The Political Report — August 5, 2023

One thing we know is that Trump will walk right up to the Judge’s admonitions to not commit more crimes and to not speak to witnesses and push on that line. He did that yesterday by publishing a promise of revenge toward the people arrayed against his insurrection. Read this and ask yourself whether a mob boss or drug kingpin could get away with this.

DOJ asks judge to issue protective order after Trump posts apparent threat of revenge — “Prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue a protective order in the case a day after Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and block the peaceful transition of power. The order — which is different from a so-called “gag order” — would limit what information Trump and his legal team could share publicly about the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

Such protective orders are common in criminal cases, but prosecutors said it’s “particularly important in this case” because Trump has posted on social media about “witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him.””

Judge’s order allows Texas women with complicated pregnancies to get abortions — “A Texas judge on Friday issued a temporary exemption to the state’s abortion ban that would allow women with complicated pregnancies to obtain the procedure and keep doctors free from prosecution if they determined the fetus will not survive after birth.

State District Court Judge Jessica Mangrum of Austin wrote that the state’s attorney general cannot prosecute doctors who, in their “good faith judgment,” terminate a complicated pregnancy. Mangrum outlined those conditions as a pregnancy that presents a risk of infection; a fetal condition in which the fetus will not survive after birth; or when the pregnant person has a condition that requires regular, invasive treatment.

In her ruling, Mangrum wrote that Senate Bill 8, the law restricting abortion access, was unconstitutional. She said that enforcement of the abortion ban was beyond the legal powers of Texas officials tasked with prosecuting physicians under this law.”

This is an important and hopeful decision for Texas women — whose lives have been threatened by the fact that their doctors cannot provide them with the full range of medical treatments for at-risk pregnancies. While I’m glad for this, I’m not hopeful this survives on appeal.

Mississippi’s Lifetime Felony Voting Ban Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules — “Mississippi’s lifetime voting ban for people convicted of certain crimes, a relic of the State’s 1890 Jim Crow laws, violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled Friday morning.

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James L. Dennis, writing for a 2-1 majority of a three-judge panel, said in the ruling this morning that “Plaintiffs are entitled to prevail on their claim that, as applied to their class, disenfranchisement for life under Section 241 is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment.”

“In the last fifty years, a national consensus has emerged among the state legislatures against permanently disenfranchising those who have satisfied their judicially imposed sentences and thus repaid their debts to society. … Mississippi stands as an outlier among its sister states, bucking a clear national trend in our Nation against permanent disenfranchisement,” the ruling says.”

This ruling was a surprise — very correct, but a surprise. This victory for voting rights is another decision that is at risk on appeal.

The Ohio Constitution declares all power inherent in the people. Issue 1 seeks to rob that from us

“And they seek to ensure a minority of voters can veto critical decisions over the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of all Ohioans.

Ohio Republicans presently enjoy absolute control over our state’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Last year, they manipulated that power to override a majority of voters on gerrymandering.

Now those same gerrymandered politicians seek to rip away citizens’ power so that a majority of voters can be overruled on the Ohio Constitution itself.

If polls didn’t show these politicians and lobbyists out-of-step with a majority of Ohioans, they wouldn’t be attacking 111 years of majority voter power.

But they have given up trying to persuade voters or to make convincing arguments. They would rather just attempt to rig the game, which is what they seek with Issue 1.”

Read the whole thing. From what I can tell, the early voting turnout for this referendum is through the roof. Enough so that the Ohio Secretary of State is out campaigning to get NO votes and warning people that there are not enough poll workers to open all of the polling places on Election Day.

Why the Trump Trial Should Be Televised — “Most important, live (or near-live) broadcasting lets Americans see for themselves what is happening in the courtroom and would go a long way toward reassuring them that justice is being done. They would be less vulnerable to the distortions and misrepresentations that will inevitably be part of the highly charged, politicized discussion flooding the country as the trial plays out. Justice Louis Brandeis’s observation that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants” is absolutely apt here.”

Neal Katyal takes to the WaPo to make the case for televising the Trump trial on the 1/6 charges. There’s lots of discussion on this everywhere. I absolutely understand this argument. I also think that televising this plays to Trump’s best cards — the stupid showmanship. Trusting that a judge or his lawyers will keep all of that in check seems a real stretch to me. But I do think that letting the people see this for themselves could be important. I don’t think that the live showing will ameliorate the views of those who are accustomed to getting those views from the worst TV, radio and podcast personalities.

I’m off to a WilmDems fundraiser today, so will be out of pocket. What interests you today?

2 comments on “The Political Report — August 5, 2023

  1. cassandram

    Update on the DOJs request for a Protective Order — Judge Chutkan has asked TFG and his team to respond by Monday on their position on this DOJ request. It’s Saturday and she asked for a response on Monday. Not playing around it seems:

  2. cassandram

    TFGs lawyers asked Judge Chutkan for a delay to respond to her order (While lead TFG lawyer Lauro has himself booked on all of the talking head shows on Sunday). Judge Chutkan denies their request.

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