Alito ‘Jokes’ About Black Kids In KKK Robes

INSIDE: David Rivera ... Matthew Colangelo ... Matt Gaetz
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito testifies about the court's budget during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government Subco... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito testifies about the court's budget during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee March 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. Members of the subcommittee asked the justices about court security, televising oral arguments and codes of ethics for the court. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

So Much Wrong Here

Oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Monday in a closely watched public accommodation case were, I think the legal term is, a “shitshow.”

Dahlia Lithwick has the best rundown on all the egregious ways in which the shifting tone of the court played out in a case about whether a Colorado website developer could hypothetically refuse to sell her product to same-sex couples:

[T]he secret sauce here is to make the actual names and actual faces and actual suffering of the parties in any case about competing rights as small as possible, because then it is easier to rule against them and act like the consequences will be minimal.

Justice Samuel Alito – thin-skinned, mean-spirited, and graceless – was outdone by Justice Elena Kagan and reacted with a wtf moment:

As if that weren’t enough, Alito aimed his misguided “humor” at Kagan twice:

Alito Reactions

Georgia Senate Runoff Is Today

4 things to watch.

Moore County Remains Without Power

As of Monday afternoon, tens of thousands of residents of Moore County remained without power following a weekend attack on electrical power substations.

Former GOP Congressman Arrested

A blast from the TPM past: Former Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) was arrested Monday at the Atlanta airport on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registering. Rivera signed a controversy-ridden $50 million contract with Venezuela at the start of the Trump presidency.

Rivera served a single term in Congress from 2011-13 but generated a disproportionate number of ethics scandals.

The latest charges emerge from a federal grand jury probe in Miami:

The eight-count indictment alleges Rivera at the start of the Trump administration was part of a conspiracy to lobby on behalf of Venezuela to lower tensions with the U.S., resolve a legal dispute with a U.S. oil company and end U.S. sanctions against the South American nation — all without registering as a foreign agent.

Among the targets of Rivera’s allegedly illegal lobbying scheme on behalf of Venezuela (they were not named in the indictment but have emerged in separate lawsuits and news reports):

  • Longtime friend and former housemate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “While none of the U.S. officials are named, evidence in a parallel lawsuit brought against Rivera show that while working for Venezuela the former congressman was in contact with Sen. Marco Rubio, a longtime friend who helped drive the Trump administration’s hardline policy against Maduro.”
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX): “He also roped in Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas to try and set up a meeting for Venezuela’s foreign minister with executives from Exxon, which was headquartered in Sessions’ district at the time.”
  • Kellyanne Conway: “As part of the charm offensive, he also looked to set up a possible flight and meeting on the jet of a pro-Maduro businessman for a female campaign adviser turned White House ‘counselor’ on June 27, 2017 — the same day Trump aide Kellyanne Conway was in Miami for a fundraising dinner with Miami Republicans.”

Manhattan DA May Really Be Back In The Trump Game

Amid signs that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has reversed course and has renewed interest in building a criminal case against former President Trump, former DOJ official Matthew Colangelo has joined Bragg’s office as “senior counsel.”

Colangelo previously oversaw the investigation that led to the dissolution of the Trump Foundation and helmed the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into the Trump Org before becoming a senior Justice Department official.

Trump PAC Paying For Lawyers For Key MAL Witnesses

The WaPo with the scoop: Trump’s Save America PAC has paid more than $120,000 to the Brand Woodward law firm. Stan Brand is representing Kash Patel and Walt Nauta.

MAL Judge Rules Against Trump

Playing against type, the federal judge in Florida who was just smacked down by an appeals court for ordering a special master to review the documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago ruled in favor of the Justice Department! It was on a minor schedule adjustment requested by DOJ while everyone waits to see if Trump appeals.

Rudy In the Wringer

Rudy Giuliani spent Monday trying to save his DC law license.

It’s Not Over


Ukrainian drones struck military bases deep inside of Russia.

CO2 Emissions Are Back And Higher Than Ever

Beware The Flu

Latest flu stats:

Josh Marshall: “Flu Shots Drop Dramatically Among White Kids”

If You Know, You Know

Matt Gaetz: “It is really annoying when people confuse me with @MattGertz

Awww, You Guys

Embarrassed author laments that only two people showed for her book signing, and fellow authors support her with outpouring of awkward book event horror stories.

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for bdtex bdtex says:

    First. Scalito sux!

    Loose Cannon is free now to make some minor rulings to try to rehabilitate her reputation. She knows the case will be pried from her hands soon.

  2. Justice Samuel Alito – think-skinned

    I know it’s supposed to read “thick,” but I prefer “snake.”

    Edited: Thin not thick! Now I two feel the sharp stink of typos.

  3. I’m less annoyed at Alito’s line of joking (however unfunny) and LIVID at the false equivalency he pulled from his ass. Good on the state solicitor general with the quick response that KKK outfits are not protected characteristics. This is basic stuff, and yet here’s a Supreme Court justice “just asking the question”.

    In addition, equating gay couples with a white supremacist terrors group truly is telling. I also see Covid Barrett didn’t recuse herself. Oy what a term this is. And we’re not even at Moore v Harper yet (which is tomorrow!)

  4. I remember at my first book signing NO ONE at all showed up.

    Oh wait, I’ve never written a book, my bad.

  5. Alito is clearly living his best life right now—he’s letting his racist flag fly prominently.

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