SCOTUS Shoots Down the ‘Independent State Legislature’ Theory

Happy Wednesday! A recent UBS Group study estimates Americans will spend nearly $400 million tending to pickleball injuries this year.

If you can’t take the heat, get out of The Kitchen.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday that Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus, fulfilling one aspect of the reported deal between Prigozhin and the Kremlin to end Wagner mercenaries’ mutiny over the weekend. Officials with the Russian Ministry of Defense said Wagner forces were preparing to hand over heavy weaponry by July 1, even as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wagner’s activities in Africa would continue. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control on Tuesday announced sanctions targeting the illicit gold dealings used to fund Wagner activity around the world.
  • A Russian missile on Tuesday struck a busy commercial area of Kramatorsk—a city in eastern Ukraine about 18 miles from the front lines—killing at least eight people, including three children, and injuring 56 others. “Russia deliberately targeted crowded areas,” said Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs. A separate missile also struck a village on the outskirts of the city on Tuesday, injuring five.
  • The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Tuesday in favor of a Colorado man convicted of cyberstalking, raising the bar for prosecuting people accused of threatening others. In her majority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that, although “true threats” are not protected speech under the First Amendment, prosecutors must prove that a defendant recklessly disregarded the risk that his actions could be seen as threats of violence. Meanwhile, the high court also agreed Tuesday to take up a case questioning the bounds of Congress’ authority to levy taxes, which could stymie some of Democrats’ most ambitious tax proposals. 
  • The Biden administration announced Tuesday it would send $500 million in additional military aid to Ukraine through the presidential drawdown authority, which transfers materiel from existing Defense Department stockpiles. The package is aimed at making up for weapons lost in combat, and includes Bradley and Stryker armored vehicles, munitions for air defense systems, ammunition, and other equipment.
  • The Justice Department announced Tuesday it had arrested four Mexican nationals in connection with the June 2022 human smuggling incident in southern Texas that left 53 migrants dead after being trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer. The driver of the trailer—as well as another man—had been arrested shortly after the migrants were found; the four men arrested this week were allegedly involved with the operation’s planning and charged with, among other things, conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death.
  • Businessman and former Navy Seal Tim Sheehy announced Tuesday he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Montana, entering the Republican primary in a bid to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2024. GOP Sen. Steve Daines, Montana’s junior senator and chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, endorsed Sheehy immediately, possibly in an effort to dissuade Rep. Matt Rosendale—a hardline member of the House Freedom Caucus—from jumping into the race.

SCOTUS Comes Back for Moore

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on June 27, 2023.(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on June 27, 2023.(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Election law scholars will tell you the most important thing about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in Moore v. Harper is that the justices rejected a legal theory which could have given state legislatures broad leeway to set federal election rules without state judicial oversight.

Don’t listen to election law scholars. The most important thing about yesterday’s majority opinion is that it included this fun fact: The word “gerrymander” is a portmanteau of Gerry and salamander, named for then-Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge* Gerry, who in 1812 signed a bill creating a voting district shaped like the amphibian. 

This content is available exclusively to Dispatch members
Try a membership for full access to every newsletter and all of The Dispatch. Support quality, fact-based journalism.
Already a paid member? Sign In
Comments (416)
Join The Dispatch to participate in the comments.
Load More