Supreme Court May Hear ‘800-Pound Gorilla’ of Election Law Cases
Next week the justices will consider whether to resolve a long-simmering dispute about the power of state legislatures in federal elections.
In October 2020, with the presidential election looming, four conservative justices issued opinions that seemed prepared to endorse a legal theory that would radically reshape how federal elections are conducted. The theory would give state legislatures independent power, not subject to review by state courts, to set election rules at odds with state constitutions, and to draw congressional maps warped by partisan gerrymandering.
But the Supreme Court did not resolve the existence or scope of the theory, often called the independent state legislature doctrine, in cases concerning the 2020 election.
The question arose again this March in an emergency application from Republicans in North Carolina who wanted to restore a voting map drawn by the State Legislature and rejected as a partisan gerrymander by the State Supreme Court.
“The question presented here,” the application said, “goes to the very core of this nation’s democratic republic: what entity has the constitutional authority to set the rules of the road for federal elections.”
More trouble looms for Boris Johnson as he looks to move swiftly on
In the aftermath of last night’s confidence vote there is one thing that both Boris Johnson’s supporters and detractors largely agree on – at least in private.
That is, despite all the talk from Downing Street of moving on, there is no realistic chance of that happening.
As Will Walden, who worked for Johnson when he was mayor of London, put it: the vote last night was the “worst possible result short of losing”.
“The prime minister needed a decisive win last night and he did not get it, ”he told Sky News.
Megan Ranney / WBUR:
Lessons I’ve learned on the frontlines of the gun violence epidemic
Informed by extensive literature on trauma-informed care and prevention of post-traumatic stress, we know to start by acknowledging that a trauma has occurred. Whether someone experienced trauma directly (because they’ve been shot or have been in an active-shooter situation), or whether the trauma was experienced vicariously (because they’ve cared for, seen or been part of the community of a victim), we start with naming what has happened.
Next, we acknowledge the very real feelings – of accumulated pain, of compounded frustration, of sheer terror. These reactions are normal. Grief, fear and anger are entirely valid responses. We have learned to provide our patients and ourselves space to process what has happened. We hold ourselves, and each other, gently. We breathe.
Only then do we allow ourselves to move forward. After all, we know that resilience is built not by suppressing trauma – but by having a choice and a sense of control.
Margaret Sullivan / WaPo:
Why the press will never have another Watergate moment
Fifty years ago, the nation was gripped by media coverage of Nixon’s crimes – and there was no Fox News to tell it to look away
Woodward and Bernstein were almost alone on the story for months. But eventually, the leading newspapers of the nation started to cover the hell out of the burgeoning scandal and the percolating questions of what – and when – the president knew about the burglary plot.
Americans read this coverage in their local papers; many cities still had two or more dailies at that point. Later, they were riveted by the proceedings of the Senate Watergate Committee, whose hearings were aired live on the three big television networks during the summer of 1973. Graff reports that the average American household watched 30 hours of the hearings, which were also rebroadcast at night by PBS. (“The best thing that has happened to public television since ‘Sesame Street,'” one Los Angeles Times TV critic noted.)
Ethan Gray /Twitter:
This is a thread on Republican messaging. The press does not want to have a direct conversation with you about this. So as a former Republican who is now a consistent Democratic voter, I will.
Here is the Republican message on everything of importance:
1. They can tell people what to do.
2. You can not tell them what to do.This often gets mistaken for hypocrisy, there’s an additional layer of complexity to this (later in the thread), but this is the basic formula.
You’ve watched the Republican Party champion the idea of ”freedom” while you have also watched the same party openly assault various freedoms, like the freedom to vote, freedom to choose, freedom to marry who you want and so on.
If this has been a source of confusion, then your assessments of what Republicans mean by “freedom” were likely too generous. Here’s what they mean:
1. The freedom to tell people what to do.
2. Freedom from being told what to do.
Mick Ryan / Twitter:
The aim of this thread is not to review tactical lessons. It is however to record some of my higher-level observations which should be of use to governments, policy makers and senior military leaders.
First, Strategy matters. As the Russians have rediscovered in Ukraine, getting strategy (and its underpinning assumptions) right is critical to effective military operations. Effective strategic thinking is more important than tactical excellence.
Russian assumptions about a rapid Ukrainian collapse underpinned their initial military strategy. Putin’s desired political end state – a compliant Ukraine – relied on a decisive and quick military victory. The Ukrainians missed this memo.
9 / For this reason, strategic effectiveness – getting the political outcomes and supporting strategy right – is of profound importance to twenty-first-century nations and their military institutions. Russia’s Ukraine debacle is a case study of how not do 21st century strategy.
Second, uncertainty remains central to conflict. The last 100 days have also shown (again) that ambiguity & uncertainty are central to warfare, regardless of how many tweets and TV reports we see.