For a presumably adult man who spent much of the aughts harassing then-President Barack Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate, current President Donald Trump is not one to abide by any semblance of transparency himself. Case in point: In a perfectly reasonable ruling, the Supreme Court released decisions on two cases that will require Trump to release his tax documents if compelled by a court. (While Trump has resisted publicly disclosing his taxes, Democratic opponent Joe Biden, like most political candidates, has posted his to his campaign website.)
“No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.
Never one to assume that rules need to apply to him, Trump responded to the decision in a long-winded Twitter diatribe, eloquently summed up in a single quote: “Not Fair!”
The case stems from a subpoena for Trump’s financial records obtained by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who is looking into payments the president made to two women, including porn performer Stormy Daniels, allegedly to keep them quiet about reported affairs. The most recent decision, which is being lauded as an important interpretation of the “scope and limits of presidential power,” according to the New York Times, was made in a 7-2 vote, with Trump’s two appointees, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, siding along with the Democrats.
Seems, uh, reasonable? “POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” wrote the totally chill president.
Despite Trump’s extreme reaction, the decisions are somewhat favorable to the president. As Vox points out, in one of the cases, Mazers v. Trump, the court has created a new rule limiting congressional subpoenas and investigations targeting the president, and ensuring almost certainly that while lower courts suss out what this new rule means, Trump’s tax returns won’t be released in time for the election—or, perhaps ever. Still, that didn’t prevent Trump from carrying his captive Twitter followers along for a temper-tantrum that got #TrumpMeltdown trending.
Everything is totally cool. [New York Times]
In more extremely alarming news, though he couldn’t slant the Supreme Court to his beck and call there’s one area that President Trump is winning, wildly: coronavirus deaths. The United States is moving to top 3 million covid-19 infections, and new models predict that by election day more than 200,000 people will have died from the virus. Even public health experts seem somber, appearing to round up the band for last tune while the Titanic sinks.
“I am despairing for the future,” said David Eisenman, the director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, told Politico.
As Politico points out, the new sobering models come just one week after Trump threatened to withhold funding from states that refused to open public schools for students in the fall–a move made seemingly not out of concern for child welfare if deprived of free breakfast and other school-linked services, but as a pissing contest for a leader who continues to refuse to acknowledge that the virus exists.
Not all is lost, a series of medical professionals appear to struggle to implore to Politico readers. Some 45,000 estimated lives could be saved with widespread mask usage. If only you know who would get with it. [Politico]
- Even Donald Trump seems embarrassed by Florida Gov. Ron Desantis’s one-way dudefight with his former campaign manager. [New York Times]
- A group of employees at Ford have written a letter asking the auto-manufacturer to stop producing police vehicles. [The Hill]
- Oh good, unemployment’s back up. [The Guardian]
- Thanks to covid-19, opioid deaths are getting worse. [The Appeal]
- A Pew survey found that 66 percent of Americans support removing qualified immunity for police officers. [Axios]
- Some stuff is going down in Slovenia! [The Guardian]