U.S. Supreme Court upholds federal district court ruling striking down two North Carolina Congressional districts, concurring with the lower court that the state legislature deliberately sought to dilute black voting power by adding black voters to those districts. The Court highlights the utter perversity of the Republicans' argument in re the 1st district -- that the Voting Rights Act mandates that black voters get black representation, even if that means getting less representation in other districts, apparently -- and Republicans may regret arguing that they redrew the 12th district on partisan-not-racial grounds if the Court ever gets around to ruling on partisan redistricting.
Justice Gorsuch didn't participate in the above case, but he did dissent (along with Justice Thomas, who, for reasons unknown to me, joined the 5-3 majority in the North Carolina case) from the Court's decision not to hear an appeal that could have struck down McCain-Feingold bans on large contributions to political parties. One can only hope Justice Gorsuch will be writing a lot of dissents over the course of his career, but we'd be unduly optimistic to think that'll be what happens in the short term.
Mark Travant at the OurFuture blog suggests that the Trump Administration "reality show" distracts us from Republican attempts to cut Medicaid. I'll admit I've been more obsessed with protecting Medicare over the years, but Medicaid provides insurance to over 60 million Americans, whereas Medicare insures over 40 million. So between those two, we're about one-third of the way to insuring everybody. Right-wingers will respond but everybody's already paying, but I'll respond that folks with millionaire income aren't paying enough, and that we could be spending what we're spending a lot more effectively -- you know, like they do in Canada.
Forget about Jon Ossoff's run in Georgia's 6th (his ads are still marred by "cut the deficit" and "high-tech jobs" messaging, which, like, yawn) -- Rob Quist has a real shot at grabbing Montana's at-large House seat for the Democrats. Partly he's got a shot because he's an unapologetic liberal populist, but he's also got a shot because his opponent (Republican Greg Gianforte) once sued the state to keep good Montanans from fishing on public lands near his land. That pushes all of Montana's buttons, but Mr. Gianforte already lost the 2016 gubernatorial race in Montana due in large part to this controversy, so I worry that Montana voters might be tired of hearing about it. I guess we'll see.
Finally, a Mississippi state House Rep says on Facebook that folks who remove Confederate statues -- statues "erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans," he says -- should be "LYNCHED!" (Shouty caps in original.) Even his fellow far-right Mississippi Republicans have slammed him for it, but he's so far apologized only for using the word "lynched" (or, rather, "LYNCHED!"), not for his sentiment. I'm sure his less-than-half apology was part of the plan all along -- to create drama and get attention coming and going. Here's your attention, clown: waaaaaaaaah!