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Morning Reads: Unanimous Supreme Court Blocks Bid to Change How States Redistrict

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: SCOTUS Blocks Bid to Change How States Redistrict

Activists hold signs as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus holds a news conference in front of the Supreme Court in December, 2015, the day the court heard oral arguments on Evenwel v. Abbott. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Vote early, vote often –> Wisconsin heads to the primary polls today. The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Nate Cohn have five things to watch.

Conservative challenge to voting law “fizzles” –> “For the second time in two weeks, a conservative bid to shift the law to the right fizzled at the Supreme Court, when the justices on Monday upheld the current, widely-used method of counting every person—not just voters—when drawing election districts,” David Savage writes for the Los Angeles Times. Had the suit prevailed, districts with large numbers of children or immigrants would have less of a voice. Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund writes for our site that, “[I]n some ways, the opinion summoned the analytical method most commonly associated with the late Justice Antonin Scalia — originalism. The opinion carefully and thoroughly set forth the historical and constitutional underpinnings of using total population, dating back to the Constitutional Conventions, quoting Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, among others.”

Warning to investors –> Reuters, via NBC News: “Trillions of dollars of non-bank financial assets around the world are vulnerable to the effects of global warming, according to a study on Monday that says tougher action to curb greenhouse gas emissions makes sense for investors. Rising temperatures and the dislocation caused by related droughts, floods and heatwaves will slow global economic growth and damage the performance of stocks and bonds, according to the report, led by the London School of Economics.”

And: The White House is warning of public health risks that will be exacerbated by climate change. Suzanne Goldenberg reports for The Guardian that the government warns of “sweeping risks to public health from rising temperatures in the coming decades – with increased deaths and illnesses from heat stroke, respiratory failure and diseases such as West Nile virus.” The challenge is “worse than polio in some respects… and will strike especially hard at pregnant women, children, low-income people and communities of color, an authoritative US government report warned on Monday.”

Panama Papers –> The 2.6 terabytes of information from a Panamanian law firm leaked to journalists continues to make waves, as reporters dig deeper into the data, which shows how the firm, Mossack Fonseca, allegedly helped many of the global rich do sneaky things with their fortunes. “This is pretty much every document from this firm over a 40-year period,” International Consortium of Investigative Journalists head Gerard Ryle told Wired’s Andy Greenberg, noting that it was quite likely the largest leak of its kind in history, “about 2,000 times” the size of the Wikileaks’ State Department cables.

In Iceland, thousands of protesters gathered to chuck eggs at Parliament after learning that the country’s prime minister and his wife owned an offshore shell company that lost millions in the 2008 financial meltdown and attempted to recoup its losses from floundering Icelandic banks. And, at International Business Times, Clark Mindock and David Sirota note that US trade deals make it even easier for the wealthy to hide their money in tax havens like Panama.

A shift on LLCs? –> Though usually deadlocked along party lines, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) may be poised to take action against limited liability companies that shield donors’  identities as they give money to political causes. Alex Glorioso writes for the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets blog that, “Republicans now are clearly on record saying that LLC contributions won’t fly in the future in at least some cases.”

Surprise! Business says yes to minimum wage hike –> Lydia DePillis at The Washington Post: “Whenever minimum wage increases are proposed on the state or federal level, business groups tend to fight them tooth and nail. But actual opposition may not be as united as the groups’ rhetoric might make it appear, according to internal research conducted by a leading consultant for state chambers of commerce.

The survey of 1,000 business executives across the country was conducted by LuntzGlobal, the firm run by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and obtained by a liberal watchdog group called the Center for Media and Democracy… Among the most interesting findings: 80 percent of respondents said they supported raising their state’s minimum wage, while only eight percent opposed it.

Time for the art of the deal, Donald –> “The National Labor Relations Board has officially certified the union election by 500 workers at Donald Trump’s Las Vegas hotel, overruling the objections of the union-averse employer.’We voted for a union so we could negotiate a fair contract with Mr Trump,’ Jeffrey Wise, a food server at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, said in a statement. ‘We voted and won – now it’s time for him to listen to us, the voters, and finally do the right thing by making a deal with his employees.'”

Morning Reads was written by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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