The women take over –> Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick reports that in the opening day of arguments in this year’s landmark abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, “it felt as if, for the first time in history, the gender playing field at the high court was finally leveled” and the women justices “were emboldened to just ignore the rules. …There was something wonderful and symbolic about Roberts losing almost complete control over the court’s indignant women, who are just not inclined to play nice anymore.”
Going after dark money LLCs –> Michael Beckel at The Center for Public Integrity: “Decor Services LLC contributed $250,000 on Jan. 12 to America Leads, a super PAC that backed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s failed presidential bid. Donald Simon, general counsel for Democracy 21, argued that this limited liability company could simply be an ‘anonymous conduit’ for ‘hiding the true source of the funds.’ That’s why, along with the Campaign Legal Center, the group has now asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate the matter.”
Divided GOP feels out its next move –> Alexander Burns reports for The New York Times: “Spurred by Donald J. Trump’s mounting victories, a small but influential — and growing — group of conservative leaders are calling for a third-party option to spare voters a wrenching general election choice between a Republican they consider completely unacceptable and Hillary Clinton.” Wall Street is ready to throw millions at the anti-Trump effort, according to Politico’s Ben White.
Carson’s finished, maybe –> The candidate said he can’t “see a political path forward” and won’t participate in tonight’s Republican debate.
Clinton’s email server –> Adam Goldman at Washington Post: “The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official. The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.” The Clinton campaign had encouraged Pagliano to testify before Congress.
Different tune –> Russ Choma at Mother Jones: “A decade ago, before Trump was a politician, he had a much different view on outsourcing: It was often a good thing, he said. In 2005, Trump wrote a blog post on outsourcing that appeared on the website of his now defunct Trump University (which is the subject of a civil suit alleging fraud). The blog post was headlined, ‘Outsourcing Creates Jobs in the Long Run.’ In it, Trump advised workers who lost their jobs to adopt a longer view and consider how outsourcing could be good for the overall economy.”
Part of the explanation –> At Vox, Amanda Taub looks at the one factor that determine whether a voter supports Trump: authoritarianism. That doesn’t necessarily mean a voter who wants an actual dictator, but rather one with a psychological profile “that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear.”
Time for a change –> At Buzzfeed, Evan McMorris-Santoro reports that many voters in states that caucus are fed up with the system. “They have confusing rules, weird tie breakers, people can’t get off work to go to them (or may not have enough break time to stay), the ballots aren’t secret, and the turnout is terrible.”
Growing problem for democracy –> Spotlight, the true story of crusading journalists at The Boston Globe, may have captured the academy award for Best Picture last week, but, today, the future of local journalism is growing dimmer. Dale Maharidge has an important longread at The Nation looking into what that means for unemployed and underemployed journalists, and for the country on the whole.
Scalia’s friends –> Reflecting on news that Scalia was on a secret-society hunting trip when he died, Jeffrey Toobin writes at The New Yorker that while he sees nothing wrong with Scalia hobnobbing with the rich and right-wing in his time off, friends can be revealing. His companion on the trip? “C. Allen Foster, a seventy-four-year-old lawyer in D.C. Foster has a varied law practice, specializing in the law of construction, but also representing several right-leaning clients. He represented the Republican Party in redistricting cases and the company formerly known as Blackwater in a case arising out of the death of four of its contractors during the American occupation of Iraq.”
Some truth in it –> The Onion: “GOP Statisticians Develop New Branch Of Math To Formulate Scenarios In Which Trump Doesn’t Win Nomination.”
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