So You’ve Ended Roe. How Are You Going to Support Women and Babies?
Plus, the House Republicans who sought pardons.
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People much better educated than I am will be able to argue over the constitutional and legal questions presented by today’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. From my perspective, bringing an end to an objectively radical abortion regime is welcome. We’ve played fast and loose with this aspect of human dignity for too long; doing so has left lasting social and political scars and seared the conscience of the nation. I do not rejoice in the end of Roe, but neither do I regret it.
The Dobbs ruling brings to a close the era in which abortion policy was imposed at the national level by judicial fiat, and it begins a new era in which abortion policy will be shaped mainly by the work of state legislatures and governors. It is bound to be a wild ride. The polarized political age we live in was created and shaped, in no small part, by the Roe decision, and the animosities generated by it have seeped into every corner of public life. As Chief Justice John Roberts said in his concurrence, “This is a serious jolt to the legal system”—and not just the legal system but to our politics and the administrative state as well. Elected officials—local, county, state, and federal—who have let the Court take the heat on this issue for fifty years now face a reckoning: They must determine how to fashion an abortion policy based on the conflicted consensus that actually exists, which calls for abortion to be far less common but still remain legally available under certain circumstances.
AMANDA CARPENTER: The Republicans Who Wanted Pardons for Their Trump Coup Actions.
In late 2020, Donald Trump instructed a top Justice Department official to “Just say [the election] was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”
Trump gave this command on Dec. 27, 2020—nearly eight weeks after Election Day and almost two weeks after the Electoral College met and confirmed Joe Biden’s victory—to then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who revealed it in testimony before the House January 6th Committee yesterday. The revelation, confirmed in Donoghue’s contemporaneous notes, shows just how serious the former president was about overturning the election.
With that simple order, Trump’s plot becomes clear. He wanted Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to lie about the election, creating a pretense that Republican members of Congress could use to reject Electoral College votes for Biden.
The Supreme Court reoriented our understanding of fundamental rights today. Now come the fights over the right to travel, and access to FDA-approved drugs. Plus, the former president tried to get the Department of Justice to commit fraud. Ben Wittes joins Charlie for the weekend pod.
The Atlantic’s David Frum joins the group to discuss the January 6 committee’s purpose and the prospects for a non-Trump in 2024. Plus, guns, the gas tax holiday, Uvalde, and Biden’s trip Saudi Arabia.
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DENNIS AFTERGUT: In Striking Down Century-Old Law, Supreme Court Gives Another Boost to Gun Culture.
In a 6-3 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court in NY Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen tells us again that guns are king. Not to worry that there were 246 mass shootings in America this year through early June, including 13 in one weekend this month.
It’s true that the new decision is not strictly about semiautomatic rifles of the kind used to kill 19 schoolchildren in Uvalde and 10 grocery shoppers in Buffalo. Rather, the case involved a New York state law requiring owners to show a “special need” to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. That requirement prohibited ordinary folk from walking about town with loaded weapons hidden in their pockets, although it permitted off-duty police to do so. Yesterday’s ruling deemed New York’s law, and presumably also the similar measures on the books in five other states (California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey), unconstitutional.
Safe streets, America? Sorry, we’re all originalists here. As Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion puts it, after rehearsing various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century restrictions on publicly carrying firearms, “None of these historical limitations on the right to bear arms . . . operated to prevent law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from carrying arms in public for that purpose.”
Nearly four months into the invasion of Ukraine, the Russians have changed the political objective of their operation. No longer do they seek as a short-term goal to install a puppet dictator in Kyiv; they instead now intend to annex eastern and southern Ukraine.
In this new phase of the war—or, one could argue, this fundamentally new war—resilience and endurance are the factors that will make the biggest difference for each side. With the arrival of HIMARS—a U.S. artillery system—and Russia’s reversion to artillery fire, the land war is shaping up to be one of competing artillery. This type of engagement is extremely taxing on man and matériel, even by war standards. As retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling mentioned yesterday (on Thursday Night Bulwark), the Russians have a lot of low-quality artillery—heavy, inaccurate, and comparatively immobile—while the Ukrainians have limited artillery fire of excellent quality—light, accurate, and highly mobile. It remains to be seen which side of this asymmetry will prove more advantageous in the current conflict.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: Jan. 6th Hearings: A Lesson in Political Courage.
I am a lifelong Republican. My parents and grandparents were as well, and they taught me that our party was defined by the principles of respect for the rule of law and faithful service to the Constitution.
The hearings of the House January 6th Committee, particularly this past Tuesday’s hearing, have been a master class in upholding those principles.
With calm integrity, Republican state and local election officials told the committee—and our country—how they withstood immense pressure from former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the will of the people in the 2020 election.
A new 50 year political fight begins… Today’s decision on Dobbs is one that will reverberate for decades, changing politics as we know it. One person I am friends with told me their boss sent everyone home for the day and told them to log-off, and unplug. Smart. Which got me thinking about this cartoon.
I don’t know about you, but I know people who lost their jobs (not as pundits or political staffers) for things they said online. Some deservedly so, others, not. In the coming days, we’re gonna learn about a whole host of people who lost their jobs because they lost their cool. Rightly, or wrongly.
I know the Bulwark community is more informed than most, and quite passionate, too. Dobbs and the fallout from this decision will be around for a long time, so if your blood pressure is high and you’re mad, just remember: freaking in is better than freaking out. There is plenty of time, regardless of your views on abortion, to push for what you stand for.
The year the clock broke. How 1992 and 2022 are, well, a lot a like.
The gorilla in the room. This is kind of disturbing.
Come again? The Libertarian Party is calling for a national divorce. (Seriously.)
Youngkin tries to thread the needle. While other states are going full bore about their trigger laws (see: Missouri, Ohio), Virginia’s term-limited governor is going for something more achievable, though I don’t see it happening: a 15 week abortion ban. Which would put Virginia in a similar position as France and many other western nations. It probably won’t happen though, but what Virginia Dems and Republicans do next will be interesting to see.
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