SCOTUS Wraps Up First Week of 2022-2023 Term

The Supreme Court has officially wrapped up its first week of oral arguments for the 2022-2023 term. Two cases cases that especially stand out are Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency and Merrill v. Milligan. The Sackett oral arguments seemed to suggest that the Court may be heading towards changing the standard used for determining whether the federal government has regulatory jurisdiction over an issue:

If oral argument was any indication, the justices recognize the need for greater regulatory certainty, but also recognize the difficulty in drawing a clear line to demarcate where "waters of the United States" end and non-federal waters or lands begin. Much of the argument focused on precisely this question, causing the justices to explore the meaning of the word "adjacent," as the Court previously upheld the EPA and Army Corps' authority over wetlands adjacent to navigable waters in United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes, perhaps the high-water mark of Court acquiescence to broad assertions of federal regulatory power under the CWA. Accordingly, the justices considered whether "adjacent wetlands" must be physically connected to navigable waters, must be neighboring to such waters, or must merely be nearby, and most seemed unconvinced with the answers they received from the advocates.

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RNC Files Suits in MI and AZ

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has filed multiple lawsuits this week in Michigan and Arizona seeking to defend the integrity of our elections. In Michigan, the RNC joined the Michigan Republican Party in suing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Director of Elections Jonathan Brater for issuing "a new set of rules" regarding election challengers without following the proper procedure:

Those new rules, however, are directly inconsistent with the plain language of the Michigan Election Law, prior guidance issued by the Secretary of State, and current common practice. And despite the fact that this Court has held on at least two recent occasions that Secretary Benson issued rules in violation of Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”), see Davis v Benson, No. 20-000207-MZ, 2020 WL 7033534 (Mich. Ct. Cl. Oct. 27, 2020); Genetski v Benson, No. 20-000216-MM, 2021 WL 1624452 (Mich. Ct. Cl. Mar. 09, 2021), none of the new rules set forth in the 2022 Election Challenger Instructions were promulgated in accordance with the APA.

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New FBI Crime Stats Leave Out Major Crime Hubs

A new FBI report indicates that murder rates increased during 2021, while violent crime decreased overall. However, the agency is facing criticism over the credibility of its data, which relies heavily on estimation due to a lack of participation by law enforcement agencies—including those in crime hubs like Los Angeles and New York City:

“The overwhelming lack of law enforcement participation presents a challenge when assessing the true state of nationwide crime in America,” said Jillian Snider, the policy director for the R Street Institute’s criminal justice and civil liberties team.

Snider, a retired NYPD cop, said everyone should “proceed with caution” in using this data for new criminal justice policy.

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Arguments Heard in First Cases of 2022-2023 SCOTUS Term

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court kicked off its 2022-2023 term by hearing oral arguments for two cases. The first case before the Court was Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which considers:

Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1362(7).

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Election Results Denier Stacey Abrams Dealt Blow in Court Ruling

Prolific election results denier Stacey Abrams was dealt a blow in court on Friday when her organization lost a lawsuit challenging Georgia voting laws. The suit was originally filed after her loss in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ judgment concludes the ambitious case against Georgia’s voter registration and absentee ballot practices after a trial in which voters testified about problems at the polls but few of them were unable to cast a ballot.

“Although Georgia’s election system is not perfect, the challenged practices violate neither the Constitution nor the VRA (Voting Rights Act),” Jones wrote in a 288-page order.

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Radical Non-Citizen Voting Proposal Advances in D.C. Council

A D.C. Council committee has taken a radical step in advancing a measure that would legalize noncitizen voting in the District of Columbia. As John Fund pointed out earlier this year when a federal court struck down a New York City law that permitted noncitizen voting, noncitizen voting is part of the Left's agenda to change the U.S. voting system:

The New York law is part of a nationwide push to blur the very meaning of citizenship and promote noncitizen voting everywhere and for all offices.

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Supreme Court to Kick Off New Term with Major Redistricting Case

At the beginning of what is certain to be a historic Supreme Court term, the Court will hear oral arguments next Tuesday in Merrill v. Milligan, a case that considers whether Alabama’s 2021 congressional maps violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Much drama unfolded earlier this year when Alabama’s newly adopted congressional maps were challenged. Now, the Supreme Court will hopefully resolve the issue once and for all, and with it, clarify how race should be considered in the redistricting process.

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Border Crisis Fueled by Migrants from "Remote Countries"

When thinking about illegal immigration, immigration from Central America typically comes to mind. However, more and more immigrants are coming from countries beyond our neighbors directly to the south of us:

Undocumented crossings at the U.S. southern border have long been dominated by people from Mexico and Central America — but for the first time since at least the turn of the century, migrants from other nations made up the majority of those stopped by authorities.

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Pro-Lifer's House Raided by FBI

A Pennsylvania pro-life advocate is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of violating FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act) on Tuesday after the FBI stormed his house last week. Unfortunately, this appears to be another instance of Biden's DOJ targeting someone with opposing beliefs. The Federalist reported:

The arrest warrant shows Houck accused of “attacking a patient escort” at a Planned Parenthood facility in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a federal law used to restrict the actions of pro-life protesters and counselors in front of abortion facilities. Mark, who also runs a men’s ministry devoted in part to rescuing men from pornography addictions, made a habit of driving two hours to Philadelphia every week to spend his Wednesdays speaking and counseling in front of the Planned Parenthood – Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center.

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Commitment to America Includes Commitment to Election Integrity

Today, members of the House Republican Caucus rolled out their Commitment to America, a series of significant reforms that will serve as the Republicans' first priorities once they regain the majority in January 2023. 

Alongside other broad-ranging topics, Leader Kevin McCarthy re-emphasized the Republican Caucus’ promise to “end special treatment for members of Congress by repealing proxy voting, and increase accountability in the election process through voter ID, accurate voter rolls, and observer access.”

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