“Arizona Supreme Court justice targeted for removal over 1864 abortion ban blasts critics”

Arizona Republic:

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick forcefully decries the effort urging voters to remove him and a colleague from the bench since upholding the state’s 1864 abortion law, arguing his critics are “hijacking the retention process.”

In a 1,500-word opinion piece in The Arizona Republic published Monday, Bolick insults his critics, defends the abortion ruling and the state’s judges, and warns against a politically driven retention system that would be “game-over for the rule of law.”

Those seeking to oust him and Justice Kathryn H. King have turned to the slogan “Vote Them Out!” which, he said, “packs with venom what it lacks in substance.”

The liberal activist group Progress Arizona is advocating their removal, saying that when the court puts “ideology over the people” it is a “civic duty” to change justices.

“The groups opposing us need a serious civics lesson about the role of the courts. Nowhere in their materials will you read about the importance of an independent judiciary in protecting our free society,” Bolick wrote….

Bolick, 66, describes himself as an independent who has set Arizona’s record for judicial dissents. But he is also linked to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the conservative justice who has become a symbol to many of the court’s rightward tilt and who has faced widespread complaints of violating the principles of judicial ethics. Thomas is godfather to one of Bolick’s children, according to the 2000 book “Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade” by Nina J. Easton.

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“GOP to court: Let Arizona block voting for president without citizenship proof”


Republicans want a federal judge to let thestate block those who do not provide proof of citizenshipfrom voting in this year’s presidential election.

In new legal filings Friday, House Speaker Ben Toma, SenatePresident Warren Petersen and the Republican NationalCommittee told Judge Susan Bolton they want to appeal her ruling that Arizonans who use a federal voter registration form are entitled to cast a ballot in presidential elections. Bolton voided parts of a 2022 law that says only those who provide“satisfactory evidence of citizenship’’ can vote in those elections.

Bolton’s order remains in place while the Republicans seekreview by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. And that means the35,273 Arizonans who used that form to register are eligible tocast ballots in November’s rerun of the 2020 election betweenJoe Biden and Donald Trump….

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“Minnesota ends prison gerrymandering”

Prison Gerrymandering Project:

On Friday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed HF 4772 — an omnibus elections policy bill — into law, officially ending prison gerrymandering in the state. With this action, Minnesota joins the rapidly growing list of states that have taken action on this issue. The measure requires state and local governments to count incarcerated people at their home addresses when drawing new political districts during their redistricting process.

Prison gerrymandering is a problem created because the Census Bureau incorrectly counts incarcerated people as residents of their prison cells rather than their home communities. As a result, when states use Census data to draw new state or local districts, they inadvertently give residents of districts with prisons greater political clout than all other state residents….

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“Sen. Marco Rubio won’t commit to accepting 2024 election results”

NBC News:

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, widely seen as a potential vice presidential pick for former President Donald Trump, on Sunday refused to say whether he would accept the results of the 2024 presidential election, instead blaming Democrats for sowing doubts about the election.

The senator, appearing on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” said, “I think you’re asking the wrong person. The Democrats are the ones that have opposed every Republican victory since 2000. Every single one.”

He added, “And you have Democrats now saying they won’t certify 2024 because Trump is an insurrectionist and ineligible to hold office. So you need to ask them.”

Rubio’s refusal to say if he would accept the results of the 2024 election is notable because he did vote to certify the presidential election for then-President-elect Joe Biden. At the time, he said, “Democracy is held together by people’s confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results.”

Moderator Kristen Welker pushed back on Rubio, reminding him that no Democratic presidential candidate — including Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she lost to Trump — refused to concede the election.

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“Montana’s attorney general said he recruited token primary opponent to increase campaign fundraising”


Montana’s attorney general told supporters he skirted the state’s campaign finance laws by inviting another Republican to run against him as a token candidate in next month’s primary so he could raise more money for the November general election, according to a recording from a fundraising event.

“I do technically have a primary,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said last week when asked at the event who was running against him. “However, he is a young man who I asked to run against me because our campaign laws are ridiculous.”

Knudsen separately faces dozens of professional misconduct allegations from the state’s office of attorney discipline as he seeks a second term. He made the comments about his primary opponent during the fundraiser on May 11 in Dillon, Montana, according to the recording obtained by the Daily Montanan, which is part of the nonprofit States Newsroom organization.

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“See How Easily A.I. Chatbots Can Be Taught to Spew Disinformation”


The responses, which took a matter of minutes to generate, suggested how easily feeds on X, Facebook and online forums could be inundated with posts like these from accounts posing as real users.

False and manipulated information online is nothing new. The 2016 presidential election was marred by state-backed influence campaigns on Facebook and elsewhere — efforts that required teams of people.

Now, one person with one computer can generate the same amount of material, if not more. What is produced depends largely on what A.I. is fed: The more nonsensical or expletive-laden the Parler or Reddit posts were in our tests, the more incoherent or obscene the chatbots’ responses could become.

And as A.I. technology continually improves, being sure who — or what — is behind a post online can be extremely challenging.

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