I told you the Supreme Court wasn't done: the Court rules, in Janus v. AFSCME, that making government employees who are not union members (but work in union shops) pay certain union-related fees violates their First Amendment rights. Conflating money with speech is a persistent fault of the Roberts Court, but did the AFSCME make the best possible case? I mean, if a Supreme Court Justice won't figure out for himself how to distinguish between fees funding a union's political spending and fees funding spending on (for example) services that support workers in the workplace, it shouldn't be that hard to figure it out for him. (Then again, Justice Alito's opinion indulges in right-wing scaremongering about the "mounting costs of public-employee wages, benefits, and pensions.")
Both the Government Accountability Office (or GAO) and the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General plan to investigate our President's handling of family separations at the border. I wonder how long it'll be before our President loudly declares the GAO and all these pesky Inspectors General to be part of the "swamp" he says he wants to drain (recall that he wanted to replace all of our Inspectors General right after taking office, before being told, you know, how that would look).
In a related note, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo reminds us that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans. In other news, voter fraud is not particularly common, the "liberal" media is not particularly liberal, "moral values" are not particularly about whatever hurts gays and women, and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are not particularly real. Sometimes I do not understand why 25% of the electorate prefers to remain in a constant state of rage about utter bullshit.
The "liberal" media won't shut up about "civility" this week, but this New York Daily News article reminds us that a cookie shop owner refused to serve then-Vice President Biden in 2012 and nobody wrung their hands about "civility" then. Why, that's a better example of right-wing hypocrisy than the one I came up with off the top of my head the other day! It may be too much to hope that I'll only have to say this once, but protecting civilization is a lot more important than protecting civility.
Alexandra Ocasia-Cortez pulls off a stunning upset in the New York 14th House District Democratic primary, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says no bigs, it's just one district, takes all kinds of Democrats, yadda yadda yadda. Gosh, is Ms. Pelosi showing smarts here? Republicans win so often at least in part because they pretend to be so different from one another, though of course they're all cut from the same reactionary cloth, while Democrats have a well-deserved reputation of strangling new blood in its crib in their insane zeal for victory without work. Maybe, just maybe, Ms. Pelosi's finally getting it.
Finally, I know everyone's upset about Justice Kennedy's retirement, but as Mother Jones reminded us several hours before his announcement, Justice Kennedy hasn't been a swing vote, like, at all this past term. Yes, he was, over the years, better than we could have expected on gay rights and criminal justice reform, but n.b. that Chief Justice Warren was the swing vote in the cellphone warrants case. And Justice Kennedy was as corporatist as the rest of them -- recall that he wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC.