Day 814: "Continued complications."
1/ The Justice Department will seek emergency intervention from the Supreme Court to protect the availability of the widely-used abortion pill mifepristone. The decision comes after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals partially blocked U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s order, which suspended the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. It was the first time a court had ordered the suspension of a long-approved medication. The court, however, ruled that mifespristone could no longer be prescribed after the seventh week of pregnancy, rolled back mail delivery of the pill, and reimposed doctor visits. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department “strongly disagrees” with the 5th Circuit’s decision, adding that the administration will “be seeking emergency relief from the Supreme Court to defend the FDA’s scientific judgment and protect Americans’ access to safe and effective reproductive care.” Any filing would go to Justice Samuel Alito, who handles emergency matters from the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit. Alito wrote the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / NPR / CNBC / ABC News / CNN)
2/ Florida’s Republican legislature banned most abortions after six weeks, sending the bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The six-week ban includes exceptions for rape, incest, medical emergencies, and “fatal fetal abnormalities,” but effectively outlaws the procedure before many people know they’re pregnant. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, patients in the South have been traveling to Florida for abortions. Of the 82,000 people who had an abortion in Florida in 2022, nearly 7,000 of those traveled to the state. Of the 13 states that prohibit nearly all abortions, most are in the South, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. (Washington Post / NBC News / New York Times)
3/ The FBI arrested a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman in connection with the leak of highly classified U.S. intelligence documents, which included maps, intelligence updates, and the assessment of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Federal agents took Jack Teixeira into custody, and the FBI conducted a search of his home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, which appears to be his mother’s. Teixeira was the administrator of a chat group where the classified documents first appeared. The chat group of about 20 to 30 people reportedly shared a “love of guns, racist online memes, and video games.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Teixeira was arrested “without incident” on allegations of “alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.” Teixeira will likely face charges under 18 U.S.C. 793 – better known as the Espionage Act. (New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN / Politico)
4/ Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked to be temporarily replaced on the Judiciary Committee after some House Democrats called on her to resign while she recovers from shingles. The 89-year-old California Democrat is the oldest member of Congress and hasn’t cast a vote in the Senate since Feb. 16. Her absence has stalled efforts to confirm Biden’s judicial picks. The chamber returns to session next week after a two-week recess, but Feinstein won’t be returning “due to continued complications related to my diagnosis.” She has not provided a timetable for returning to Washington. “I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee,” Feinstein said after two House Democrats called on her to resign. “So I’ve asked Leader Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve until I’m able to resume my committee work.” (New York Times / NPR / Associated Press / Politico / NBC News / ABC News / Washington Post / CNN)
5/ Trump sat for a deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million lawsuit alleging “staggering” fraud in his real estate business practices. This is the second time that the attorney general’s office has questioned Trump under oath: Trump sat for a deposition in August, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination more than 400 times. About a month later, James’ office sued Trump, three of his children, and their company, alleging years of fraud. Ahead of his deposition, Trump posted on his personal social media platform that the case is “another unjust & ridiculous persecution,” but suggested he “will finally be able to show what a great, profitable, and valuable company I built.” Trump went on to call James, who is black, a “racist” and her lawsuit “ridiculous.” The civil case is expected to go to trial in October. (New York Times / NBC News / ABC News / Bloomberg / Washington Post)
6/ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas didn’t disclose that he sold real estate to Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, who also provided Thomas and his wife Ginni with luxury travel for more than two decades. The 2014 sale of Thomas’ childhood home to Crow never appeared on a disclosure form. Crow paid for $36,000 in improvements to the property and Thomas’ 94-year-old mother continues to live in the house under Crow’s ownership. It is the first known instance of money flowing from Crow to Thomas. (ProPublica)
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