Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Katherine Pompilio
Thursday, June 2, 2022, 1:23 PM

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A gunman killed four people and injured several others at a medical office building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reports the New York Times. The man—who was in possession of a rifle and a handgun—opened fire in the office before taking his own life. According to law enforcement authorities, the attack on the medical office was executed deliberately.

The Biden administration canceled $5.8 billion dollars in federal student loan debt, writes CBS News. Hundreds of thousands of students that attended the for-profit Corinthian Colleges chain will automatically have their student debt canceled. The cancellation applies to any former student that attended one of the for-profit schools associated with the chain from 1995 to 2015, which amounts to approximately $5.8 billion in debt for more than 560,000 borrowers. 

The Biden administration is working to strengthen economic ties with Taiwan amid rising tensions with China, writes the Wall Street Journal. According to the U.S. Trade Representative's office, the United States has created a pact with Taiwan to bolster bilateral trade, supply chains and technology-export controls. The United States and Taiwan will also work to address nonmarket trade policies and conduct.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has obtained a December 2020 proposal from Trump ally Rudy Giuliani and others that outlined a rough plan to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to CNN. The plan—disclosed in an email from lawyer Kenneth Chesebro with the subject “President of the Senate’ strategy”—directed former Vice President Mike Pence to recuse himself from certifying the election to allow a senior Republican senator to step in as president pro tempore. As temporary president of the Senate, the senior Republican senator would move to “set aside” President Biden’s victory so former President Trump would have more time to protest his loss in the judiciary as well as in the court of public opinion.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hear testimony from J. Michael Luttig—a former federal judge and adviser to former Vice President Pence—in an upcoming public hearing, reports Axios. Luttig was reportedly a “key” figure in the White House in the weeks before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and provided the legal basis that Pence used to reject Trump's attempt to overturn Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Denmark has voted to join the European Union’s defense bloc amid Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to the Washington Post. In a national referendum, 67 percent of Danish voters elected to join the EU’s Common Security Defense Policy. The decision to join the defense bloc displays a strengthening of diplomatic and military ties between European nations amid Russian aggression toward a sovereign nation. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederikson reported that the Danish people’s decision to join the security framework shows that “when [Russian President Vladimir Putin] invades a free and independent country and threatens peace and stability, we will move closer together.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Alvaro Marañon sat down with Yaya Fanusie to discuss China’s use of non-fungible tokens as a digital asset toward using it for the creation of a more centralized and restrictive internet ecosystem.

Matthew Waxman announced the release of his new volume entitled “The Future Law of Armed Conflict.”

Benjamin Wittes discussed the Michael Sussmann verdict. 

Howell shared an episode of Rational Security in which Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic and Scott R. Anderson discussed the week’s biggest national news stories, including: the Uvalde mass shooting and why guns play such a role in American culture, and Turkey’s resistance to support Sweden and Finland’s applications to NATO. 

Alan Z. Rozeshtein argued that the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion striking down most of Florida’s controversial social media law mostly gets the First Amendment right but also shortchanges the important government interests at stake.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast that featured conversations with Paul Rosenzweig, Sultan Meghi, Nick Weaver and Matthew Heirman about the 11th Circuit decision mostly striking down Florida’s law regulating social media platforms’ content moderation rules; different approaches to artificial intelligence regulation in China, Europe and the United States; and more.   

Daniel Richman argued that allowing federal criminal enforcers access to foreign evidence without gatekeeping by foreign states will likely increase the likelihood of friction when U.S. prosecutions intrude on foreign sovereign interests or sensibilities.

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