Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
There are new developments from the January 6th Committee.
- According to The New York Times, officials from the Department of Justice asked the Committee for transcripts from its interviews with, among others, former President Donald Trump’s associates. Thus far, Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson has rebuffed DOJ’s request, saying, “My understanding is they want to have access to our work product. And we told them, no, we’re not giving that to anybody.”
- Meanwhile, the Committee remains entrenched in its investigation. The Committee recently issued subpoenas to five current Republican members of the House of Representatives: Kevin McCarthy, Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks. Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance discussed this unprecedented move on this week’s episode of CAFE Insider.
- The Committee is also set to begin holding public hearings, with the first one scheduled for June 9th. According to Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Committee, “The hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House.” The Committee also plans to release a report containing its findings later this year.
There is an ongoing debate surrounding the extent to which protestors should be permitted to organize outside of the homes of public officials.
- Following the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights activists organized demonstrations around the country. In addition to demonstrations outside courthouses, protesters have also gathered outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices, including Samuel Alito (the drafter of the opinion), Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. In response, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to provide police protection to the families of the Court’s nine justices and other officials.
- This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that prohibits “picketing or protesting” outside of a person’s home. The bill passed the Florida legislature with bipartisan support before the recent protests, but, in a statement, DeSantis said, “Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate. This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities, and I am glad to sign it into law.”
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the protests at justices’ homes, saying, “Trying to scare federal judges into ruling a certain way is far outside the bounds of First Amendment speech or protest. It is an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs.” However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he is comfortable with protests outside of justices’ homes as long as they remain peaceful. “My house — there’s protests three, four times a week outside my house. The American way to peacefully protest is OK,” Schumer continued.
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