1/ A Maine judge delayed ruling on whether Trump’s name can appear on that state’s primary ballot, saying the Supreme Court needs to issue a decision on a similar case in Colorado first. Earlier this year, Maine’s secretary of state removed Trump from the ballot based on the Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.” The ruling sent the case back to Maine’s secretary of state, ordering her to modify, withdraw or confirm her ruling after the Supreme Court rules on the Colorado case. Oral arguments on the Colorado case are scheduled for Feb. 8. For now, Trump’s name is still on the ballot for the Maine Republican primary on March 5, which is Super Tuesday. (Associated Press / Axios / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)

2/ A federal judge threatened to throw Trump out of court for making “disruptive” comments while E. Jean Carroll’s testified at his defamation trial. After an initial warning from Judge Lewis Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer complained a second time that Trump could still be heard “loudly saying things that are false,” including “it is a witch hunt” and “it really is a con job,” while the columnist was testifying. Kaplan warned Trump that while he “has the right to be present here. That right can be forfeited and it can be forfeited if he is disruptive […] I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial.” Trump then threw his hands up and fired back at the judge: “I would love it, I would love it.” At the time of the exchange, Carroll was testifying about how Trump’s attacks on her credibility – after she publicly accused him of a sexual assault – led to threats of violence from his supporters and that put her in fear for her safety. A jury in a separate civil case last year found that Trump sexually abused and defamed Carroll and owed her $5 million in damages. This new trial is focused on whether Trump owes Carroll additional damages for separate comments he made about her. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN / CNBC)

3/ The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed inclined to overturn or limit a 40-year-old precedent that gives federal agencies wide latitude to interpret unclear laws. The justices heard two cases concerning the so-called “Chevron deference,” which requires federal judges to defer to federal agencies when they offer a reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute. The 1984 decision was intended to stop judges from substituting their own interpretations of statues over the expertise of agencies. During 3 1/2 hours of oral arguments, the conservative majority generally signaled skepticism toward the Chevron deference, though it was unclear whether the court had the votes to overturn the ruling. The court could also take a different approach and place limits on when lower court judges can defer to agencies without overturning Chevron. (NBC News / CNN / NPR / Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Axios)

  • 💡 What’s at stake? The potential rollback of the Chevron deference by the Supreme Court would fundamentally alter how federal agencies implement laws aimed at safeguarding public interests, especially in areas like environmental protection and public health. Federal agencies have traditionally used the deference to swiftly implement laws in response to emerging issues. If the Chevron deference is eliminated, agencies will face increased judicial scrutiny, leading to a decrease in regulatory action. This shift not only affects the environment and public health, but also impacts economic regulations, consumer protections, and education policies. Further, it also shifts the balance of power between the branches of government, potentially weakening the executive branch’s role in day-to-day governance.

4/ The Biden administration put the Houthi militant group back on a global terrorism list in response to their dozens of attacks on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea. The “specially designated global terrorists” designation triggers an asset freeze and blocks the Iran-backed group’s access to the global financial system. After taking office, Biden removed the Trump administration’s designation of the Houthis as terrorists, arguing that it hampered humanitarian assistance to people in Yemen. (Washington Post / CNN / Axios / CNBC / Bloomberg / New York Times)