By Jake Kaplan
Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of biotech company Theranos, kicked off this week.
- Holmes founded Theranos in 2003. She was 19 at the time. The company pledged to revolutionize the health care industry by performing blood tests using a single drop of blood. Theranos was valued at $9 billion in 2014.
- In 2015, a Wall Street Journal investigation raised doubts about the effectiveness of Theranos’s technology. The company was dissolved in 2018, and Holmes and Theranos’s former president, Ramesh Balwani, were indicted on charges of defrauding investors and deceiving patients.
- Last week, 12 jurors were selected to serve on the panel, and on Wednesday, the court heard opening arguments.
- Among those who might testify at trial include former Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, media mogul and Theranos investor Rupert Murdoch, and former U.S. cabinet members and Theranos board members James Mattis and Henry Kissinger. Holmes, herself, could also take the stand.
Also this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a Republican-backed bill that would restrict access to voting.
- The bill imposes new restrictions on voting, including banning 24-hour and drive-thru voting, prohibiting officials from mailing unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, and enhancing ID requirements to vote by mail.
- Abbott’s signing of the bill brings to an end the long partisan battle that saw Texas Democrats flee the state to break quorum in the legislature and stall the measure. The bill ultimately passed after Abbott convened the legislature by calling another special session.
- According to Abbott, the law “make[s] it easier than ever before for anybody to go cast a ballot. It does also, however, make sure it is harder than ever for people to cheat at the ballot box.”
- Democrats denounced the measure as an effort to disenfranchise marginalized voters. “Do we want access to our electoral process to be more difficult for people with disabilities, or do we want to remove barriers for them? … For communities of color, do we want to defend the tremendous progress that we’ve made in civil rights and equality or chip away at their voting rights one Senate bill at a time?” said Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado during a 15-hour filibuster last month.