Last week, ProPublica reported that Justice Clarence Thomas has been accepting lavish gifts, including luxury vacations and flights on a private jet, from Dallas real estate scion Harlan Crow for over two decades. And since 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported, Thomas hasn’t disclosed any of them.
Crow, who reportedly collects Nazi memorabilia, has been a major GOP donor for decades, and has long supported efforts to move the Supreme Court to the right. The revelation of the gifts to Thomas, author of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the landmark Bruen decision, has raised questions about Crow’s influence on the high court’s decision-making. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear major cases, including on gun rights, at least one federal judge is “livid.” “This is far greater than mere ethics violations,” the judge told CNN. “It’s about the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
What to Know Today
The Washington State Senate passed a ban on the purchase and sale of assault weapons, including AR-15-style rifles and AK-47s. The legislation now returns to the House. [The Olympian]
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his intention to pardon a man convicted of shooting and killing a racial justice protester in the summer of 2020, less than 24 hours after a jury unanimously found the man guilty. The protester, Garrett Foster, had been carrying an AK-47 when the shooter drove a car into a Black Lives Matter march and shot Foster five times. [Austin American-Statesman]
Gun owners in New York and New Jersey filed a class-action lawsuit against the NYPD division that grants firearm licenses and permits, arguing that a backlog in licensing and strenuous application requirements have made it “impossible” to obtain permits. [Gothamist]
Colorado’s intelligence agency is tasked with preventing terror attacks. Why is it monitoring student gun violence protests? [The Intercept]
Gun violence in schools is a persistent, and growing, problem. For administrators, preventing shootings means walking a fine line between increasing security and furthering the school-to-prison pipeline. [Chalkbeat]
New research suggests that shootings are becoming more lethal; gun fatalities at the scene, before victims can receive medical aid, are up about 9 percent from 1999. A key factor in the rise, researchers say, is a change in the types of guns being used. [CNN]
After a heated set of hearings in the Tennessee House to address the protest against gun violence by the “Tennessee Three,” Republican legislators voted to remove Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, two Black members, from their positions. The third lawmaker who participated in the protest, Gloria Johnson, who is white, was spared expulsion by a single vote. [Tennessee Lookout]
18.2 — the gun death rate, per 100,000, in Colorado in 2021. That’s the highest recorded since at least 1980. [The Colorado Sun]
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