A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
A (Fleeting?) Win For Voting Rights
Several major components of Florida’s Republican-driven restrictive voting law were gutted by a federal district judge in Tallahassee on Thursday. In a blistering opinion that pulled no punches, the judge ruled that the law intentionally targeted Black voters to hurt voter turnout for Democrats.
- The judge threw out several portions of the law, including its limit on drop boxes for mail-in ballots, ban on giving food and water to people waiting in line to vote and new requirements for third party voter registration groups.
- In his most dramatic move in the ruling, the judge also prohibited Florida from making changes in voting laws involving those components for the next 10 years without approval from the court.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) accused the judge of “performative partisanship.” DeSantis had signed the legislation into law during a Fox News appearance.
- The ruling’s likelihood of surviving appeal appears slim, however. The conservative-leaning Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court will likely overturn the district judge’s decision, as the New York Times points out.
- More from the Election Law Blog.
In Newly Unearthed Video, Ginni Thomas Talks About Her Cult Phase
Newly revealed video appears to show Ginni Thomas talking about her post-cult experience not long after she left Lifespring in the ’80s. Lifespring was accused of being an abusive cult, and Thomas left to pursue anti-cult activism.
Author Steven Hassan, an expert on cults, posted a video apparently showing Thomas discussing Lifespring:
New York Dems’ District Map Thrown Out By Judge
A New York judge struck down the new congressional district map draw by the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature, ruling that the map had been gerrymandered to favor Democrats.
- The judge ordered the legislature to go back to the drawing board and create “bipartisanly supported maps.”
- He gave lawmakers a deadline of April 11, which could delay the Empire State’s primary on June 28 if his ruling survives appeal.
Ukraine Allegedly Strikes Back At Russia Amid Kremlin’s Brutal Invasion
- The Guardian: “Ukraine accused of helicopter attack on oil depot inside Russia”
- Al-Jazeera: “Russia alleges Ukrainian helicopters struck Belgorod fuel depot”
- The New York Times: “Ukrainian helicopters strike an oil depot in Russia, an official there says.”
Wisconsin AG Candidate Tried To Decertify 2020 Election And Wants To Sue Docs Who Don’t Offer Horse Meds To Treat COVID
Meet Karen Mueller, a Republican attorney who thought it was possible to get the 2020 election results decertified (it’s not) and is now running for attorney general in her state on the platform of suing doctors who don’t prescribe ivermectin, an anti-parasitic generally given to horses, as treatment for COVID-19. This is in spite of the fact that the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned people not to take ivermectin to treat COVID, and a new study found that the drug doesn’t treat the virus.
- The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “liars,” according to Mueller.
- Key analysis: “Ivermectin is the signature example of politics trumping health” – Washington Post’s Philip Bump
Fox Hires Caitlyn Jenner As Contributor
Failed GOP California gubernatorial hopeful and former Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner is now a paid contributor at Fox News because according to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, Jenner, who is a transgender woman, is a “trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community.”
- It’s definitely not because Jenner’s used her platform to validate conservatives’ war on transgender female athletes who want to participate in women’s sports.
- They’re definitely not bringing her on to give Republicans anti-LGBTQ+ legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law a veneer of approval from a trans per-oh look, Jenner did exactly that during her first appearance on Sean Hannity’s show last night:
Several Fetuses Found In Anti-Abortion Activist’s House
The feds raided an anti-abortion activist’s home in D.C. on Thursday, where they found five fetuses, WUSA9 reports. Five.
- The raid came after the activist, who calls herself a “Catholic anarchist,” had been indicted for felony conspiracy involving an incident in which she and eight other activists allegedly stormed an abortion clinic and blockaded it in October 2020.
- The fetuses were apparently kept in coolers inside the house. The activist had refused to tell WUSA9, which was at the scene during the raid, what was in the coolers when the feds carried them out of her house, saying only that “people would freak out when they heard.”
Sen. Cassidy Eyeing Gubernatorial Bid
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Politico that he’s considering running for the governorship in his state, which is currently being held by conservative Democrat Bel Edwards, in 2023, and will make a final decision by the end of this year.
- The question is, how much support would Cassidy get from his fellow Louisiana Republicans? The senator was one of the seven Republicans who convicted Trump in his second Senate impeachment trial, and he was quickly censured by the Louisiana GOP as a result.
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Correction: This article has been corrected to note that Louisiana Gov. Bel Edwards is term-limited and cannot run again in 2023.