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Today's Top Political and Coronavirus News Compilation - Friday, July 1, 2022

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Below are some of the top political news stories of the day:


(AP Photo/Tom Beaumont)

Trump’s vulnerabilities for 2024 mount after new testimony
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — Stunning new revelations about former President Donald Trump’s fight to overturn the 2020 election have exposed growing political vulnerabilities just as he eyes another presidential bid.


Today's Top Political and Coronavirus News Compilation - Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Below are some of the top political news stories of the day:


(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.


Latest Political News Feed

Justice Thomas rises: A monumental Supreme Court term's rightward shift shows no sign of slowing

  • News source: Bill Mears, Shannon Bream
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 0
Justice Clarence Thomas celebrated his 74th birthday last week with a gift he delivered himself — authoring the majority opinion in a gun rights case that will have nationwide implications.

It was the capstone to a monumental, but splintered term that saw the 6-3 conservative majority prevail on a bounty of hot-button issues and building momentum to a dramatic rightward shift that shows no sign of slowing.

As the senior associate justice and de facto driver of the conservative wing, Thomas this year used his deft leadership in the court:

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Texas Supreme Court blocks ruling that said abortions could resume

  • News source: Lawrence Richard
  • Replies: 0
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The Texas Supreme Court on Friday blocked a lower court order that permitted some abortions.

The decision is the latest development in a wild couple of weeks for the state of Texas.

On Friday, June 24, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutionally-protected abortion rights across the country.

The decision resulted in so-called "trigger laws" in nearly two dozen states going into effect.


One of these laws, signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, prevented...
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Fossil fuels are far better than blackouts

  • News source: Jason Hayes, Opinion Contributor
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 0

New York overhauls gun laws after Supreme Court ruling

  • News source: BBC News - World
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 3
The restrictions adopted in New York are likely to end up in another legal challenge.
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The five Republicans who could challenge Trump in 2024

  • News source: Max Greenwood
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 4
Former President Donald Trump has hinted repeatedly that he’s weighing another bid for the White House in 2024.

And while he’s made clear that, if he does so, the nomination should be his for the taking, he could still face some competition. A number of Republicans have begun maneuvering toward presidential campaigns of their own, some more overtly than others.

Of course, there’s a political risk that comes with challenging Trump. But that doesn’t appear to be deterring some prospective candidates.

Here are the five Republicans who could challenge Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nod.

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has brushed off suggestions that he will mount a presidential campaign in 2024, saying that his No. 1 priority is winning a second term in the governor’s mansion.

But he also hasn’t explicitly ruled out the possibility, and unlike several other prospective GOP presidential contenders, he hasn’t committed to foregoing a White House bid if Trump launches a comeback campaign.

And with his clout among Republicans on the rise, it’s possible that, if DeSantis ultimately decides to run in 2024, he may not be deterred by the former president.

Early polling shows him as the heavy favorite for the Republican presidential nomination if Trump doesn’t run again. There are even a few recent surveys that show him topping Trump in a hypothetical primary matchup.

DeSantis's growing momentum and influence within the GOP suggests that he may ultimately have a path to the nomination, with or without Trump in the race, especially given the fact that he still has plenty of room to grow his name ID among Republicans nationally.

Mike Pence

Despite running afoul of Trump early last year when he rebuffed the former president’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, former Vice President Mike Pence has begun more aggressively positioning himself for a potential White House bid in recent months.

He’s given a series of high-profile speeches, traveled to crucial early presidential primary and caucus states and even made a trip to the Ukraine-Poland border amid Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Pence is also among a small group of Republicans considering a White House run, regardless of what Trump decides to do in 2024.

While he has isolated parts of Trump’s conservative voter base with his insistence that he had no right to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Pence has cast himself as a successor to the former president’s policy legacy. He’s touted his work with Trump, while also fashioning himself as a protector of democratic institutions in the face of efforts to tear them down.

All that is to say that Pence might just be willing to take his chances in a potential 2024 matchup against his former boss.

Mike Pompeo

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earned a reputation as one of Trump’s most loyal advisers and cabinet members during his four years in the White House.

But he’s since taken steps away from the former president, all the while seeking to boost his post-administration political profile.

Not long after leaving the State Department, Pompeo created a political action committee dubbed Champion American Values PAC – or CAVPAC – and has actively endorsed in midterm races across the country, at times putting himself at odds with Trump.

In the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania, for instance, Pompeo backed former hedge fund CEO David McCormick over Trump’s pick for the nomination, celebrity physician Mehmet Oz. Pompeo even held a press briefing ahead of the primary in which he raised concerns about Oz’s ties to Turkey.

The former secretary of State has also hinted that his plans for 2024 aren’t contingent on what Trump does, telling
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Supreme Court concludes revolutionary term

  • News source: John Kruzel
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 3
The Supreme Court this term seemed to embody William F. Buckley’s adage that “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop.’”

In a country of 330 million people and 390 million guns, the conservative supermajority returned America to a historical moment of looser firearm laws.

It delivered the country to an era where religious schools, even those which openly discriminate against LGBT students, must be eligible for state funding that is available to nonreligious schools.

And at a time when an unwanted pregnancy can be medically terminated at home, the court has allowed states to make swallowing an abortion pill a crime.

The court’s monumental decisions this term shook the country and moved it sharply in a conservative direction, say observers from across the spectrum.

“Our country is deeply politically polarized and the court made clear that it is solidly on one side of this divide,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. “There is no way to know at this point what it will mean for the court or our society.”

Before an historic series of rulings it was clear the Supreme Court, in its first full term with six conservative justices, was going to move to the right. It just wasn’t clear how far it would go or how fast.

That picture came into focus quickly over the last two weeks, as the high court’s supermajority issued a landmark decision erasing the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.

The decision to strike down Roe was the most earth-shaking, but it was hardly alone.

The court also enshrined a right to carry a handgun in a ruling striking down New York’s concealed carry permit law. It curbed the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and executive agencies more broadly. It issued rulings expanding religious liberty.

The decisions sent chills through progressives and Democrats, as they were welcomed by conservatives.

More broadly, they raised questions about the degree to which the court is in touch with the broader populace, and whether most of the electorate thinks the Founding Era is the best source of wisdom to guide a modern pluralistic democracy.

Public confidence in the court has reached record lows, and polling shows that at least some of the ground-shifting rulings this term were opposed by majorities.

“The Supreme Court, for the first time to many Americans, seems significantly out of touch with Americans' values and interests,” said Michele Goodwin, a law professor at the University of California Irvine, who criticized the court for “selectively, if not opportunistically” applying its interpretative methods.

In a sign of just how transformative this court term was, the National Conference of Bar Examiners issued a notice to upcoming bar exam test-takers that they “would not be required to be familiar with this term's U.S. Supreme Court decisions.” Constitutional law professors were also flummoxed.

“Religion has totally been turned on its head. Abortion, fundamental rights, totally turned on its head. Structural issues, the whole new idea of the ‘major questions doctrine,’ which wasn’t even a thing last year, now it’s got to be a new chapter,” said Steve Schwinn, a law professor at the University of Illinois Chicago.

“I’m actually seriously considering is changing the focus of my class from a class on law to a class on constitutional politics,” he added. “The court has always been political, and I understand that. But these dramatic shifts in such a brief period of time, based only on the headcount on the Supreme Court — I don't know how you explain this to students other than raw politics.”

This court term marked a breakthrough moment for the conservative legal movement’s well-funded and norm-shattering effort to groom a generation of conservative lawyers, elevate reliable allies to the Supreme Court and reshape American life in fundamental ways.

Yet the 6-3 conservative supermajority Supreme Court at various points sought to downplay the transformational nature of their actions, as well as an internal dissension among the justices that was clear from their own written opinions.

Writing for the majority in overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito emphasized that his ruling was narrowly aimed at abortion. He insisted the decision would not threaten protections for same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges), sex between gay couples (Lawrence v. Texas) or the right to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut).

But Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, wrote that the reasoning underlying the opinion should call those other decisions into question. Thomas has long rejected the well-established principle that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment protects not only procedural safeguards but also substantive rights.

Legal experts said the court’s approach to law this term raised legitimate questions about whether rights that are seen as having a thin historical record and which are not explicitly referenced in the Constitution — so-called unenumerated rights — remained on firm footing after the decision.

“This really is the ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) court,” said Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of Michigan. “In their first full term together, they built out a doctrine to limit the authority of administrative agencies; overruled Roe v. Wade; significantly restricted states’ ability to regulate guns; bulldozed through the separation of church and state while requiring more state support for religion in schools; severely limited the mechanisms to enforce criminal procedure rights; and more. In one term.”

“I don't think people fathom just how much more they will do,” she added.
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Spurred by the Supreme Court, a Nation Divides Along a Red-Blue Axis

  • News source: Jonathan Weisman
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
Pressed by Supreme Court decisions diminishing rights that liberals hold dear and expanding those cherished by conservatives, the United States appears to be drifting apart into separate nations, with diametrically opposed social, environmental and health policies.

Call these the Disunited States.

The most immediate breaking point is on abortion, as about half the country will soon limit or ban the procedure while the other half expands or reinforces access to reproductive rights. But the ideological fault lines extend far beyond that one topic, to...
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When Where You Work Determines if You Can Get an Abortion

  • News source: Emma Goldberg
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
When Breanna Dietrich was 18 and working at a restaurant in West Virginia, she got pregnant. The father was a man she knew she wouldn’t marry. She considered getting an abortion. But the nearest clinic was four hours away and she couldn’t afford to take off work — so she had the baby girl.

That girl is now 17 and working at a restaurant chain that has not told its employees whether it will cover abortion-related travel expenses, though abortion is now prohibited in West Virginia. This past week, Ms. Dietrich urged her daughter to find an employer...
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Seeing Norma: The Conflicted Life of the Woman at the Center of Roe v. Wade

  • News source: Joshua Prager
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe at the center of Roe v. Wade, was an imperfect plaintiff.

When she undertook Roe as a young single woman in Dallas, she gave no thought to the fight for reproductive rights. She was barely getting by as a waitress, had twice given birth to children placed for adoption, and simply wanted an abortion. She later lied about how she got pregnant, saying that she had been raped. When, more than a decade later, she came clean and wished to join in earnest the movement she had come to represent, its leaders denied her a...
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Gambia bans all timber exports to combat rosewood smuggling

  • News source: BBC News - World
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 4
In 2020, the BBC revealed that vast quantities of protected rosewood were being trafficked from Senegal.
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Jerry Hall files for divorce from Rupert Murdoch

  • News source: BBC News - World
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 4
The model cited "irreconcilable differences" with the media tycoon in court papers filed in California.
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‘Revolutionary' High Court Term on Abortion, Guns and More

  • News source: Mark Sherman
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
Abortion, guns and religion — a major change in the law in any one of these areas would have made for a fateful Supreme Court term. In its first full term together, the court's conservative majority ruled in all three and issued other significant decisions limiting the government's regulatory powers.

And it has signaled no plans to slow down.

With three appointees of former President Donald Trump in their 50s, the six-justice conservative majority seems poised to keep control of the court for years to come, if not decades.

“This has been a...
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These candidates lost badly, but now are claiming fraud

  • News source: Stephen Fowler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp overwhelmingly won the Republican primary in Georgia on May 24, his chief opponent former Sen. David Perdue was quick to admit it was over.

"Everything I said about Brian Kemp was true, but here's the other thing I said was true: he is a much better choice than Stacey Abrams," he said shortly after polls closed, referring to the matchup this fall between Kemp and Democrat Abrams. "And so we are going to get behind our governor."

But another one of his opponents felt something was off.

"I want y'all to know that I do...
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Fourth of July fireworks cancelled and delayed due to worker shortage

  • News source: TAYLOR HUTCHISON
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
The Fourth of July is a holiday with a lot of sensory experiences.

For some, that means going for a swim at the beach or pool, hosting a barbecue and enjoying a burger, or perhaps, most importantly, sitting under the night sky and watching celebratory fireworks crackle and boom overhead.

This year's celebrations might look and sound a bit different for many Americans, though. That's because there's a nationwide shortage of pyrotechnicians, otherwise known as the people who are qualified to safely coordinate and oversee fireworks shows.

For some...
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5 protest songs that have taken on new meaning post-Roe

  • News source: Ari Shapiro
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 5
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, many have turned to music to express the emotion that has overwhelmed them in this moment.

It's no surprise. Musicians have long provided the soundtrack to these kinds of dramatic shifts, using their artform as a means of political expression. Some songs find new relevance, while others seem to have lyrics that speak for the mood of a generation.

All Things Considered spoke with Columbia University professor Shana Redmond and NPR music critic Ann Powers about how music in these times of...
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