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Louisiana Republicans Just Made Covering Police Brutality a Crime

Police in the state can now arrest people who don’t stand more than 25 feet away from them while they are on duty.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry squints as he speaks into microphones
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed a law on Wednesday that has the potential to limit the ability to observe and record police activity.

Louisiana House Bill 173 will create a 25-foot buffer zone between civilians and police officers who are “lawfully engaged in the execution of [their] official duties,” stripping away possible accountability measures in the event of police brutality.

“No person shall knowingly or intentionally approach within [25] feet of a peace officer who is lawfully engaged in the execution of his official duties after the peace officer has ordered the person to stop approaching or to retreat,” the law reads.

While the distance may not seem unreasonable, human rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union argue that the law is a massive breach of the U.S. Constitution and the public’s First Amendment rights.

Similar, less restrictive laws have been struck down in other states. In 2022, a legal challenge brought by 10 media organizations and the ACLU against Arizona House Bill 2319 effectively ended a law requiring an eight-foot buffer zone between observers and police, with a federal court noting that it “fails to see how the presence of a person recording a video near an officer interferes with the officer’s activities.” The ACLU also sued Indiana last year for enacting a nearly identical law, which the organization argued had criminalized the “public’s most effective tool for shining a light on police misconduct.”

But restricting police transparency wasn’t the only right-wing policy win in the slew of bills Landry signed Tuesday. The governor also signed into law Senate Bill 276, reclassifying abortion drugs such as misoprostol and mifepristone as Schedule IV drugs under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. Despite calls from doctors who argued the anti-abortion law would make prescribing the drugs more difficult in critical health emergencies, Landry insisted that the policy would serve as a “protective measure” to ensure the safety of the women of Louisiana, reported The Advocate.

Trump Is Plotting a Key Role for Elon Musk if He Wins the Election

The worst people you know are teaming up to make this nightmare timeline even worse.

Donald Trump and Elon Musk splitscreen
Getty x2

Trump is taking advice from the world’s dumbest smart person, Elon Musk, and is potentially considering an adviser role for the racist conspiracy theoryaddicted billionaire, according to an exclusive report from The Wall Street Journal.

Musk has reportedly been in frequent contact with Trump as the election draws near, and angling for a formal role to influence Trump’s policies on the border and the economy. Equally troubling, according to The Wall Street Journal, Musk and fellow racist billionaire Nelson Peltz are working out a plan to invest in a “data-driven project to prevent voter fraud,” with the nightmare duo hosting “an influence campaign in elite circles” to “convince them not to support President Biden’s re-election campaign.”

Discussion of the voter fraud plan as well as a possible adviser role for Musk reportedly occurred in March at a soiree hosted by Peltz at his estate in Florida. The trio discussed Musk’s companies and an adviser role like that of former Marvel executive Isaac Perlmutter, who was positioned at the Department of Veterans Affairs during the Trump administration, The Wall Street Journal reports. During Trump’s first term, Musk was placed on a business advisory board but resigned in 2017 over disagreement with Trump removing the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Musk and Trump have since butted heads: In 2022, Musk backed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s white nationalist–fueled presidential campaign and claimed Trump was too old to be president, saying, “It’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.” This provoked a response from Trump, who slammed the grifter with claims Musk begged him for government subsidies as president, writing on Truth Social, “I could have said, “drop to your knees and beg,” and he would have done it.” Trump also referred to Musk as a “bullshit artist” for telling Trump he voted for him after having claimed to have never voted for a Republican before.

The battle of dimwits cooled in March as Trump’s campaign steadily led Republican primaries, with Trump reportedly taking interest in Musk’s deep pockets. Musk stated he wouldn’t be contributing any money to the 2024 election cycle—instead trying to use his clout among racist edgelords to influence billionaire voters away from Biden. While Trump continues to lag behind Biden’s fundraising, he did manage to out-raise Biden in April for the first time in the election cycle—though it’s unclear if Musk’s influence campaign played a factor.

Washington Post columnist Phillip Bump recently assessed that Musk’s frequent contact with Trump and efforts to help the would-be dictator win the White House is simply a ploy to build his own power—a tactic that practically guarantees future tongue lashings from Trump the second Musk stops producing results.

Alito’s Pathetic Defense for Refusing to Recuse Himself Over Flags

The Supreme Court justice blamed his wife for the January 6–related flags seen flying outside two of his houses.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito looks down
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Wednesday rejected a congressional call to recuse himself from lawsuits relating to the 2020 presidential election—specifically, Trump v. United States.

In a letter to Senators Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse, Alito argued that his impartiality had not “reasonably” come into question and he therefore would not sit out from the immunity case that branched off of Donald Trump’s election interference trial.

Alito was accused of compromising the court’s impartiality after controversial, January 6–affiliated flags were spotted flying at two of his countryside homes: a “Stop the Steal” upside-down U.S. flag at his house in Arlington, Virginia, and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag—a Revolutionary War symbol adopted by Christian nationalists—at the judge’s New Jersey vacation home.

But the details of the flags and their meanings don’t matter at all, according to Alito, simply because he didn’t know about them.

“As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag,” Alito wrote. “I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention. As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days, she refused.”

Both instances, according to Alito, can be chalked up to having a wife who is “fond of flying flags”—regardless of her political leanings or his affiliation to her, her “reasons for flying the flag are not relevant” to his ability to weigh in on the immunity case, he claimed.

“She did not fly it to associate herself with that or any other group, and the use of an old historic flag by a new group does not necessarily drain that flag of all other meanings,” Alito argued. “A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that this event does not meet the applicable standard for recusal. I am therefore duty-bound to reject your recusal request.”

It remains to be seen what further actions might be taken against the conservative justice, but it’s not the only formal reprimand on the table for Alito. Last week, Representative Steve Cohen introduced the censure resolution against the Supreme Court justice for “knowingly violating the Federal recusal statute and binding ethics standards and calling the impartiality of the Supreme Court of the United States into question.”

Trump Dragged for Idiotic Mother Teresa Comparison as Jury Weighs Fate

This man is straight up losing it.

Donald Trump speaking
Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images)

Outside of his hush-money trial as the jury weighed his fate Wednesday, Donald Trump felt the need to compare himself to the late humanitarian Mother Teresa.

“I would say, in listening to the charges from the judge, who’s, as you know, very conflicted, and corrupt, because of the confliction, very very corrupt, Mother Teresa could not beat these charges,” Trump said.

The statement from the Republican presidential nominee immediately drew mockery and scorn, especially since Trump’s statement could be interpreted as admitting there’s a strong case against him.

Twitter screenshot

Of course, Mother Teresa wouldn’t have been in a situation like Trump’s: to have an affair with an adult film actress like Stormy Daniels and then see a need to pay her to cover it up.

Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot

In another absurd comparison in April, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, compared him to Nelson Mandela in a Fox News interview. At least in that case, Mandela had spent time in a South African prison. Perhaps on Wednesday, after closing arguments, Trump was consumed with worry about being found guilty of one or more of the 34 felony charges in the case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime.

The Sick Reason Texas Teachers Are Suing for Right to Punish Students

Professors want to mark students who miss class to get an abortion as having an unexcused absence.

People hold up pro-abortion rights protest signs
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Professors at the University of Texas at Austin are joining in on Texas’s anti-abortion legal efforts, this time pressing back on federal privacy mandates so that they can punish students who have undergone the medical procedure.

In an amended complaint released earlier this month, university professors Daniel Bonevac and John Hatfield claim that the federal government’s Title IX policies—which protect against sexual or gender-based discrimination in education—are “flawed from top to bottom” and overstep the state’s “sovereign interest.” According to the filing, that includes limiting schools’ abilities to punish students who take time off to get an abortion, even if that abortion is performed out of state, and therefore infringing on the state’s abortion prohibitions.

“Plaintiffs Hatfield and Bonevac do not intend to accommodate student absences from class to obtain abortions—including illegal abortions and purely elective abortions that are not medically required. Nor will Plaintiffs Hatfield and Bonevac hire a teaching assistant who has violated the abortion laws of Texas or the federal-law prohibitions on the shipment or receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia,” the complaint reads.

The professors also bemoaned the requirement that schools treat abortions as “any other temporary medical condition” or else forgo their federal funding.

The lawsuit was originally filed in April by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and America First Legal, a Trump-aligned nonprofit led by former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller. But the anti-abortion details were crammed into a sprawling 66-page complaint that spends far more time framing Title IX as a pronoun-fueled bathroom battle, with Miller claiming that the rule would “force girls in every public school in America to share restrooms, locker rooms, and private facilities with men.”

“Texas is asking the court to put an immediate stop to Biden’s outrageous, unlawful assault on women’s rights,” Paxton said in a statement. “Biden cannot violate the Constitution to subvert Title IX protections for women in his effort to accommodate the fringe demands of ‘transgender’ movement activists.”

Texas has enacted some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, banning all abortions except in the event of a severe medical emergency—though even that exception isn’t a given. Last year, Dallas mother Kate Cox sued the state over its post-Roe emergency clause after learning that her fetus had a fatal genetic condition that would have jeopardized her health and future fertility if carried to term. But despite qualifying for the procedure under Texas law, a district judge’s ruling allowing her to receive an abortion was effectively overridden by Paxton, who not only called for the Supreme Court to intervene in the case but also promised to convict abortion providers with felony charges, even if the procedure was court-ordered.

Judge Cannon Humiliated Over Basic Law Lesson in Court

Judge Aileen Cannon received an embarrassing lesson as she was was hearing the latest in Trump’s classified documents case.

Judge Aileen Cannon portrait (blue background looks like a yearbook photo)
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s classified documents trial, Judge Aileen Cannon, seems to have a record of stumbling over her cases and failing to understand proceedings.

That’s the picture painted in a New York Times article published Wednesday.

The article pointed to an instance in the trial last week where a prosecutor in Trump’s case said that the Pinkerton rule, which states that all members of a conspiracy can be held accountable for any crimes committed by their co-conspirators, would apply to two of Trump’s co-defendants in the case, Mar-a-Lago employees Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira.

This seemed to confuse Cannon, a former federal prosecutor and graduate of the University of Michigan’s law school. She asked the prosecutor, Jay Bratt, what authority the Pinkerton rule would be applied on, leading to Bratt having to explain the rule to her.

Tweet screenshot

In other instances, the Trump-appointed judge seemed to require elaborate explanations regarding simple statements or requests from attorneys on both sides of the case.

For example, Nauta’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward Jr., made a request for all of the internal messages from the prosecution that mentioned his name so he could try to prove that the case against his client was vindictive. The judge asked him what he wanted, and then asked a second time, saying to give it to her “slowly.”

When he repeated his request to her, she still seemed confused, per the Times article.

“All right,” she said. “So I understand your request. It’s, quote, ‘All documents, communications concerning Mr. Woodward.’”

Following that, one of the prosecutors, David Harbach, nearly shouted at Cannon when she seemed to fail to grasp the point he was making: that Woodward’s claims were without merit and that he wasn’t legally allowed to see the government’s private messages. Cannon, in turn, asked Harbach if the government didn’t have the messages, causing him to get frustrated and repeat his explanation multiple times. Eventually, Cannon told Harbach he needed to “calm down.”

All of this is more fodder for Cannon’s critics, who not only include opponents of Trump, but even some former allies. One of Trump’s former lawyers, Ty Cobb, has accused Cannon of “incompetence” after she ruled to postpone the classified documents case indefinitely, fueling accusations that she is deliberately slowing down the case so that it won’t hurt Trump’s election prospects. 

After special prosecutor Jack Smith asked for a gag order due to Trump’s repeated comments, Cannon on Tuesday denied the request because it was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.” This move could help Smith build a case to get her replaced, according to legal experts.

Trump faces 42 felony charges in the case related to illegally retaining national security documents and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Amy Coney Barrett’s Husband Has a New Client—and It’s Disturbing

A new report raises serious questions about the Supreme Court justice’s conflicts of interest.

Amy Coney Barrett smiles and holds hands with her husband, who looks at her. In the background are the steps in front of the Supreme Court building.
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

According to an exclusive report from Rolling Stone, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s husband, Jesse Barrett, is now repping Fox Corporation in a $3 million defamation suit, raising questions about conflicts of interest and personal enrichment enjoyed by conservative Supreme Court justices.

As Rolling Stone points out, the case is notable because Fox Corporation—the parent company of Fox News—is directly paying the family of a Supreme Court justice, which neither Barrett nor her husband are required to disclose. Barrett’s husband is a managing partner at SouthBank Legal, which opened its D.C. office—led by Barrett—after his wife joined the Supreme Court. Jesse Barrett’s list of anonymized cases on the SouthBank Legal website now includes “represented a prominent media company in a lawsuit alleging defamation.” That addition joins an already lengthy list of white-collar cases on his company profile, tucked between defending a Berkshire Hathaway company in an employment discrimination suit and defending an event promoter from fraud claims.

The defamation lawsuit Jesse Barrett has taken on alleges that Fox 32—a Chicago-area local station for Fox—ran a hit piece about Lavell Redmond who in 2021 was hired by the mayor of Dolton, Illinois, to work as a building code enforcement officer. The Fox report centers Redmond’s conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a minor, for which he pleaded guilty and served 24 years in prison, as the crux of the story while claiming Redmond was hired to enter “into Dolton homes and businesses to inspect them.” Redmond disputes this claim in his suit, according to Rolling Stone, noting that his work entailed inspecting building exteriors, not entering people’s homes.

The outlet later followed up on its reporting with news that Redmond had been arrested and may face new charges for violating the conditions of the sex offender registry—an accusation Redmond alleges is the direct result of Fox’s earlier misleading reporting on his job duties.

Barrett, representing Fox, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, according to Rolling Stone. The motion to dismiss claims the suit was filed too late and that the corporation didn’t commit defamation because the “gist” of the reporting was “indisputably true” and characterized the central outrage of Redmond’s hiring—that a sex offender was entering people’s homes, which resulted in his arrest—as “immaterial details.”

While the relationship between conservative justices and right-wingers continuously raises ethical concerns, constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis noted the odds of Fox Corporation’s case being kicked up to the conservative-held Supreme Court are slim given that Barrett would have to recuse herself from the case, winnowing the number of Fox News–brained justices on the court.

“You don’t hire the spouse of a Supreme Court justice to represent you in major litigation unless (1) you think they’re competent to do so and (2) you don’t foresee going to the Supreme Court where the spouse would have to recuse and you might really want/need their vote,” Kreis wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Regardless, it’s entirely too convenient that the husband of a conservative Supreme Court justice is representing a conservative media company, and poses curious questions as to why Barrett, who is based in D.C., was tapped to represent the media company based in New York City for a lawsuit filed by a man in Illinois.

More on Fox News and the Supreme Court:

Alito’s Pathetic Flag Defense Crumbles with New Revelations

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s neighbors—and a police report—say his version of events is totally bogus.

Samuel Alito stares off into the distance with his mouth open
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Conservative Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito’s goofy excuse for flying an inverted U.S. flag outside his Virginia home—that his wife did it because she was upset about a neighbor’s sign—has deteriorated more swiftly than civil rights under the high court.

In an interview with The New York Times, Alito neighbor Emily Baden detailed a series of disputes she had with Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann, roundly debunking every part of the Alitos’ fascist flag-loving story. Baden also revealed that Alito’s wife is a bit of a nightmare neighbor—yelling incoherently at her, spitting toward her vehicle, accosting her, and sending a coded Christmas card to the family home.

According to receipts provided to the Times, the core dispute that Alito claims instigated his wife’s decision to fly an inverted flag outside their home actually occurred nearly a month after the flag was spotted outside their home.

On February 15, 2021, Baden’s then boyfriend called the police over harassment they were experiencing from Martha-Ann Alito, telling Fairfax County police, “Somebody in a position of authority needs to talk to her and make her stop.”

According to an interview Samuel Alito gave to a sympathetic Fox News face, the Alitos were inexplicably harassed by a male neighbor, who placed a sign outside directly accusing Martha-Ann Alito of inciting the January 6 Capitol riot. But as Baden tells it, Martha-Ann Alito regularly harassed her and her partner, including glaring creepily from her car at their home the day after the Capitol riot, where they had placed signs declaring, “Trump is a fascist” and broadly criticizing Republicans who refused to condemn the riot with a sign that read, “You are complicit.”

Alito, via Fox News, also claimed a man hurled a vulgarity at his innocent wife. In reality, as confirmed by both Baden and a neighbor who witnessed the dispute, Baden is the one who shouted at Martha-Ann after she criticized a “Fuck Trump” sign placed in their yard. Baden responded along the lines of, “How dare you behave this way. You’ve been harassing us—over signs. You represent the highest court in the land. Shame on you,” according to the Times.

In a statement to the Times, Alito claimed the flag was placed “in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.” Baden, however, says she never saw the inverted flag, and it’s not viewable from her mother’s home.

Baden further detailed instances of Martha-Ann lingering outside their home, glaring at them for their yard signs the day after the Capitol riot. Last Christmas, Baden’s mother, Barbara, received a Christmas card from the Alitos that included a handwritten note reading, “May you have PEACE.”

None of the Alitos’ thin story explains why they also flew a Christian nationalist flag outside their vacation home in New Jersey in 2023.

Unfortunately More on Alito:

Panicking Trump Hilariously Melts Down as Hush-Money Jury Convenes

The former president’s latest rant hints at bigger fears.

Donald Trump speaks
Charly Triballeau/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is looking increasingly nervous as his hush-money trial comes to a close.

The former president took to Truth Social late Tuesday to torch not only the judge who oversaw the case but also his own attorneys, who he seemed to suggest did not offer him the legal defense he wanted.


An advice of counsel defense negates the element of criminal fraud when the advice stems from “reasonable reliance” on the advice of a person’s legal counsel. Openly lambasting his own defense suggests there’s a bit more panic going on behind the scenes than Trump’s letting on—but it’s not as if his defense strategy should have come as a surprise to him.

Trump’s legal team indicated in March that they would not invoke an advice-of-counsel defense. Instead, they wanted to include evidence that centered around the lawyers in Trump’s decision to dole out hush-money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels—a strategy that Judge Juan Merchan described as a “presence of counsel” defense and that he ultimately deemed would be too confusing for the jury to navigate.

But Trump’s meltdown persisted well into Wednesday morning. In separate posts, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee lambasted his former fixer Michael Cohen, misinterpreted closing arguments in the courtroom as a “5 HOUR FILIBUSTER” put on by the “SOROS BACKED D.A.’s OFFICE,” and mocked Robert De Niro as a small man whose artistry had gone “WAY DOWN IN VALUE,” after the actor paid a visit outside of the New York courthouse hosting Trump’s trial.

But before long, Trump was back to fixating on the legal defense that could have been.



Trump’s Ridiculous Sticky Note Steals the Show in Hush-Money Trial

It shouldn’t be that hard to remember one sentence.

Donald Trump in the courtroom rests his hands on a stack of papers and yellow sticky note. His laywer beside him stares off into the distance.
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

At his hush-money trial on Tuesday, Donald Trump kept some crib notes around to help him remember some key points.

Those key points included, “This case should be dismissed by the judge but it’s totally corrupt,” written in Trump’s favorite black marker on a yellow sticky note. When news photographers were briefly allowed into the courtroom before proceedings started Tuesday, one of them snapped a picture of the note.

Closeup of Donald Trump's hands hovering above the sticky note
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

It’s not the first time he’s carried notes during an important event. According to the Associated Press, he carried a handwritten note that said, “I want no quid pro quo” when he spoke outside of his first impeachment hearing. In 2019 at the White House, he carried notes reading, “They want to impeach over acts that they did,” and “I’m going to keep working for the American people,” while speaking about infrastructure.

But why would he need a reminder of his own opinion? It seems Trump might have wanted the public and reporters to see the note and report on it. It also gets awfully close to violating his gag order in the trial, which prohibits the former president from attacking court staff, jurors, the prosecution, witnesses, and their families. He’s already been fined $10,000 for 10 violations and has been warned by Judge Juan Merchan that he could go to jail if does it again.

Or is it cognitive decline? Just last week, Trump was bragging at his Bronx rally about successfully putting on his pants and, less than two weeks ago, seemed to freeze while giving a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.

In any case, Trump may not have to spend much time in the “icebox” Manhattan courtroom for much longer, as closing arguments are winding down in his trial over payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up their affair before the 2016 election. He faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime, and has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.