Guess What Laura Ingraham Is Upset About This Time

Guess What Laura Ingraham Is Upset About This Time 1

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Fox News’ Laura Ingraham came up with new and ridiculous word salad to smear Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony against Trump during the January 6 Select Committee hearing.

After playing the video of Representative Jamie Raskin saying, “[Hutchinson] has no motivation or interest in lying in any way and so what we have on the other hand is some anonymously sourced rumors of feelings of a particular agent.”

Raskin continued, “Anybody who wants to testify can come forward and testify under oath,” meaning all those Secret Service agents that are bitching on social media.

Cue up Ingraham.

So what was the big payoff that Cassidy Hutchinson received from the January 6 for testifying, you ask?


Ingraham, “Well, perhaps he didn’t see the hugs between the witness and the Committee members. There were significant embraces going on there after the testimony. I’m not sure if I believe that no one here is trying to gain anything.”

Ingraham then feigned shock and said, “Look at that. Is that even appropriate? I don’t know if that’s appropriate. Are they old friends?”

It took a lot of guts for Hutchinson to come forward and testify about Trump’s immoral, illegal and despicable actions connected to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Maybe Ingraham needs a hug? Yeah that won’t happen. Sad!

SCOTUS To EPA: Screw You

SCOTUS To EPA: Screw You 2

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority handed down a decision Thursday that will severely limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, undermining the federal government’s ability to combat the climate emergency.

In its 6-3 ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the court’s conservative justices—led by Chief Justice John Roberts—sided with the coal industry and Republican attorneys general who sought to curb the EPA’s rulemaking powers under the Clean Air Act.

Amy Coney Barrett, one of the right-wing justices who voted to limit the EPA’s authority, has family ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan warned in her dissent that “today, the court strips the Environmental Protection Agency of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.'”

Environmentalists echoed that assessment in response to the majority’s decision, the latest in a series of hugely consequential rulings over the past week. According to EPA data, the power sector represents the United States’ second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“A Supreme Court that sides with the fossil fuel industry over the health and safety of its people is anti-life and beyond broken,” said John Paul Mejia, national spokesperson for the youth-led Sunrise Movement. “We cannot and will not let our Democratic leaders standby while an illegitimate court and the GOP go on the offense.”

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement that the court’s ruling is “part of a broad-based assault on the ability of regulators to protect our air, water, and climate.”

“Long-sought by corporate polluters, industry-backed think tanks, and politicians who serve monied fossil fuel interests, this decision strikes at the heart of federal experts’ ability to do their jobs,” added Hauter, who stressed that “while this ruling intends to hamstring the federal government’s ability to regulate dangerous emissions, it does not signal the end of climate action.”

“The climate movement must and will continue to pressure agencies and elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels to enact policies that ensure a swift reduction in climate pollution and an end to the fossil fuel era,” Hauter said. “The Supreme Court will not stand in the way of the fight for a livable planet.”

The court’s ruling spells serious issues for President Joe Biden’s vow to put the U.S. on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2035. Meanwhile, the administration is moving ahead with oil and gas leasing on public lands, drawing backlash and legal action from climate groups.

The People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition, made up of more than 1,000 U.S.-based environmental groups, called on Biden to use his still-existing authority to “declare a climate emergency and stop new fossil fuel leases, exports, pipelines, and other infrastructure today.”

“Using authorities under the National Emergencies Act and the Defense Production Act,” the coalition noted, “the president could also halt crude oil exports, stop offshore oil and gas drilling, restrict international fossil fuel investment, and rapidly manufacture and distribute clean and renewable energy systems.”


Climate advocates are apprehensively watching the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday morning as it’s expected to deliver a ruling that could imperil the federal government’s regulatory authority to rein in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, striking a potentially fatal blow to global efforts to fight the climate crisis.

The closely watched case, formally known as West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, is the culmination of a yearslong legal campaign by Republican attorneys general and right-wing activists financed by the oil and gas industry, which is hoping the high court’s right-wing supermajority will hand down a decision that guts the EPA’s rulemaking authority.

If the court does just that, it would spell doom for President Joe Biden’s stated goal of transitioning the U.S. to a 100% clean electricity sector by 2035. As the Washington Post notes, West Virginia v. EPA “comes before a Supreme Court that’s even more conservative than the one that stopped the Obama administration’s plan to drastically reduce power plants’ carbon output in 2016.”

“This will undoubtedly be the most important environmental law case on the court’s docket this term, and could well become one of the most significant environmental law cases of all time,” said Jonathan Adler, an environmental law expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest historical emitter and second-largest current emitter of planet-warming carbon dioxide, the Supreme Court’s decision will have serious ramifications for global efforts to avert climate catastrophe.

“The Supreme Court could hand down an extreme decision in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, which would devastate the federal government’s ability to curb climate chaos,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) tweeted late Wednesday. “The Supreme Court must not give corporations license to recklessly destroy our planet.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) similarly warned earlier this week that the Supreme Court’s ruling “could unleash a new era of reckless deregulation that will gut protections for all Americans and the environment.”

During oral arguments over the case earlier this year, the Supreme Court’s conservative justices appeared inclined to restrict the EPA’s regulatory authority to slash carbon emissions—authority that the court affirmed a decade and a half ago in Massachusetts v. EPA.

Climate experts and advocates fear the worst from the industry-friendly Supreme Court majority.

“Each morning at 10 am, my anxiety spikes,” Sara Colangelo, director of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, told the Post Thursday morning, referring to the time the court’s ruling is expected to drop.

Republished from Common Dreams (Jake Johnson, staff writer) under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Supreme Court will hear Republican state lawmakers' bid for more power over elections

Supreme Court will hear Republican state lawmakers' bid for more power over elections 3

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The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear a major election case and decide whether North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers have the power to draw a partisan election map without interference from state judges.

At issue is a potentially far-reaching shift in election law, one that could affect congressional and presidential elections.

In the wake of President Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, Republican lawmakers in several states flirted with the idea that they had the power to ignore the vote tally in favor of Joe Biden and instead choose their own slate of electors, who would vote to reelect Trump.

The case of Moore vs. Harper does not go that far, but it asks the court to uphold the notion that the state legislators have the sole and “independent” authority to set the rules for federal elections in their states, without interference or oversight by the governor or state judges.

This is referred to as the “independent state legislature” doctrine. Its basis, according to GOP lawyers, is the provision in the Constitution that says the “manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.”

In the past, it has been understood that while legislators set the rules for elections — including drawing the map of congressional districts — the governor, state supreme court and voters can also play a role.

The U.S. high court adopted that broader view in 2015, but it was a 5-4 decision. The majority ruled against Arizona’s Republican-controlled Legislature and upheld a ballot measure approved by the voters that created an independent commission to draw the election districts.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court’s opinion, which was joined by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, while Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

In March, Thomas and Alito called for revisiting the issue in the North Carolina case, and they were joined this time by Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Last year, the North Carolina Legislature drew a new map of congressional districts that is widely expected to elect a Republican in 10 of 14 districts, even if the voters statewide split about evenly between Republicans and Democrats.

The North Carolina Supreme Court rejected the map as unconstitutional in February. Its justices, a majority of whom were Democrats, said the General Assembly does not have “unlimited power to draw electoral maps that keep themselves and our members of Congress in office as long as they want, regardless of the will of the people, by making some votes more powerful than others. … We hold that our constitution’s Declaration of Rights guarantees the equal power of each person’s voice in our government through voting in elections that matter.”

It ordered a redrawn map that is expected to give Democratic candidates a good chance of winning six of the 14 seats.

In March, the Supreme Court turned down a GOP appeal seeking to block the use of the revised map in this year’s elections because it was too late to make additional changes before this year’s election.

But Kavanaugh said at the time that it was important for the justices to hear arguments on the issue in the fall and decide early next year whether state legislators have the sole authority to set the rules for federal elections in their states.

It’s not clear how the chief justice will view the issue now. Three years ago, he wrote a 5-4 decision that threw out a federal court ruling that struck down an earlier highly partisan election map for North Carolina. It gave GOP candidates a clear edge in 10 of 13 congressional districts.

Roberts said federal judges had no authority to decide when an election map was too partisan and that such disputes could be brought in state courts. That in turn helped trigger the litigation that led to the state supreme court ruling that is now being challenged.

Of Course Trump Slurs Hutchinson: 'Something Wrong With Her'

Of Course Trump Slurs Hutchinson: 'Something Wrong With Her' 4

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Former President Donald Trump has been lashing out at Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, and he did that again during a Newsmax interview on Thursday. During the interview, the twice-impeached one-term president also said that there should be Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee. There are, however, two Republicans on the panel. Trump called Liz Cheney a “train wreck.”

Trump seems very rattled by Hutchinson’s testimony.

“This lady yesterday, there’s something wrong with her,” Trump said. “Is there something wrong? She said I jumped from a car, and I started strangling — think of this — I started strangling a Secret Service agent who I know very well.”

“[She] said that I wanted guns at my rally,” he continued. “I didn’t want guns. I had to speak too. I didn’t want guns.”

“The woman is living in fantasy land,” Trump insisted. “She’s a social climber, if you call that social. I think it’s just a shame that this is happening.”

“Who would do that? I would grab a Secret Service person by the throat?” he said.

“I don’t even know if it’s possible,” the Newsmax host said.

“It’s very hard,” Trump said. “It’s very hard for another reason. These guys lift 350 lbs. I don’t.”

Trump took to Truth Social late last night after the Jan. 6 Select Committee subpoenaed Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel for Trump.

Now that fake storyteller Cassidy Hutchinson has been totally discredited and marginalized for making up the most ridiculous ever story that I tried to commandeer control of a moving White House Limo, and even went for a choke hold on the other very strong Secret Service Agent sitting in the front seat, in addition to her other lies, the Unselect Committee is asking to interview the former White House counsel for dirt, even though that would set a terrible precedent for future Presidents. NO!

Trump is not a very good poker player. He is obviously upset over Cipollone being subpoenaed. His former attorney must know where the bodies are buried. Trump has an explosive temper. I can see him grabbing that steering wheel. He’s known for grabbing things, after all.

MS House Speaker Thinks Child Incest Victims Should Be Forced To Give Birth

MS House Speaker Thinks Child Incest Victims Should Be Forced To Give Birth 5

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Mississippi Free Press reporter Ashton Pittman caught Speaker Gunn’s horrifying comments about pregnant 12-year-old rape and incest victims: “I believe life begins at conception. And every life is valuable.” But it couldn’t be clearer that Gunn and his Republican cronies think some lives are more valuable than others. For starters, Pittman noted that child pregnancies carry significantly higher health risks.

Once the baby is born, its life also becomes a lot less valuable to Gunn. Gunn says he is forming a commission to improve foster care and adoptions and to hold fathers more accountable. But Mississippi Free Press also notes that Gunn has opposed life-saving legislation for those already born:

But during the last legislative term alone, Speaker Gunn killed or declined to support efforts to provide health care options for new mothers. This spring, Republican Mississippi Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, sponsored a bill that would have ensured low-income new mothers in Mississippi have access to postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months after giving birth. Currently, that coverage is only available for two months.

Apparently, Gunn thought the postpartum bill looked too much like Medicaid expansion:

Gunn, the past chairman of the board of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, has long opposed expanding Medicaid broadly in the state, not just postpartum coverage. Studies estimate that as many as 300,000 working Mississippians who make too much for traditional Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance could gain health-care access if the state accepted billions from the federal government to expand the program.

“As I’ve said very publicly, I’m opposed to Medicaid expansion,” Gunn told the AP on March 9, erroneously conflating general Medicaid expansion with the targeted postpartum extension. “We need to look for ways to keep people off, not put them on.”

Gunn also complained that questions about forced birth for child rape or incest victims would “detract from” celebrating the Roe v. Wade reversal.

Supreme Court rules Biden can end Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy

Supreme Court rules Biden can end Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy 6

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The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Biden’s power to enforce immigration laws, ruling he may repeal the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which barred most Central American migrants from entering the United States to seek asylum.

The 5-4 decision in Biden vs. Texas reversed lower court rulings that held the Democratic administration must continue President Trump’s strict border enforcement policy.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by fellow conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and the court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Roberts said the law allowed the administration to return asylum seekers to Mexico but did not require it to do so.

His opinion is not a sweeping victory for the administration, but the chief justice said the law did not require Biden to adopt Trump’s view of the law.

“We merely hold that [the Immigration and National Act] means what it says: ‘may’ means ‘may,’ and the INA itself does not require the secretary to continue exercising his discretionary authority under these circumstances,” he wrote.

The justices returned the case to a lower court in Texas to consider other remaining objections to Biden’s policy.

Immigrant rights activists hailed the outcome as a major victory and a welcome surprise.

“This is a victory for the thousands who were left stranded by Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy,” said Erin Mazursky, managing director of Families Belong Together. It “comes in the same week that we are mourning the lives lost in San Antonio — a devastating tragedy directly tied to policies like Remain in Mexico that have obstructed a safe and fair asylum system.”

She was referring to the more than 50 migrants who died after having been abandoned inside a truck trailer in the Texas heat.

“Now, the Biden administration must put an end to this cruel policy and move forward with its promise of a more compassionate approach to a system that welcomes people seeking safety,” she said.

But ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt cautioned the policy at the border may not change as long as Title 42 is in place. That pandemic-related rule has blocked migrants from entering to apply for asylum, and it is unchanged by Thursday’s ruling.

“There are overlapping policies, and Title 42 is more extreme and affects more people than MPP,” he said, referring to the Migrant Protection Protocols, the official name of the Trump-era policy. “So as a practical matter, it doesn’t matter much if MPP can be used if Title 42 is in effect,” he said.

A federal judge in Louisiana blocked repeal of Title 42, and the litigation to challenge that ruling is moving slowly, Gelernt said.

Some immigrants-rights advocates contend the administration does not want to make a major change in the border policy before the November elections.

Trump announced his policy in December 2018. Migrants from Central America were told they could no longer enter the United States at a border crossing, apply for asylum and seek their release while their claims were pending, a process that can stretch over several years.

Ruling in favor of coal-producing states, Supreme Court says Congress, not the EPA, has the authority to make decisions on fighting climate change.

Instead, they were told they must wait in Mexico until their claims were set to be heard before an immigration judge.

Immigrant rights advocates condemned the Trump policy as unsafe and inhumane. Biden signaled his intent to repeal it in his first days in office.

But the new administration ran into a strong legal challenge from Republican state attorneys general in Texas and Missouri. They filed suits arguing that Biden’s repeal of Trump’s policy violated the law and procedural rules. And they won rulings from Trump-appointed judges that blocked the repeal.

Last year, the Supreme Court turned away the administration’s pleas and refused to intervene. But the justices agreed to hear full arguments in April.

The Supreme Court will hear a case about Republican lawmakers wanting to draw partisan election maps without interference from state high courts.

At issue were conflicting provisions in immigration laws. Lawyers for Texas pointed out that one says most asylum seekers “shall be detained” until their cases are heard, or the government “may return” them to the territory where they entered.

Biden’s lawyers pointed to other provisions that say asylum seekers may be released on parole in “a case-by-case” for urgent or humanitarian reasons. They also argued it has been understood for decades that the immigration authorities did not have nearly enough detention facilities to hold all the migrants who had pending asylum claims.

Last week, Kavanaugh joined the more conservative justices in the major rulings on abortion, guns and religion. But on Thursday, he agreed with Roberts that the president, whether a Republican or Democrat, has leeway on how to enforce immigration laws.

The long-standing problem, he said, is that the government does not have enough space to hold many tens of thousands of asylum-seekers until their cases can be heard.

“When the Department of Homeland Security lacks sufficient capacity to detain noncitizens at the southern border pending their immigration proceedings (often asylum proceedings), … the immigration laws afford two primary options,” he said. “Option one: DHS may grant noncitizens parole into the United States. … Notably, every administration beginning in the late 1990s has relied heavily on the parole option, including the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden.”

Supreme Court rules for coal-producing states, limits EPA's power to fight climate change

Supreme Court rules for coal-producing states, limits EPA's power to fight climate change 7

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday for the major coal-producing states and sharply limited the Biden administration’s authority to restrict the carbon pollution that is causing global warming.

The justices agreed with lawyers for West Virginia and said Congress did not give environmental regulators broad authority to reshape the system for producing electric power by switching from coal to natural gas, wind turbines and solar energy.

The court split 6-3 in the case of West Virginia vs. EPA.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Congress, and not the EPA, has the authority to make decisions on fighting climate change.

The Supreme Court upholds Biden’s broad power to repeal the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible solution to the crisis of the day,” he wrote. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme. … A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote a scathing dissent, joined by the court’s two liberals, Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

“Today, the court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,” Kagan wrote.

“Courts should be modest. Today, the court is not,” she said. “The court will not allow the Clean Air Act to work as Congress instructed. The court, rather than Congress, will decide how much regulation is too much. Whatever else this court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. The court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decisionmaker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

The ruling appears to allow for regulations focused narrowly on controlling pollution from smokestacks but blocks broader rules that would set state-by-state targets for pollution and force a shift to other ways of producing electricity.

The case decided Thursday began during President Obama’s administration and the search for an effective way to combat climate change.

EPA officials focused on power plants, which are the largest source of greenhouse gases except for the transportation industry. They pointed to a provision in the Clean Air Act that called for reducing pollution through the “best system of emissions reduction.”

The word “system” could be read broadly, and in 2015, the agency proposed a regulation that would force states to change their system for producing electricity by switching from coal to other means of producing electricity.

But Roberts said that the “best system” clause meant the agency can seek to improve how power plants operate. He said it was far-fetched to conclude this little known and rarely used provision gave the EPA the power to transform how electricity is produced.
The court’s five other conservatives agreed, ruling that EPA had overstepped its authority.

The outcome reflects the conservative court’s skepticism of federal regulation, particularly when it appears to go beyond what Congress specifically authorized.

West Virginia Atty. Gen. Patrick Morrisey called the ruling a “huge win for West Virginia and a huge victory against federal overreach and the excesses of the administrative state.”

Harvard Law Professor Richard Lazarus, an environmental law expert, called it “a major setback for the EPA’s ability to address climate change, and it could hardly come at a worse time.” The court is insisting on clear congressional action before approving climate change regulation when it “knows that Congress is effectively dysfunctional,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed the conservative majority’s latest decision.

“First on gun safety, then on abortion, and now on the environment — this MAGA, regressive, extremist Supreme Court is intent on setting America back decades, if not centuries,” he said.

Environmentalists have called for regulations to fight climate change, but for more than 20 years Republicans in Congress have steadily opposed new legislation on the issue.

They had one solid precedent on their side. In 2007, the court ruled that greenhouse gases were air pollutants subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act of the 1970s. That decision came on a 5-4 vote, with Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and the late Antonin Scalia in dissent.

Despite fears voiced earlier by environmentalists, Thursday’s decision does not overturn EPA’s authority to treat carbon emissions as a dangerous air pollutant. However, it restricts the agency’s authority to adopt broad regulations to combat climate-changing pollution.

While the ruling is a win for 17 Republican-controlled states aligned with West Virginia, environmental experts said it may not have a direct effect on California’s ambitious goals to eliminate its carbon footprint by 2045.

“Any time federal power to regulate climate change is constrained, state power gets more important,” said Cara Horowitz, co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. “California has always been a leader in the fight against climate change, and I expect that will continue and become even more crucial. States have a lot of regulatory power that this Supreme Court’s ruling does not touch.”

Horowitz said states will continue to determine the amount of renewable energy to power their grids. Perhaps most importantly for California, where the single largest source of carbon emissions is from on-road transportation, states will also wield the power to regulate vehicle emissions.

“Before the ruling came out, there was some concern that the court’s decision could threaten California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which lets California restrict greenhouse gas emissions from cars,” Horowitz said. “Because this case does not constrain EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, at least not directly, I think there’s good reason to think that California’s auto emissions standards for climate pollution survive. That’s a big centerpiece of California’s climate program.”

In recent years, California has already witnessed record-setting heat, unprecedented wildfires and historic drought.

“The radical Supreme Court has weakened our country’s ability to prevent the climate crisis from becoming a catastrophe for our planet and everyone living on it,” said U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-San Pedro). “By sharply limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Americans will suffer from extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves and storms. Rising temperatures and a delayed transition to cleaner sources of energy will threaten public health and reduce quality of life from increased air pollution. This burden will fall hardest on low-income communities and communities of color.”

“We are running out of time in the fight against climate change, and we need all levels of government working together to take action before it’s too late,” said California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta. “In California, we have strong programs in place to address climate change, and we will not go backwards. We will continue to use all the tools we have to reduce emissions, fight climate change, and protect public health.

The Obama administration proposed its plan to strictly regulate power plants in 2015. States would have been required to reduce their pollution in the most effective way, including by switching from coal-fired power plants to using more solar and wind power. But in February 2016, a week before Scalia died, the court issued an order on a 5-4 vote that blocked Obama’s plan from taking effect.

The Trump administration then decided Obama’s plan exceeded the EPA’s authority. Several blue states sued to challenge that conclusion, and they won in the U.S. appeals court in Washington, which ruled the EPA could adopt broad regulations.

On taking office, the Biden administration said it would devise a new set of regulations to reduce pollution from power plants. But before it could do so, West Virginia and 18 other Republican-controlled states urged the Supreme Court to clarify the law.

Times staff writer Tony Briscoe in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Podcast: D.C.'s secretive VP power lunch

Podcast: D.C.'s secretive VP power lunch 8

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For decades, weekly lunches between the American president and his vice president have piqued the interest of D.C. insiders. Today, we take a look at this unique tradition and examine what the most exclusive meal in D.C. tells us about the evolution of the vice presidency. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times White House reporter Noah Bierman

More reading:

It’s not just a meal: Inside the nation’s most secretive and exclusive power lunch

Opinion: Obama and Biden do lunch

Gorbachev, Reagan, Bush to Lunch

Will California gun control legislation survive the Supreme Court ruling? Time will tell

Will California gun control legislation survive the Supreme Court ruling? Time will tell 9

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Gun control bills have been shooting through the state Legislature at rapid-fire speed, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is eager to sign them. But it’s anyone’s guess how many will survive this Supreme Court.

It’s also not clear which existing California gun controls will remain intact, including biggies such as the ban on sales of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

Many seem in jeopardy because of the conservative court’s ruling that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms overrides a New York law restricting who may legally carry a concealed gun in public. California and a handful of other states have similar laws.

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said the Constitution “protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

And more broadly, Thomas wrote: “To justify a firearm regulation the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Gun lobbies are hailing that statement.

Historical tradition? Meaning, regulations back before there were guns that could fire scores — even hundreds — of bullets per minute? When the population was more rural than urban?

There’s at least one historical precedent for forbidding weapons on the street. Back in 1881, in Tombstone, Ariz., the Earp brothers — Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil — with Doc Holliday enforced an ordinance that banned the packing of sidearms in town. That sensible rule led to the shootout at O.K. Corral.

Would the Tombstone law be held unconstitutional by the current court? Allowing the outlaw gang called the Cowboys to “protect” itself against town marshal Virgil Earp?

Another firearm regulation of more recent history — a half century ago — comes to mind. It arguably was California’s first modern gun control law.

Half a dozen members of the Black Panther Party carrying loaded guns burst through the massive doors of the state Assembly chamber while 20 brothers in arms waited outside in the hall in 1967. I was inside the chamber that day and can testify that virtually everyone was terrified.

High court strikes down gun laws in California, New York and six other states that restrict permits to carry a concealed weapon.

The Panthers were ostensibly protesting a Republican-sponsored bill to ban the carrying of loaded firearms within a city. Actually, it was a publicity stunt that put the Panthers on the map. But it shocked and scared the legislators, who passed a bill making it illegal to carry a loaded gun in public, with some exceptions. Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan quickly signed it.

Would that law be deemed unconstitutional today?

Experts are divided over how much California’s toughest-in-the-nation gun laws will be eroded by the court ruling.

“This will have a broad impact on laws in California particularly,” predicts UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, who specializes in firearms laws. “The court has signaled it is going to be much more skeptical of gun laws.

“Those likely to be vulnerable, are ones most popular with gun safety advocates: bans on assault weapons, bans on high-cap magazines, the raised [gun-buying] age, red flag laws, waiting periods, ammo background checks and some of the remaining concealed-carry permitting requirements.

“The court is likely to strike down bans on high-capacity magazines. You might see the 10-day waiting period go.

“We’re going to see battles for years to come.”

And, he says, “Tombstone’s law would be unconstitutional.”

But Garen Wintemute, who heads the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program and has studied shootings for decades, is more optimistic about the survival of California’s tough gun controls.

“I think California and other states will continue their commitment to preventing violence,” he says. “And if the Supreme Court puts up obstacles, they’ll find ways around them.

“I have a lot of respect for the intelligence and ingenuity of California policymakers. This is a setback, but we are good at overcoming them and we will overcome this one.”

He might get an argument over the “intelligence and ingenuity” of politicians — a truly American “historical tradition.”

California leaders vow to craft new gun restrictions hours after a Supreme Court decision threatening limits on carrying handguns in public.

Legislators, working with state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta and the governor, have created a concealed-carry bill designed to skirt the court ruling.

“Our goal is to be bold but be constitutional — to be as expansive as we can within the framework laid down by the Supreme Court,” says state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), the bill’s author.

The court ruled that it’s OK for states to require permits to carry concealed weapons in public. But the requirements need to be specific and uniform, not arbitrary and subjective as has been the case in New York and California — depending on the whim of a local sheriff.

Gun owners no longer can be required to show “good cause” why they need to carry a weapon in public. But states can restrict guns in “sensitive places,” such as schools, government buildings and polling places.

“We’re going to push the envelope,” Portantino says.

His legislation would require a concealed weapons carrier to be at least 21, require disclosure of all prior arrests, convictions and restraining orders, and mandate in-person interviews, psychiatric evaluations and character references.

Guns would be banned from schools, government buildings, medical facilities, public transportation, public parks, concerts and bars.

“The bill will never become law,” says Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California.

But it’s expected to pass the Legislature and be signed by Newsom — along with bills to ban ghost guns, allow shooting victims to sue dealers who peddle illegal guns and forbid manufacturers to market their weapons to minors.

Meanwhile, be prepared for more guns on the street. Let’s hope parking lots don’t become O.K. Corrals.

Trump Cronies Are Very Worried About J6 Investigation

Trump Cronies Are Very Worried About J6 Investigation 10

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Rolling Stone reports that Trumpworld is very much on edge about their culpability for the Jan. 6th insurrection:

Tuesday’s hearing of the Jan. 6 committee turbocharged Trumpworld’s anxieties, as former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about a string of damaging — and potentially criminal — activities Trump and his team engaged in in the run up to the Capitol attack.

“In the time since Cassidy testified, there has definitely been an uptick in chatter in [Trumpworld] about who is and who isn’t criminally exposed,” said a former senior Trump aide. “There are some people who don’t take these hearings or the DOJ probe seriously, and think of it as ‘Mueller Part 2’ or yet another example of the media getting over its skis. There are others who think that, whatever you think of the committee, criminal charges could easily come after all these testimonies and subpoenas. I count myself among the latter group, and Tuesday made me feel even more confident in the idea that we should all be preparing for the Biden Justice Department to really go after Trump people. This isn’t a joke, and should not be treated like one.”

Hutchinson, a former aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows, laid waste to the Trump team’s effort to shield themselves from any culpability in the Capitol Attack. Trump’s associates have sought to portray the attack as unforeseeable and totally disconnected from any official activities, claiming Trump disapproved of the violence and sought to quell it. Over the span of three hours, Hutchinson revealed that entire narrative to be a lie.

I don’t know why former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney felt his hands were clean enough to comment on Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, but he was all over the online space, declaring it “explosive” and saying, “I don’t think she is lying.”

The Jan. 6 committee does not have the power to charge officials with crimes, but the Justice Department does, and MAGAland officials are watching the DOJ anxiously. The investigative team is pulling in prosecutors with lengthy résumés in counterterrorism and national security, Rolling Stone has learned. And for weeks, whispers of the inclusion of these nat-sec prosecutors have ricocheted around Trump’s professional circles, including in the halls of Donald Trump’s Florida and New Jersey clubs, three people familiar with the matter say.

“Why are they sending counterterrorism [professionals] after us?” asked the close Trump adviser connected to his 2020 and 2021 efforts. “Does that mean [the Biden DOJ thinks] we’re terrorists?”