1/ The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced legislation that would require the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt a binding code of ethics. The legislation would require the Supreme Court to adopt and adhere to ethics and disclosure requirements equivalent to those applied to members of Congress and establish a process for enforcing them. The vote was 11-10 along party lines, with Republicans claiming that the bill could “destroy” the court. The legislation, however, is not expected to get the 60 votes required to advance in the Senate – and even if it did, it has little chance of being considered in the Republican-controlled House. The move follows reports that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito failed to disclose luxury travel and accommodations provided by wealthy businessmen and political donors, and that Justice Sonia Sotomayor used taxpayer-funded court staff to help sell her books. (Associated Press / ABC News / New York Times / CNN / Politico / Washington Post)
- How Harlan Crow Slashed his Tax Bill by Taking Clarence Thomas on Superyacht Cruises. “Crow’s voyages with Thomas, the data shows, contributed to a nice side benefit: They helped reduce Crow’s tax bill.” (ProPublica)
- Influential activist Leonard Leo helped fund media campaign lionizing Clarence Thomas. “Leo is well-known for shepherding conservative judicial nominees, but the public relations campaign shows how he has continued to exert influence in support of right-leaning justices after helping them secure lifetime appointments.” (Washington Post)
2/ Kevin McCarthy reportedly promised Trump that the House would vote to expunge his two impeachments before its August recess. After McCarthy openly questioned whether Trump is “the strongest to win the [general] election” on national television, McCarthy promised to revisit the two impeachments in order to calm Trump. “He needs to endorse me — today!” Trump reportedly fumed to his staff following McCarthy’s television appearance. McCarthy, however, denies he made any deal with Trump to expunge his impeachment record. (Politico / ABC News / Politico)
3/ Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger complied with a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith seeking all security video from an Election Day polling site. Trump and Rudy Giuliani had repeatedly falsely claimed that a pair of election workers stationed at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena engaged in fraud while they were counting ballots. The FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation previously investigated claims of voter fraud at the arena and concluded that “there was no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged.” The Georgia State Election Board also dismissed a years-long investigation into alleged misconduct by Fulton County election workers, finding no evidence of conspiracy. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / CNN)
4/ A federal judge denied Trump’s request for a new trial in the case where a jury ordered him to pay $5 million for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll. Trump claimed that the award was excessive because the jury concluded that he had not raped Carroll – only that he sexually abused her and later defamed her when he denied her story. Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the order that the jury in the case did not reach “a seriously erroneous result” and its verdict is not “a miscarriage of justice,” as Trump had alleged. “There is no basis for disturbing the jury’s sexual assault damages,” Kaplan added. “And Mr. Trump’s arguments with respect to the defamation damages are no stronger.” (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / CNBC / Politico)
5/ The Florida Board of Education approved a new set of standards for how Black history should be taught to middle school students, including instruction on how slavery gave Black people a “personal benefit” because they “developed skills.” The new standards require high school students to be taught that the 1920 Ocoee massacre, where a white mob attacked Black residents, included “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.” As many as 60 people were killed when several Black residents attempted to vote, making it the deadliest instance of Election Day violence in U.S. history. The new standards were approved unanimously. (Washington Post / CNN / Politico)
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