Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Friday, June 24, 2022, 3:20 PM

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The House passed a bipartisan gun safety bill, the first major federal gun reform in decades, reports NBC News. The 234-193 vote Friday follows a 65-33 Senate vote the day prior. The bill, which was written in response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, would close the “boyfriend loophole” and include juvenile records in background checks.

The Supreme Court struck down a New York law that placed limits on carrying guns in public, ruling that the Constitution protects gun rights outside the home, writes the New York Times. The decision would likely strike down similar laws in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. Justice Thomas, writing for the majority, said that states can continue to limit the presence of guns in certain locations such as government buildings and schools but left open where these bans would be permitted.

The House Jan. 6 committee held the fifth of its series of hearings, writes CBS News. The hearing focused on former President Trump’s efforts to involve the Justice Department in his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The committee detailed Trump’s plans to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, which was stopped when multiple assistant attorneys general threatened to resign if he installed Clark.

Federal Agents searched Clark’s home Wednesday, reports the Washington Post. The search was confirmed by Clark’s current boss at the Center for Renewing America, who said agents took Clark’s electronic devices. Clark went on Fox News on Thursday night, after the Jan. 6 select committee hearing detailed his conduct while at the Justice Department, calling the investigation “highly politicized” and suggesting a connection between the search and the committee’s hearing.

Ukrainian forces will leave their foothold in Severodonetsk, ceding the city to Russian troops, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move marks an end to a nearly two-month battle over the city, which took the lives of hundreds of local civilians, destroyed about 80 percent of the urban center’s buildings, and led to the exodus of most of the city’s residents from the area. The remaining population in Severodonetsk is estimated to be 7,000, according to Ukrainian officials, a dramatic decline from the 100,000 people who lived there before the war.

The United States repatriated Assadullah Haroon Gul, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, writes the New York Times. Haroon was transported to Qatar by a U.S. Air Force plane, and then was handed over to Afghanistan’sTaliban government by Qatari officials. The transfer came after a federal judge ruled that the former Afghan militiaman’s detention was unlawful. Haroon was never charged with war crimes.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which will likely lead to bans on abortions in around half of the states, according to AP News. The ruling comes after a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked in May. Alito was joined in the decision by Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority but said he would have only upheld the Mississippi law at the center of the case, rather than overturn Roe. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast from the November 2020 archives in which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic sat down with Alex Stamos to discuss the state of election security and the difficulty of countering false election claims.

Herb Lin discussed the functional trade-offs in “baked-in” cybersecurity in product management.

Susan Landau argued that a proposed European center on combating child sexual abuse material online could present national security problems and relies on technology that does not exist yet.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter in which Shane Harris sat down with Tim Naftali to discuss the legacy of Watergate in light of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Benjamin Pollard shared a livestream of day five of the Jan. 6 select committee hearings.

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