional American democratic process, with a sitting president who had lost at the ballot box planning to march with an armed crowd to the Capitol to block the transfer of power, brushing aside manifold concerns about the potential for violence along the way.
A historical case for court packing and jurisdiction stripping, from Politico Magazine:
Acting in concert, the president and Congress may shape both the size and purview of the court. They can declare individual legislative measures or entire topics beyond their scope of review. It’s happened before, notably in 1868, when Congress passed legislation stripping the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases related to federal writs of habeas corpus. In the majority decision, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase acknowledged that the court’s jurisdiction was subject to congressional limitation. Subsequent justices, over the past century, have acknowledged the same.
That’s the brilliance of checks and balances. In the same way that Congress or the Supreme Court can rein in a renegade president, as was the case during Watergate, the president and Congress can place checks on an otherwise unconstrained court, if they believe the justices have exceeded their mandate.
From Business Insider and WaPo, more evidence of the increased strain that conscientious local election officials have been facing since 2020 . . . and the risks that their departure poses for our democracy:
The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona’s Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said Friday that she is fed up with the “nastiness” and has accepted a job outside the county. Her last day will be July 22. She said longtime elections director Lynn Constabile is leaving for the same reason, and Friday is her last day.
“A lot of it is the nastiness that we have dealt with,” Hoffman said. “I’m a Republican recorder living in a Republican county where the candidate that they wanted to win won by 2-to-1 in this county and still getting grief, and so is my staff.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger has said that new witnesses have come forward willing to provide evidence to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack since the damning testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the panel looking into the events leading up to the insurrection, told CNN’s State of the Union that people have been coming forward “every day” since Hutchinson testified on June 28.
The issue in Harper is whether the federal Constitution prevents a state court from determining whether the state legislature violated the state constitution in setting rules for federal elections. The petitioners — Republican legislative leaders — are asking the court to hold that it is unconstitutional for state courts and state constitutions to protect federal voting rights.
This argument rests on a blinkered reading of two clauses in the Constitution that assign to the legislature of each state the job of identifying the “Manner” of appointing presidential electors and the “Times, Places and Manner” of congressional elections. Neither clause suggests that state legislatures can violate their own constitutions.