1/ Nearly 17 months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade – and for the second general election in a row – voters in increasingly Republican-leaning states defended abortion rights. In Tuesday’s off-year general elections, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing access to abortion. Trump won Ohio in 2020. In Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection – a state Biden lost by 26 points – after making support of abortion rights a key message of his campaign. And in Virginia, Democrats won majorities in both chambers, where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin had put a 15-week abortion ban at the center of his campaign to help Republicans gain control both the House and Senate. In the 2022 midterm elections, voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont enshrined abortion rights in their state’s constitution, while voters in Kentucky rejected a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to say that it does not “secure or protect a right” to abortion or the funding of abortion. (NBC News / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / Politico / Vox)
- The Special Elections Tell Us Nothing About 2024. “Democrats have a Biden problem, not a party problem.” (Intelligencer)
- Republicans can’t sugarcoat their losses on abortion rights anymore. “The anti-abortion movement went all in last night. They lost decisively.” (Vox)
- What to watch for in the third Republican debate. “Five Republican presidential hopefuls will gather on stage Wednesday night for the third GOP debate, with Trump once again skipping the event.” (Washington Post / Bloomberg / ABC News)
2/ The House censured the only Palestinian American in Congress for her comments about the Israel-Hamas war. Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib defended her use of a pro-Palestinian rallying cry – “from the river to the sea” – as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence” and refused to retract it. The phrase, which is widely interpreted as calling for the elimination of Israel, has been deemed antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League. Prior to the vote, Tlaib reiterated her calls for a cease-fire, defended her criticism of the Israeli government, and implored her colleagues to consider the plight of the Palestinian people, saying: “I can’t believe we have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings just like anyone else. […] The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinian children sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity.” Nevertheless, the measure passed by a vote of 234 to 188, with 22 Democrats joining all but 4 Republicans in voting to formally rebuke Tlaib for allegedly “promoting false narratives” and “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” The measure also argued that a statement Tlaib made after Hamas’s attack on Israel – calling for the end of “the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance” – “defended” terrorism. It is the second time Tlaib had faced a censure resolution over her criticism of Israel. (Washington Post / CBS News / ABC News / NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / CNN / NBC News)
3/ The U.S. called for limits on Israel’s control over the Gaza Strip after its war with Hamas, saying “Gaza cannot continue to be run by Hamas” but that “it’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza.” After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Israel would assume responsibility for Gaza’s security “for an indefinite period,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against the “forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza,” saying: “No re-occupation of Gaza after the conflict ends, no attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in the territory of Gaza.” The White House National Security Council added: “We believe that the Palestinians should be in charge of their future and they should be the determining voice and factor in their future.” So far, Israeli officials reportedly have not considered a post-war scenario that included independent Palestinian rule as a possibility. Meanwhile, Qatar and Egypt are negotiating a deal with Hamas to release up to 15 hostages in exchange for a 48-hour humanitarian pause, but Netanyahu rejected the possibility, saying: “There will be no cease-fire without the release of our hostages – everything else is false.” More than 1.5 million people have been displaced in Gaza, and it’s estimated that more than 10,500 have been killed. Israel says 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas terror attack Oct. 7, with some 239 people still held hostage in Gaza. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the number of civilian deaths in Gaza means something is “clearly wrong” with the Israeli military operation. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News)
4/ The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an attempt to block Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot next year under the 14th Amendment. The justices, however, did not rule on the merits of the 14th Amendment claim – that Trump is ineligible to hold office on the basis that he “engaged in insurrection” – leaving open the possibility he could still be blocked from the 2024 general election ballot. The court said it dismissed the case because the state’s primary is “an internal party election to serve internal party purposes” and election officials and the courts don’t have the authority to stop the Republican Party from offering Trump as a primary candidate. (CNN / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)
House Republicans issued subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.. It’s the first time House Republicans have directly tried to compel testimony from members of the Biden family as part of their months-long investigation, which Kevin McCarthy escalated to an impeachment inquiry in September. The inquiry, so far, has failed to provide direct evidence biden committed any wrongdoing, broke the law or benefited from his son’s business dealings. (Politico / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post)
Ivanka Trump testified that she had no role in preparing Trump’s inflated financial statements and that she wasn’t aware that Trump claimed a net worth of more than $4 billion. Ivanka was the fourth and final member of the Trump family to testify in the trial. (NBC News / Associated Press / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Bloomberg / ABC News)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.