Kennedy’s Diary: Alito Privately Insisted He Respected Roe

INSIDE: DeSantis ... Rishi Sunak ... Bolsonaro
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

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Kabuki Theater 

Days after President George W. Bush tapped him for the Supreme Court in 2005, Samuel Alito told Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) that he respected the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade, according to Kennedy’s private diary (part of which will be published in an upcoming book by New York Times reporter John Farrell).

  • This is what Alito claimed, according to Kennedy’s notes: “I believe that there is a right to privacy. I think it’s settled as part of the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment and the Fifth Amendment. So I recognize there is a right to privacy. I’m a believer in precedents. I think on the Roe case that’s about as far as I can go.”
  • This is what Alito wrote as he was dismantling Roe 17 years later:Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
  • Alito’s in good company with fellow conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who lied (or at best, misled) Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) about whether they’d take down Roe.
  • Kennedy was not fooled: He ultimately voted against confirming Alito the Supreme Court.

DeSantis Dodges On Committing To Full Term

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) ambitions for a 2024 presidential bid have never been as obvious as they were last night when he faced off against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in the Sunshine State’s first and only debate in the gubernatorial race.

  • DeSantis refused to answer directly when Crist repeatedly demanded to know if he’d commit to serving a full four-year term. The Florida governor eventually said that “the only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
  • Listen to the audience’s reaction when DeSantis awkwardly tries to deflect from Crist pointing out the GOP governor’s non-answers on the issue:

Maine Debate Underscores Proto-MAGA LePage’s Comeback Struggle

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) and ex-Gov. Paul LePage (R) went head-to-head in a debate on Monday night:

  • Bangor Daily News: “Paul LePage goes on attack in debate with Janet Mills as he trails in polls”
  • WGME: “Gov. Mills, former Gov. LePage square off on economy, education, lobster in CBS13 debate”
  • Portland Press Herald: “Mills, LePage trade blame for high energy costs”

Clarence Thomas To The Rescue

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has notched a victory in his bid to dodge the ​​Fulton County district attorney’s push for his testimony in her Trump election interference probe: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily blocked the district attorney’s subpoena on Monday pending further orders from the conservative justice.

Rishi Sunak Takes Over As 37209432th UK Prime Minister This Year

After winning the Tories’ leadership contest on Monday, ex-British finance minister Rishi Sunak met King Charles at Buckingham Palace before giving his first speech as the new prime minister outside Number 10 today.

  • The British people have had the same Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office longer than they’ve had the same prime minister since David Cameron resigned in 2016: Larry’s outlasted Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

Must Read

“What happens when you put ideologues in charge of a university” – Popular Information

“Florida Puts Raging MAGA Moms on Book-Banning Council” – The Daily Beast

Bolsonaro Wants To Criminalize Polls For Being Wrong

With an eye on his country’s looming Oct. 30 presidential runoffs, far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his legislative allies are pushing a bill that would make it a crime to publish polls that end up falling outside the margin of error after an election. The bizarre legislation came after Brazil’s election between Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva showed that the polls had seriously underestimated the incumbent leader’s support.

Key Analysis

“How Brazil’s Leader Built the Myth of Rigged Elections” – The New York Times

Cruz Claims His Wife Had A Giggle Over Trump Calling Her Ugly

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) insisted during an interview on “The View” yesterday that not only is it fine by him that Trump called his wife, Heidi Cruz, ugly in public–it’s also fine by Heidi, who “laughed” when it happened.

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