Florida University Blocks Professors From Testifying Against DeSantis’ Prized Voter-Suppression Law

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Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference before newly appointed state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo at Neo City Academy in Kissimmee, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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November 1, 2021 7:32 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

Champions Of The First Amendment

The University of Florida has barred three professors from testifying for plaintiffs against a law championed by Ron DeSantis that restricts mail-in voting, curtails drop box hours and limits who can provide food or water to those waiting in line to vote. 

  • DeSantis is very proud of this law. He even, bizarrely, signed it during an interview on Fox and Friends, a very on-brand bit of showmanship.
  • In rejecting one of the professors’ requests, the dean of the university’s college of arts and sciences wrote that “outside activities that may pose a conflict of interest to the executive branch of the state of Florida create a conflict for the University of Florida,” according to The New York Times
  • “As UF is a state actor, litigation against the state is adverse to UF’s interests,” school officials said in documents reported by The Washington Post.
  • The professors in question were three political scientists: Daniel A. Smith, Michael McDonald and Sharon Wright.

What Trump Doesn’t Want Us To See

A Saturday court filing by the Department of Justice details what documents Trump has asserted executive privilege over in a bid to hide them from the Jan. 6 committee. 

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  • They include “daily presidential diaries, schedules, appointments showing White House visitors, activity logs, call logs, and switchboard shift-change checklists showing phone calls to the President and Vice President, all specifically for or encompassing January 6, 2021.”
  • They include a host of other documents as well: drafts of public remarks related to Jan. 6, handwritten notes concerning Jan. 6, and, interestingly, “a draft proclamation honoring deceased Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood.”
  • His request is broad, seeking to block about half of the 1,600 pages the National Archives identified as relevant to the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation, Politico notes

Another Day, Another Damning Revelation About Eastman

As then-Vice President Mike Pence was locked down in the capitol, hiding from a mob that was calling for him to be hung, conservative legal scholar John Eastman emailed a screed to Pence’s legal counsel, denouncing the VP’s failure to toss the election results, according to a sprawling new report in the Washington Post.  

  • “Thanks to your bull—-, we are now under siege,” the Pence aide, Greg Jacob, had written in an angry email to Eastman. 
  • “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened,” Eastman replied, referring to Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.
  • Josh Marshall on this exchange: “In real time, Trump’s message was the same as Eastman’s. You brought it on yourself and they’re my guys. The way to lift the siege is to do the right thing and support the coup.”
  • Even after the attack, Eastman kept up his efforts to push Pence to throw the election, arguing in an email to Jacob that the mob’s attack had caused debate to extend past the allotted two hours, invalidating the whole proceeding. The Post’s Aaron Blake examines that element of the story

Kinzinger Speaks Out On His Retirement

Tomorrow Is Election Day

Both parties and the political press are obsessing over Virginia’s gubernatorial race.

SCOTUS To Mull Abortion Ban That It Previously Found So Confusing

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today on Texas’ draconian abortion ban, looking specifically at its novel and dystopian enforcement mechanism.

  • The Court declined to block the law in September. In an unsigned 5-4 order, the Court expressed confusion over what to do about the fact that everyone is meant to enforce the law, not the state itself. 
  • Since that September order, abortions have ceased in Texas almost entirely. On Saturday Kate Riga published a piece looking at the what the law has meant for abortion providers in adjacent states, who are confronted with their own states’ efforts to restrict abortion access. 
  • Brett Kavanaugh will get special attention from court watchers today, Adam Liptak writes.

This, Somehow, Keeps Happening

A Kansas twice state representative compared mask mandates and vaccine requirements to the holocaust during a Friday hearing, the Kansas City Star reports

  • “This is racism against the modern day Jew,” Rep. Brenda Landwehr of Wichita said during a hearing of the Legislature’s “Interim Committee on Government Overreach and COVID-19 Mandates.”

Not Great!

The Supreme Court said Friday it will consider a series of interrelated questions pertaining to the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

  • It’s a bit of a surprise that the court has taken up this set of petitions from red states and coal companies, E&E News notes
  • “This is the equivalent of an earthquake around the country for those who care deeply about the climate issue,” one environmental law professor, Harvard’s Richard Lazarus, told press
  • It would be extremely difficult for Biden to achieve his climate targets if Congress won’t place penalties on fossil fuels and the Court limits the executive branch’s ability to regulate climate change-causing pollutants.
  • Biden, coincidentally, is headed to Scotland today to tout what his administration can do on climate change and push other world leaders to act.

Is This Week The Week?

We won’t be so presumptuous as to make any predictions there. But some senators — and the President — were sounding bullish over the weekend on the likelihood of a reconciliation package passing the Senate this week. 

  • “I believe we’ll see by the end of next week at home that is passed,” Biden said of the bill Sunday.  
  • Progressives are still waiting for Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to say they support the legislation, or for Biden to warrant that they do. 
  • Manchin and progressives continued negotiations on drug pricing provisions through the weekend.

Pizza Story

Imagine that, instead of trying to pass some long sought-after legislation, the Democrats are trying to order a mushroom pizza. Alex Pareene does. The analogy is sort of revealing, and sort of works. Sort of. 

  • “Now the guy says he probably can only get us about half as much pizza as he said he could at first, and also he’s still not really sure when it’s going to arrive, because one of the guys on the Council of Pizza Guys is basically opposed to getting anyone pizza, period, and the rules of the Council of Pizza Guys are pretty complicated and they give each Pizza Guy a lot of power to delay pizza delivery or even just stop all pizzas from being made at all…” (You get the idea.)

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