The Supreme Court's legitimacy rests in large part on the perception it is a nonpartisan institution, but Kavanaugh joined the bench engulfed in a toxic cloud of political rancor. In the year after the ugly confirmation hearing, the justices mostly kept their heads down, ducking many controversial cases for no apparent reason. They decided only two bona fide blockbusters, throwing partisan gerrymandering claims out of federal court and blocking the census citizenship question. Meanwhile, they dodged cases about Dreamers, abortion, religious freedom, and discrimination, effectively deciding not to decide. read more
House Democrats threatened Wednesday morning to subpoena the White House for documents related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine as part of their impeachment inquiry. House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a memo that House committees have repeatedly tried to obtain voluntary compliance from Trump officials, but the White House has "refused to engage with " or even respond to " the Committees." Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) held a joint news conference later that morning, warning that attempts by the White House to "stonewall" the impeachment inquiry and "conceal facts" would be considered an obstruction of justice. read more
Hampton Roads authorities have joined federal law enforcement agents investigating the recent suicide deaths of four sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush. Although two of the sailors killed themselves on the same day, Navy officials have distanced themselves from internet rumors describing their deaths as an "epidemic." They insist authorities in Portsmouth, Norfolk and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents haven't been able to link the deaths to each other.
Vulnerable House Democrats in swing districts are resisting pressure to back the launching of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. read more