As abortion-rights protesters continued to demonstrate against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. v. Wade, the court’s marshal on Saturday asked officials in Maryland and Virginia to do more to keep the justices safe.
Letters were sent to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan; Montgomery County, Maryland Executive Mark Ehrlich; Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Jeffrey MacKay, Board of Supervisors chair in Fairfax County, Virginia, asking authorities to direct the states’ law enforcement agencies to prohibit picketing at justices’ homes.
The protests began after the May 2 leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that endorsed ending the constitutional right to abortion and have continued since then. Last month, a California man was arrested for allegedly making threats against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh near his home in Montgomery County.
It’s Amy and Chelsey with today’s top stories out of Washington.
Biden planned to nominate GOP anti-abortion judge on day of Roe reversal
President Joe Biden is under fire for apparently agreeing to nominate anti-abortion Republican Chad Meredith for federal judge in Kentucky amid public discord over abortion rights.
New information released over the weekend indicated the nomination — which some suspect was part of a deal cut with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., so he would not interfere with future White House nominations — was supposed to be announced on June 24, the day of the Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe.
After heavy criticism from Kentucky Democrats, including Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, the White House did not announce or submit Meredith’s nomination. A round of federal judicial nominations released last Wednesday did not include Meredith.
Last week, Yarmuth said it is clear the nomination “is part of some larger deal on judicial nominations between the president and Mitch McConnell.”
The Senate minority leader tried to get Meredith on the bench during the Trump administration, but the judge was dropped from consideration.
During a Thursday press conference, Beshear said he hopes Biden has reconsidered, or “in the very least it’s on pause.”
“If the president makes that nomination, it is indefensible,” he said.
Real quick: stories you need to read
- Giuliani, Graham and Eastman subpoenaed: Key members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team have been named in subpoenas issued by a special grand jury in Atlanta investigating interference in the 2020 election.
- ‘Don’t let them take your freedom’: California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a message to Floridians in a new advertisement: Come to California.
- Kentucky mystery mailers tied to dark money in Ohio: A mystery group that reported spending more than $80,000 on advertisements in Kentucky House Republican primaries this year has revealed one of its representatives.
- How a 1982 law student meeting helped undo Roe v. Wade: Recent conservative rulings by the Supreme Court have followed a decades-long push by the Federalist Society, which is today a powerful network of nearly 70,000 attorneys, to promote originalism, the idea of interpreting the Constitution as the framers would have understood it.
- Kissinger sees ‘painful’ need for better leaders: The former U.S. secretary of state has written yet another book, this one profiling six leaders who managed tumultuous change in the aftermath of two World Wars. Does he see any comparably “transcendent” leaders that, in his view, meet the demand?
Finland, Sweden inch closer to membership: Updates on Ukraine conflict
The 30 NATO allies signed off on the ascension protocols for Sweden and Finland, sending their membership bids to the member countries’ capitals for ratification — and possible political trouble in Turkey.
“This is truly a historic moment for Finland, for Sweden and for NATO,” the head of the alliance, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, said.
Bombing of Ukraine’s eastern region continues: Moscow’s focus turns to taking control of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Luhansk province.
Mayor Vadim Lyakh warned that Sloviansk appears to be the Russian army’s next target, reporting in a Facebook post that “massive shelling” had killed at least one person and wounded seven more on Tuesday. He also warned residents to evacuate ahead of an expected assault.
The governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk province is urging the evacuation of 350,000 people as Russian troops escalated their offensive after capturing neighboring territory in the eastern region of the country.
Reconciliation with Russia? Unlikely, official says: As Russia has escalated its use of imprecise Soviet-era missiles against civilian infrastructure, Ukraine’s top legal official said she doesn’t see how ordinary Ukrainians and Russians can reconcile until Moscow “asks for forgiveness, pays reparations to the state” and ensures “all its war criminals are in prison.”
Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova was speaking exclusively to USA TODAY from her office in Ukraine’s capital, where she is coordinating the work of hundreds of Ukrainian and international war crimes investigators and specialists. Her aim is to hold Russia’s military and senior officials accountable for alleged indiscriminate missile strikes and shelling, civilian assassinations, torture, sexual violence, repeated assaults on hospitals, and denial of food, water and humanitarian aid.