June 30, 2022

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The Headlines

The Edge

Damn the Court; This Is Not What Democracy Looks Like

Tears of Joy and Hope Turn to Tears of Despair

Post-9/11 War Spending Exceeds $8 Trillion

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Limits the EPA’s Ability to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions | Mother Jones

‘An Act of Conquest’: Native Americans Condemn SCOTUS Tribal Sovereignty Ruling | Common Dreams

Supreme Court Has Just Ruled the Biden Administration Can End Remain in Mexico Policy | Mother Jones

January 6 Committee

Cassidy Hutchinson’s Jan. 6 Testimony Was an Alexander Butterfield Moment | The Intercept

Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Pat Cipollone, Former Trump White House Counsel | Truthout

The Edge
Damn the Court; This Is Not What Democracy Looks Like

“Look at the last half-century of civil rights and women’s rights movement demands — equality and freedom remain elusive. So, we need new strategies for our demands.”

Zillah Eisenstein responds to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade amongst a wave of developments including rollbacks on gun control following recent mass shootings.

“This whittling away of Roe is endemic and central to the whittling away of democracy in the U.S. — from voting rights to a fuller notion of reproductive justice,” writes Eisenstein. “Attacks on Roe should have been our canary in the coal mine.”

Read Eisenstein’s full commentary on The Edge.

Tears of Joy and Hope Turn to Tears of Despair

Noreen M. Sugrue, president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, got a call from her obstetrician 30 years ago telling her that, after two miscarriages, she’d have a daughter. Sugrue celebrated the life her child would have and was grateful that, thanks to Roe, she would have freedom if she ever had to make one of the most difficult choices.

Roe was “the settled law of the land” before the Supreme Court overruled it this week. Now, “Regardless of which state one lives in, access to safe, legal abortions is at best tenuous,” Sugrue writes. “To have safe, legal abortions, you need physicians trained to do abortion procedures,” and there will be a stark drop in the number of obstetrics/gynecology residency programs that can provide training.

Read more from Sugrue on The Edge.

Heidi Peltier on The Costs of War Project

Last September, PCIM Director Raza Rumi spoke with Project Director Heidi Peltier of Brown University’s Cost of War Project. This organization began in 2010 to create a full account of war costs — not just what comes from the Department of Defense, which is the “narrowest aspect of the budget for war spending.”

The Project tallies other increases to the Pentagon’s budget during wartime, in addition to the human costs of injuries, abuses, and lost lives.

In the month after last year’s U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, $5.8 trillion had been spent since 2001. But, Peltier explained, additional costs increase this total to $8 trillion. “And that number may continue to rise.”

Read Peltier and Rumi’s full conversation on The Edge.

Supreme Court
SCOTUS Rolls Back EPA Power, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Trump Immigration Policy

The Supreme Court issued a ruling this Wednesday that allows authorities in Oklahoma and other states to prosecute certain crimes on sovereign tribal land. This 5-4 ruling in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta rolls back a landmark 2020 decision that affirmed Native treaty rights.

On Thursday, SCOTUS ruled to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate planet-warming emissions. The case, West Virginia v. EPA, was to decide whether the Clean Air Act gives the EPA the authority to broadly regulate power sector greenhouse gas emissions, reports Mother Jones. The 6-3 decision ruled that the EPA does not have this power.

Also on Thursday, in the case Biden v. Texas, the Court ruled in another 5-4 vote that the Biden administration acted lawfully in terminating a Trump-era policy known as “Remain in Mexico” that pushed asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases to process in U.S. immigration courts. The policy left 70,000 non-Mexican migrants stuck along the southern border, often in dangerous camps.

January 6 Investigation
Trump Didn’t Care About Potential Insurrection Violence: “They’re Not Here to Hurt Me”

During Tuesday’s hearing of the House January 6 committee, former Donald Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed the story of the coup plotting at the White House before and during the insurrection.

Hutchinson, former aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s White House chief of staff, demonstrated that the former president knew many of his supporters marching on the Capitol were armed, and still encouraged them. He further wanted to go to the Capitol himself to lead the mob, and attempted to take control of his limo from a Secret Service agent.

The committee said that it has evidence former White House counsel Pat Cipollone “repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January 6th.” While it has had informal meetings with Cipollone, the committee subpoenaed the former counsel to discuss several topics concerning Trump’s election schemes, including the gambit to appoint fake electors to disrupt the Electoral College certification.

In Other News

1. Covid expert says new wave of infections is about to hit New York City | The Independent

2. The Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling Is Going to Be Very, Very Expensive | The Atlantic

3. Supreme Court Will Hear Case On Radical Voting Rights Theory | HuffPost

4. Ukraine war: US to ramp up military presence across Europe | BBC

5. Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first Black female supreme court justice| The Guardian

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The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.