In what voting rights advocates called a “blatant attack on democracy,” the North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling that allows partisan gerrymandering, reversing earlier decisions that outlawed rigged maps.
The ruling enables North Carolina Republicans to redraw state and U.S. congressional districts in a self-serving way. This has major national implications because it paves the way for the GOP to expand its narrow U.S. House majority in 2024 and potentially beyond.
A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, earned $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.
Sullivan Roberts earned the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.
The United States’ counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, which were ramped up after the emergence of the armed group al-Shabab in 2006, are worsening the East African country’s instability, according to a new analysis released Thursday as progressives in Congress voted for a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the nation.
As the Costs of War project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University said in the new report, the U.S. has spent at least $2.5 billion on counterterrorism operations in Somalia since 2007, including funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army. This figure does not include the undisclosed amount of money the government has poured into intelligence and military operations there.
In the name of “protecting future generations from potentially devastating consequences,” a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation meant to prevent artificial intelligence from launching nuclear weapons without meaningful human control.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota on Monday signed one of the nation’s most draconian abortion bans into law, just weeks after the state’s GOP lawmakers shot down a proposal to provide free school lunches to low-income students.
The new forced pregnancy law, which takes immediate effect, prohibits abortion care in nearly all cases. Abortion is allowed in cases of rape or incest, but only during the first six weeks of pregnancy—before many people realize they are pregnant. Abortion is also allowed without gestational limits if terminating a pregnancy could prevent the pregnant person’s “death or a serious health risk.”
“The high court’s decision is a major victory for communities across the country that are fighting to hold Big Oil accountable and make them pay for the climate damages they knowingly caused,” said one advocate.
Campaigners and frontline communities celebrated Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear five appeals from major fossil fuel companies hoping to shift climate liability cases from state to federal court, where polluters are more likely to prevail.
“Big Oil companies have been desperate to avoid trials in state courts, where they will be forced to defend their climate lies in front of juries, and today the Supreme Court declined to bail them out,” said Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles.
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.
The state of Alabama’s top early education official was forced out Friday by Gov. Kay Ivey over a teacher resource guide—one that promotes inclusion of various kinds of families and acknowledges the reality of racism in the nation’s history—the Republican leader denounced as too “woke.”
After an apparent refusal to denounce the book or accept its removal, Barbara Cooper, head of the Alabama Department of Early Education, was compelled to tender her resignation, which Ivey accepted.
“If we want to create a clean energy future, we should look first to the already-built environment that could host the tools we need,” said one expert. “Warehouse rooftops provide a perfect opportunity.”
Installing solar panels on the roofs of warehouses and distribution centers around the United States could generate enough clean electricity to power every household in every state’s most populous city, according to a report published Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.
“What the world needs now is rooftop solar, which produces inexpensive clean energy, averts harmful pollution, and preserves open space,” Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s clean energy program and managing director of Frontier Group, said in a statement.
“Despite its name, American Clean Power is yet another fossil fuel lobbying group trying to trick people into believing its greenwashing,” said one campaigner. “Any political leader who claims to care about the planet’s future should shun this organization.”
The American Clean Power Association has been billed as “the nation’s top renewable energy trade group,” but lurking beneath its green luster is a dirty reality.
That’s according to the Revolving Door Project, which published a memo on Thursday to expose what is calls ACP’s “close ties to the fossil fuel industry and an ‘all of the above’ energy agenda that allows for massive new fossil fuel development and environmental damage, as long as clean energy also benefits.”