What A Day: Clarence and present danger | Crooked Media
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What A Day: Clarence and present danger

The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

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The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

SUPREME SURPRISE

The conservative-dominated Supreme Court finally met a piece of gun safety law it didn’t reflexively try to kill on Friday.

  • Justices ruled 8-1 (we’ll give you a second to prepare your guess for who the dissenter was here) to uphold the idea that domestic abusers can be prohibited from possessing firearms while the order is in effect. The ruling protects an important federal law designed to interrupt the known connection between domestic abuse, violence against women, and later violent crime. But for people who follow this court and its hostility to gun safety laws, it was a surprise.

  • The case, called United States v. Rahimi, turns on whether the Second Amendment–and this court’s mind-blowingly expansive reading of it–allows federal law to ban people under restraining orders for domestic abuse from having guns while the order is in effect.  That might be surprising, given this court’s doctrine that only gun laws that would have made sense in the minds of Founding Fathers are legal now, no matter how lethal the modern weapon. But writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said surety and safety laws that allow for court orders restricting dangerous people existed back then, so they pass muster now. “When an individual poses a clear threat of physical violence to another, the threatening individual may be disarmed,” Roberts wrote.

  • That “founding fathers” standard (aka the “history and tradition” standard) for permissible gun laws sowed slews of chaos in lower courts, as judges were forced to go hunting the law books of 18th-century America for permission to restrict guns (or to destroy those restrictions). Friday’s ruling actually goes at least part way to cleaning that up, telling lower courts to focus on the “principles that underpin our regulatory tradition”…not the exact law.

Justice Clarence Thomas (didja guess?? Of course you did.) was having none of it.

  • Thomas griped that restraining orders are civil matters, and that the founders never would have stripped Second Amendment rights absent a criminal conviction. “The question is whether the Government can strip the Second Amendment right of anyone subject to a protective order—even if he has never been accused or convicted of a crime. It cannot,” Thomas wrote in his dissent, presumably inked on gold-embossed ‘From the Desk of Harlan Crow” stationary.

  • The ruling was an unexpected victory for reasonable gun laws, especially in the Wild-West world of permitless and concealed carry this court has created. But lurking still in the background are a dozen opinions yet to be released before the end of the term next week: One that will determined whether hospitals in abortion-banning states have the right to let miscarrying mothers essentially bleed to death without medically stabilizing them, and another that could upend the federal government’s authority to regulate everything from environmental protection to labor standards. There’s also the small matters of whether Jan. 6 defendants get to wriggle out of “obstructing official proceeding charges” for trying to prevent certification at the Capitol, and former President (and current felon) Donald Trump’s claim that he’s immune from Jack Smith’s criminal prosecution.

SCOTUS has a few opportunities to fuck up America once again next week. Opinions are scheduled for Wednesday and will likely go into Thursday or Friday too. There’s even a decent chance Donald Trump—and the rest of us—learn if he’s above the (federal) law the same day as his first debate with Biden.

- Right-wing podcast host Monica Crowley, saying the quiet part out loud at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference

NEWS NEWS NEWS

Israeli forces apparently bombed an enclave near Rafah where displaced Palestinians were sheltering in tents, killing 25 people and injuring 50, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Israel said it didn’t launch any attacks outside of what it has deemed a “safe zone” in the area, but eyewitnesses told the Associated Press about the attack near a Red Cross field hospital.

Monthly student loan payments are set to go down for millions of borrowers starting in July, thanks to President Biden’s SAVE program. Required payments drop from 10% to 5% of monthly discretionary income.

Donald Trump used his felony convictions in New York to outraise Joe Biden by $60 million for the 2024 presidential election. Trump and the RNC raised a combined $141 million, compared to $85 million by Biden and the DNC, according to May filings. Final numbers aren’t in yet, but Trump’s haul appears to have eroded or equalized Biden’s total cash advantage in the race. Cool! Normal country!

North Carolina GOP nominee for governor Mark Robinson attacked the press at the Christian nationalist Faith & Freedom Coalition conference, telling news organizations that their “schemes to bring this nation down” don’t matter because “Jesus Christ is still on the throne.” Arizona GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake told the audience, “I want to bring him back,” then pointed to God in the sky. Another resurrection is TBD I guess.

TikTok’s new AI tool allowed users to generate dastardly content, including life-like avatars that recited Hitler “Mein Kampf” and other horrors, all without watermarks identifying them as computer-generated. TikTok didn’t take the tool down until a CNN reporter asked about it. Sounds like them!

The controversial British editor hired to head up The Washington Post’s newsroom won’t be taking the job, after reports he used unethical reporting practices in the U.K., including using fraudulently obtained phone and company records. This is why you can’t let British people impress you with their accents.

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