Trump Judge Goes Off The Deep End In Social Media Case

INSIDE: Terry Doughty ... Joe Biden ... Gene Sterling
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Sheer Madness

A federal judge in Louisiana who has been a favorite of Republican attorneys general looking to make a name for themselves by turning right-wing conspiracy theories into legal actions against the Biden administration has struck again.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana took the unusual step of releasing a ruling on the Fourth of July – when federal courts are closed – in a closely-watched case that is trying to validate made-up far-right claims about a massive Deep State effort to censor conservative voices on social media.

Doughty totally embraced the conspiricizing and enjoined several components of the federal government from communicating with social media companies about problematic online content:

“If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” the judge ruled. “The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition.”

It was a “win’ for the GOP attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, and a loss for the rule of law, common sense, and sentient beings everywhere.

Another sample of the tone of Doughty’s ruling:

[T]he evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.”

The ruling by Doughty, a Trump appointee, is likely to be quickly appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which already slapped him down once in this case.

A sample of the reaction:

For more on the specifics of the case:

The Rule Of Law, Anyone? Anyone?

Politico manages to do an entire article on the House GOP targeting the FBI and DOJ without mentioning that it is an attack on the rule of law and part and parcel of Donald Trump’s legal defense to pending and future criminal charges.

The Problem Of Whiteness

Philip Bump has an astute analysis of the pseudo-controversy drummed up by a student at the University of Chicago about the school’s “The Problem of Whiteness” class.

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

You’ve probably seen by now the great sleuthing by The New Republic on the gay rights case the Supreme Court decided last week. A supposed inquiry by a gay man about his wedding was the most concrete thing the plaintiff website developer could show about the harms she claimed to have been about to suffer. But the man, TNR reported, denied ever making such an inquiry, and was already married to a woman at the time.

I’ve seen some speculation that this could lead to a re-hearing of the case or other consequences. But as the NYT’s Adam Liptak writes, this was a relatively small and obscure part of the case, not a pillar of the court’s decision: “Neither the majority opinion nor the dissent mentioned the supposed request or appeared to give it any weight.”

This case was wrongly decided for a whole bunch of different reasons, but it’s unlikely the TNR report will lead to revisiting of it.

Don’t Be Fooled

Steve Vladeck: This is the most conservative Supreme Court we’ve known.

Florida’s Latest Assault On The Right To Vote

A federal judge has blocked Florida’s new law imposing restrictions on voter registration groups.

Cocaine Found In West Wing?

The Secret Service doing a routine sweep of the White House Sunday evening found a suspicious powder that apparently tested positive as cocaine.

The powder was found in a “work area of the West Wing,” according to the Secret Service.

The discovery over the holiday weekend came while the Bidens were at Camp David.

Tricky

The White House has brought in Gene Sperling to run point on the labor negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three auto manufacturers.

Talks Stall Between UPS And Teamsters

Bloomberg: “Weeks of talks between UPS and the Teamsters fell apart early Wednesday morning in Washington after stretching through the July 4 holiday, with beleaguered negotiators emerging just after 4 a.m. to say the talks had collapsed.” 

Factory Construction Continues To Soar

The Biden administration’s effort to revitalize U.S. manufacturing shows more signs of succeeding, with soaring construction of manufacturing facilities serving as an early indicator of success in revamping the underlying financial equation for manufacturers.

Via the WSJ:

[S]pending on construction of manufacturing facilities … was up 1% in May from April, putting it up an eye-popping 76.3% from a year earlier. In the first quarter, Commerce Department figures show that spending on manufacturing structures came to nearly 0.5% of gross domestic product—the most since 1991. In the second quarter, that GDP share looks destined to be higher.

Biden Is Stealing Europe’s Hydrogen Biz

The Inflation Reduction Act is steering European development of a hydrogen-based clean-energy industry toward America shores, Politico reports.

Hottest Day on Earth In 125,000 Years

July 4 was the hottest day recorded on Earth, surpassing July 3, which held the record for a day. Both days were the hottest recorded since reliable record-keeping began in 1979. However, scientists suspect they are the hottest days Earth has experienced in at least 125,000 years.

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