We get it. Biden’s old, and Trump’s a convicted felon.

Jill Lawrence/The Bulwark:

Donald Trump Should Not Have Been on That Stage

Plus: What would you have done if confronted with Trump’s galloping lies?

DONALD TRUMP WON the first presidential debate the minute he walked onstage. His win was cemented a few minutes later, when the moderators addressed him as Mr. President. He had no business being there and his presence was stark evidence that our system is not only dysfunctional, it is impotent when we need it most.

The guardrails—the impeachment process, the Twenty-fifth Amendment, the courts—did not hold. They have proved to be a fairytale we spin to make ourselves feel better. They will remain just that: a fantasy destined to implode, over and over.

Maybe as soon as in the next few days, if the Supreme Court tells us whether Trump has immunity from prosecution for laws broken during his presidency. Maybe a few months from now, at the polls. Maybe next year, when his federal criminal trials will amount to something, or nothing, but too late to matter.


Grace Panetta/The 19th:

‘A missed opportunity’: Groups critical to Biden’s success say they’re shaking off bad debate

Reproductive rights groups were disappointed by Biden’s answers on abortion in Thursday night’s debate, but neither they nor voters at his Friday rally said they wanted to abandon him.

On calls with reporters Friday, leading reproductive rights advocates acknowledged that President Joe Biden’s showing in Thursday’s debate versus former President Donald Trump fell short. So too, to varying degrees, did women voters who came to the North Carolina state fairgrounds to see the president at a post-debate rally.

But all of them — key to Biden’s reelection chances — vowed to continue supporting him, seeing it as the way to avoid another Trump term.

Biden’s speech here was considerably more energetic than his performance in Thursday night’s debate, which spurred a fresh round of panic over his age, mental acuity and ability to serve another term. Top advocates also expressed disappointment with Biden’s remarks on abortion, which they viewed as a missed opportunity to make a strong argument and attack Trump on a top issue for Democrats. But the day after, Democratic voters and volunteers in North Carolina said Biden’s showing didn’t change their strong support for the president and opposition to another term for Trump.

Will Saletan/The Bulwark:

Correcting Trump’s Unanswered Debate Lies

Biden couldn’t fact-check his opponent in real time. But Trump’s torrent of bullshit needs to be shown for what it was.

“I would have much rather accepted” the 2020 election results, “but the fraud and everything else was ridiculous.”

This, again? Among Trump’s many lies, this is the most incendiary and the most thoroughly debunked. The fact that he keeps repeating it, still enjoys the full support of his party, and continues to lead in the polls is a major warning sign to our country.

“I heard him [Biden] say before, ‘insulin.’ I’m the one that got the insulin down for the seniors.”

LOL. The $35 monthly cap on out-of-pocket Insulin costs under Medicare wasn’t passed until the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. (Trump did a mini-version of this, but it was sharply limited and voluntary: Drug plans could choose to opt out of the program.)

Biden “allowed millions of people to come in here from prisons, jails, and mental institutions.”

Bullshit. Trump’s allegation isn’t even statistically plausible.


Just Security:

The Limited Effects of Fischer: DOJ Data Reveals Supreme Court’s Narrowing of Jan. 6th Obstruction Charges Will Have Minimal Impact

But even if the result of the Court’s ruling is to invalidate Section(c)(2) charges against those who attacked the Capitol, as the data below reveal, the government has many tools in its tool kit to hold accountable those individuals criminally responsible, and the decision will have minimal impact on its cases against the great majority of those already convicted or charged.

Rick Hasen/Election Law Blog:

Supreme Court Hands January 6 Rioters a Win in Fischer Case, But It Likely Won’t Help Trump Beat Similar Charges Against Him (Should He Ever Go To Trial on Election Interference)

The key holding in Fischer v. United States is to read the obstruction statute so that “the Government must establish that the defendant impaired the availability or integrity for use in an official proceeding of records, documents, objects, or as we earlier explained, other things used in the proceeding, or attempted to do so.” Rioters were not interfering with evidence, so even though they were trying to stop the counting of electoral college votes, they could not be charged with obstruction under this particular statute.

But Trump allegedly did try to obstruct the proceeding with evidence: the fake electors scheme. So those charges could potentially go forward. (We are still waiting on the immunity ruling which impacts those charges, and Trump likely has run out the clock on the trial before the election.)


Inside Climate News:

Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Doctrine: What it Means for Climate Change Policy

The high court sweeps away a ‘Goliath’ of modern law, weakening agencies’ legal authority as courts weigh Biden’s policies to cut greenhouse gases.

The decision to overturn Chevron fulfills a long-held wish of conservative groups that seek a smaller role for the federal government. They are led by a network funded by the Koch family, which made its billions in the petrochemical industry. Although small fishing operations brought the case against federal regulators, they were represented by a titan of conservative law, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, and lawyers for the Cause of Action Institute, which shares an address and personnel with the Koch-funded organization Americans for Prosperity.

Ironically, the 1984 case articulating the deference principle, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, was an anti-regulatory decision. In that case, a unanimous court upheld a Reagan administration air pollution regulation that environmentalists challenged as too weak.

That rule was issued by an Environmental Protection Agency then led by the late Anne Gorsuch, a fierce opponent of regulation. Her son, Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, today wrote a lengthy concurring opinion affirming the wisdom of sweeping away the Chevron precedent, finding the reason in the roots of common law, from ancient Roman law to the efforts of King George to control the American colonies.

“Today, the Court places a tombstone on Chevron no one can miss,” Gorsuch wrote. “In doing so, the Court returns judges to interpretive rules that have guided federal courts since the Nation’s founding.”

Noah Rosenbloom/The Atlantic:

The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Dismantling the Government’s Power

The decision in Jarkesy v. SEC puts much of the basic work of the executive branch at risk.

The case started as garden-variety securities fraud. According to SEC findings, the radio host George Jarkesy stole from his investors by lying to them about his investment strategy, lying about his auditor and prime broker, and lying about his take. To protect the integrity of the financial markets, the SEC forced Jarkesy to disgorge his ill-gotten gains and banned him from the securities industry. It also fined him $300,000 for good measure.

This is where the story should have ended. Instead, two Republican-appointed judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit made Jarkesy into a cause célèbre. In recent years, that court has repeatedly endorsed fringe right-wing legal efforts, such as when it struck down access to mifepristone nationwide (a decision later overturned by the Supreme Court). This has made it into a preferred forum for conservative activists seeking to use the judiciary to advance right-wing projects, among which attacking the federal government’s ability to regulate industry is a top priority.

Matt McNeill and Matt Robison talk about changing the way Democrats campaign: