Jul 7, 2024

The Sunday — July 7

This is the Tangle Sunday Edition, a brief roundup of our independent politics coverage plus some extra features for your Sunday morning reading.

What the left is doodling.

Mike Luckovich | Creators Syndicate
Mike Luckovich | Creators Syndicate

What the right is doodling.

Al Goodwyn | Creators Syndicate
Al Goodwyn | Creators Syndicate

Correction.

Last week, we wrote that Roger Federer gave a commencement address at Dartmouth University; the institution’s name is Dartmouth College. It’s a small error, but an error nonetheless. We want to apologize to our Dartmouth friends and promise our Sunday readers that the “Correction” section will not become a permanent fixture.

This is our 2nd correction in The Sunday's 28-week history. We track corrections and place them at the top of the newsletter in an effort to maximize transparency with readers.

Reader essay.

Fort Erie Border Crossing, Fort Erie, Ontario | Ken Lund, Flickr
Fort Erie Border Crossing, Fort Erie, Ontario | Ken Lund, Flickr

Several months ago, we connected with Sarah about potentially writing a reader essay, but we paused our conversation while she summited Denali. Sarah — an astrophysicist and professor living in Toronto — is barred from immigrating to the country where she currently lives and works because she has M.S., and the Canadian government has deemed her a strain on the government’s resources. Her essay is a blunt and powerful description of the restrictive immigration policy in Canada that keeps her and others with chronic and treatable illnesses out. You can read the full piece here.

Have a local or personal story you want to write about? Pitch us! Fill out this form or reply to this email, and we’ll get back to you if we’re hooked.


Reader review.

In this section, we like to include reader responses that counter or challenge opinions we publish in the newsletter. In response to our piece on SCOTUS granting Trump partial immunity, JW pointed the finger at a party Isaac had not explicitly targeted in his take:

What's ironic is that had Biden's DoJ not explicitly targeted Trump, this question would never have reached the Supreme Court. Bush Jr could have [been] prosecuted for war crimes. Obama could/should have been for his drone bombings, including killing an American citizen with no due process.

Instead, DAs campaigned on ‘getting Trump’ — there's no question they did that. They would find some way.

In the Bragg case in NYC, Biden's DoJ allowed the state/county/whatever to usurp authority that only belonged to at the federal level and effectively prosecute under a federal statute, under which Bragg had no authority and the federal authorities had investigated and declined to prosecute
.

An honest take would see the balance that the chief justice sought to find in his opinion…

Tangle’s main stories this week were the Supreme Court overturning Chevron deference, another SCOUTS ruling on Trump's immunity, and one more court case allowing laws against homeless encampments. For full versions, you can find all of our past coverage in our archive.

Monday, July 1.

The end of Chevron deference. On Friday, June 28, the Supreme Court overruled the court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which deferred to the judgment of federal agencies in interpreting statutory text to create regulations based on ambiguous laws. The 6-3 ruling fell along ideological lines, with the court’s six Republican-appointed justices in the majority. The decision is expected to shift the balance of power between the executive and judicial branches while compelling Congress to more specifically address policy issues when creating new laws.

  • From the left. The left opposed the ruling, calling it the latest common-sense precedent to be struck down by the conservative court. In The Washington Post, Ruth Marcus wrote “the justices toss yet another precedent, delighting conservatives.”
  • From the right. The right supported the ruling, arguing that it returns the power to interpret laws back to its proper place: the courts. National Review’s editors wrote “the administrative state is put back in its constitutional place.”
  • Our take. “I’m just as torn as ever on Chevron — the administrative state should be checked, but experts should receive deference. On the legal merits, I’m pretty convinced by Roberts’s opinion. I hope that Congress is motivated to write more specific laws and that courts will continue to exercise humility when reviewing technical cases, but I’m worried that neither will happen.”

Tuesday, July 2.

Trump v. United States. On Monday, July 1, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that former President Donald Trump is entitled to immunity from federal prosecution for his official actions while in office. The decision is the first Supreme Court ruling to assert that former presidents are shielded from criminal charges for actions deemed to be within their constitutional authority, though it also clarified that presidents do not have immunity for unofficial acts. The ruling, which fell along ideological lines, left open the possibility that special counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump for allegedly conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election can continue. Lower courts will now decide whether Trump’s conduct in that case constituted official or unofficial acts, but the decision makes it unlikely that Smith’s case concludes before the presidential election. 

  • From the right. The right was supportive of the ruling, arguing strong immunity protections are needed for presidents to effectively do their job. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote “the Supreme Court protects the presidency.”
  • From the left. The left was outraged by the ruling, arguing that the court just destroyed one of the fundamental checks on executive power. In Slate, Mark Joseph Stern argued “the Supreme Court just made the president a king.”
  • Our take. “I’m not surprised by this ruling, but I think it’s deeply flawed both legally and practically. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, he should not have had more latitude for his conduct after the 2020 election; but this decision gives it to him. Supporters of this ruling may find it brings unexpected consequences.”

Wednesday, July 3.

City of Grants Pass v. Johnson. On Friday, June 28, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 along ideological lines to uphold ordinances in the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, that outlaw sleeping and camping in public places while using materials like blankets, pillows, or cardboard boxes for warmth or shelter. The decision overturns a lower court’s determination that such laws are unconstitutional and grants greater authority to local governments to address homelessness in their communities. The Supreme Court’s decision returns the case to the lower courts, which will consider separate arguments about Grants Pass’s laws. 

  • From the left. The left was dismayed by the court’s decision, suggesting it allows cities to sidestep their homelessness problems. The Los Angeles Times editorial board said the ruling “will do nothing to end homelessness.”
  • From the right. The right mostly supported the ruling, with many saying it gives local governments the appropriate authority to address homelessness. In City Journal, Judge Glock said the ruling “returns homeless policy to state and local governments—where it belongs.”
  • Our take. “The ruling is legally sound, and I agree with the majority’s reasoning that towns should be able to manage their public spaces. That said, public encampment laws are no substitute for effective housing policy. Cities should focus on building new housing and cutting regulations to combat the homelessness crisis.”

Thursday, July 4.

We did not have a newsletter on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

Friday, July 5.

We likewise did not have a newsletter on July 5 while we were on an extended Independence Day break. We did, however, send our annual reader survey.

Reader surveys.

Monday, the Supreme Court overturning Chevron deference:

Tuesday, another SCOUTS ruling on Trump's immunity:

Wednesday, SCOTUS allowing laws against homeless encampments:


Many reporters and editors described to me the persistence of inefficient bureaucracies and outdated publishing techniques. Some complained that the Post has failed to own its D.C. backyard in the face of competition from Politico and Axios. Others said that stories die on the vine because the homepage is poorly programmed. As recently as last year, splashy stories meant for Sunday’s print edition were routinely posted online on Saturdays, a day that has historically received low traffic, rather than being rolled out in a more thoughtful manner, when more readers might encounter them and subscribe. And although the publication has still earned prize after prize, it has sometimes seemed weaker, sloppier, and less rigorous in recent years. Copy editing has been sorely lacking, multiple writers told me. The point is that for long stretches, no one—and certainly not Bezos—was mediating high-level disputes or fostering unity.

Stories of mismanagement, internal conflict, and neglect have been leaking the wrong way at the Washington Post — report after report has been coming out of the storied newsroom that was made famous for its insider beltway knowledge. To hear Brian Stelter tell it, much of the Post’s problems stem from its unfathomably successful billionaire owner, Jeff Bezos — or, rather, from his absence. The Atlantic has the story

On the channels.

Podcast: We didn’t have a Sunday podcast this week as we shortened for the holiday break. But as a reminder, our daily podcast editions and our past Sunday podcasts are all available online, and you can listen here.

Instagram: Joe Biden sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos. In their conversation, the president defended his decision to stay in the race as the Democratic Party’s nominee. Check it out here.

YouTube: We’re working on producing some content of our live event in New York City from earlier this year. Until then, watch the trailer here.

Tweet of the week.

@lastthingtwice with the 2010s callback:


Tangle’s favorites.

EUROPE: The semifinals of the 2024 European Championships for men’s soccer are set, and the semifinalists all familiar countries: France, Spain, England, and the Netherlands. But the tournament has been anything but boring — here are some of the best moments from group play.

🐍
SOUTH AMERICA: Researchers have discovered massive rock carvings on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, many of which feature giant snakes. The drawings contribute to what the researchers call a global “mega-serpent” tradition.

🤝
‘MERICA: The United States men’s team has only itself to blame for its group play exit from Copa America. But the officials in the team’s final game against Uruguay didn’t make the loss go down any smoother. Here are the officials refusing to shake captain Christian Pulisic’s hand.


Infotainment.

Happy birthday, America! On Thursday, the United States celebrated its 248th birthday on the July 4, 1776, marking its independence from England. But… is there more to the story?

  • 56: The number of people who signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • 236: The number of years ago that the U.S. Constitution was ratified, on June 21, 1788.
  • 3,929,214: The population of the United States upon the completion of the first census in 1793.

Ask the readers.

Last week, Rich asked readers without AC how they hide from the heat. 

David from Kirkville, TX: Living without A/C is a distant memory now, but our college dorm at Texas A&M had none. We had two large windows with a box fan in each, one blowing in and one blowing out. It was just normal, just as it is for most of the world, including 92% of those in the hottest regions.

Since we chose his answer, we gave David a chance to ask our readership anything. 

Question: Is our country still able to find and elect a true leader/statesman?

You can let us know your thoughts by replying to this email or through this form.

Starting with the first letter, add one letter in any position to the preceding line to answer the clue to each line. 

EXAMPLE:

Click here for the answer.

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