A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Before we move on to the aftermath of the abortion pill ruling from Friday, it needs to sink in how bad U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s opinion was by any objective standard of intellectual honesty.
I don’t mean bad in the sense of wrong on the standing issue, or the administrative law issues, or the timeliness issue (the FDA approved the drug TWO decades ago). All that too! But bad in a way that exposes the foundational corruptness of Kacsmaryk’s approach.
TPM’s Kate Riga in her initial story already pointed out how the opinion whole-heartedly adopted loaded anti-abortion catchphrases:
His decision is peppered with anti-abortion language and sentiment. “Because mifepristone alone will not always complete the abortion, FDA mandates a two-step drug regimen: mifepristone to kill the unborn human, followed by misoprostol to induce cramping and contractions to expel the unborn human from the mother’s womb,” he writes. He also refers to providers as “abortionists” throughout.
Insider has a good rundown on some of the other failings of the ruling: “Kacsmaryk in the ruling cited multiple studies to back up claims that have been widely scrutinized or do not hold up to scientific consensus.”
I would also refer you to Insider’s initial write-up:
In addition to citing the Wikipedia definitions for both “pregnancy” and “disease” in his ruling, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk falsely claimed abortion medication “ultimately starves the unborn human until death” and made sweeping generalizations about the psychological impact of abortions on women who receive them — which health care providers told Insider aren’t accurate.
It should be obvious why conservative activists and Republican attorneys general flock to Kacsmaryk’s Amarillo courtroom.
What DOJ Says
The Justice Department has asked the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay Kacsmaryk’s decision pending its appeal. In doing do, it tackled some of the intellectual dishonesty of the decision:
DOJ takes a moment to respond, politely, to one of the more egregious arguments in Kacsymaryk’s order. https://t.co/uRiYSJi0Q1 pic.twitter.com/FsSNygd0xB— Micah Schwartzman (@mjschwartzman) April 10, 2023
How Bad Was Kacsmaryk’s Decision?
It’s so bad that the 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court may be reluctant to seize on this case as a vehicle for advancing its anti-abortion, anti-administrative state agenda, Adam Liptak reports in the NYT:
[L]egal scholars said on Monday that the poor quality, breathtaking sweep and unknown collateral consequences of the Texas decision might cause at least some of the Supreme Court’s conservative justices to wait for a case that would allow them to take more measured steps.
The OTHER Abortion Pill Ruling
The Justice Department is seeking clarification from the federal judge in Seattle who issued a contrary abortion pill ruling Friday a mere 20 minutes after Kacsmaryk’s decision.
Meanwhile, The White House says it won’t heed calls to ignore Kacsmaryk’s ruling.
Blue States Stockpile Abortion Pills
California, Washington, and Massachusetts are among the blue states stocking up on abortion pills to ensure medium term availability of the drugs for women in their states.
Can Senate Dems Rise To The Occasion?
Keep an eye on how aggressive Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) is on the Clarence Thomas scandal. This is a start, but it’s a pretty tepid. There’s no need to wait for Chief Justice John Roberts to conduct his own investigation.
Jim Jordan Uses Taxpayer Funds To Defend Trump
House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordon (R-OH) is taking his committee on the road to NYC to further interfere with and undermine the state prosecution of Donald Trump.
Big Showdown on Executive Privilege
Former President Donald Trump is taking the next step to try to block former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying to the DC federal grand jury investigating Jan. 6. At issue is Trump’s claim that executive privilege shields him and by extension Pence from having to testify. A federal district judge has rejected that argument as to Pence. It’s also been rejected as to other former Trump White House aides and officials. Reminder: All of this is proceeding under grand jury secrecy rules so the filings are sealed and our visibility into the arguments and rulings is limited.
Trump To Be Deposed Thursday
Donald Trump will sit down in NYC Thursday for a deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James big lawsuit against the Trump Org, Trump himself and three of his adult children.
Proud Boys Trial Nears End
Time to get reading for closing arguments and jury deliberations as soon as this week in the long-running seditious conspiracy trial of the Proud Boys.
Sign O’ The Times
NBC News: Hounded by baseless voter fraud allegations, an entire county’s election staff quits in Virginia
The Biden administration has started giving the congressional “Gang of Eight” access to the classified documents that were recovered from the homes of former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence, according to sources familiar with the matter.
What A Self Own By Tennessee GOPers
Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones was appointed to the House seat he was expelled from last week and was immediately sworn back in. The same is expected to happen as soon as Wednesday for Justin J. Pearson, the other expelled lawmaker.
Texas Solon Accused Of Inappropriate Relationship With Intern
An internal complaint filed against state Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, alleges that he was engaging in a potentially “inappropriate relationship” with an intern. The complaint came after an incident in which Slaton and the staffer allegedly met up at his Austin apartment last weekend. …
A source with direct knowledge of the incident told the Tribune that Slaton drank alcohol with the intern, who was under 21.
In a sign of the seriousness of the matter, Slaton had a criminal defense attorney issue a statement about the “false claims.”
Buckle Up For The Arizona Senate Race
Whackadoodle Sheriff Mark Lamb has thrown his hat into the GOP primary for Sen. Kristen Sinema’s seat. Kari Lake is also expected to run on the GOP side. Sinema, who of course left the Democratic Party to become an independent, hasn’t officially declared. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is seeking the Dem nom.
Trump’s Hidden Advantage In The GOP Primary
Ron Brownstein: “Since Trump’s emergence as the GOP’s dominant figure in 2016, the college-educated voters generally most skeptical of him have declined as a share of all GOP primary voters, while the voters without a college degree generally most sympathetic to him have increased, an array of public and private polls indicate.”
Level That Playing Field
With $80 billion in new funding, the IRS is aiming to ramp up audits of wealthy taxpayers and large corporations.
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