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Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Have Confidence in Supreme Court

The drop in confidence comes as the Supreme Court debates the future of the abortion pill.

Supreme Court building

Nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t have confidence in the Supreme Court, a report released Monday found, an all-time low that comes as the justices weigh a controversial and unpopular case about abortion access.

A poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that 62 percent of Americans say they have not very much confidence or no confidence at all in the Supreme Court. This is the lowest number since this poll was first conducted in 2018, when almost twice as many people said they had confidence in the court.

Similarly, 68 percent of people think that Supreme Court justices should have term limits, instead of receiving lifetime appointments. These results spanned the political spectrum.

Marist, NPR, and NewsHour surveyed nearly 1,300 adults between April 17 and 19, meaning the poll was conducted a week after a Texas federal judge ruled that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should be yanked from the U.S. market. The Department of Justice appealed the ruling, and the Supreme Court issued an eleventh-hour stay on Friday while the lawsuit plays out.

This was the court’s first major decision on abortion access since it overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. That ruling was hugely unpopular, as almost two-thirds of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.

The Marist poll found that 64 percent of Americans also oppose a ban on medication abortion, and a majority of those people do regardless of political affiliation. Almost the same number of people (61 percent) think judges should not be able to overrule FDA approval of a drug. As Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, previously told The New Republic, abortion access is not the only issue at play in the mifepristone case. The lawsuit is also “about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

The Supreme Court has become increasingly politicized, from the appointment process to the justices themselves, and people are starting to see it. That politicization chips away at public trust in the institution. It’s no longer clear that the court will uphold people’s rights, as opposed to wielding its almost absolute authority to impose its personal beliefs on the country.

“The Supreme Court’s decision on medication abortion comes at a critical time for the Court as an institution,” warned Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute, in the poll release. “With Americans’ confidence in the Court on a decline, the Court’s decision will likely fuel the flames of debate and not squelch them.”

Did Fox Fire Tucker Carlson?

An announcement said the television host has already aired his last show.

Tucker Carlson
Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Tucker Carlson is leaving Fox.

The news comes just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Fox Corporation reached a $787.5 million settlement in a massive $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion.

Throughout the lead-up to the trial-that-never-was, a stream of documents revealed how many Fox hosts and executives, including Carlson, knowingly perpetuated lies surrounding the 2020 election and false conspiracies surrounding voting systems like Dominion’s rigging the election.

It’s unclear whether Carlson was fired. But in a press release Monday, Fox noted that his “last program was Friday April 21st.” Given the separation is effective immediately, and Carlson has no formal opportunity to say goodbye, the exit does not appear to be on entirely good terms.

The Washington Post reports that “a person familiar with the company’s thinking” believes that Carlson’s comments about Fox’s management may have led to the departure. The revelations in the Dominion case were just the tip of the iceberg; had the trial continued as planned, more details about the inner workings of Fox may have been revealed.

Carlson’s departure follows a series of incredibly deferential interviews to both Donald Trump and Elon Musk.

Two weeks ago, Carlson hosted Trump in an hour-long special, in which the Fox host barely said a word, while the twice-impeached former president rambled on, telling fantastic tales of courthouse workers crying as he was arraigned—and praising Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping.

Days later, in a two-part special with Musk, Carlson spent most of his time serving as the equivalent to a Twitter Blue subscriber brainlessly responding to every Musk assertion with laugh emoji after laugh emoji.

In his last segment on air, between bites of pizza and plugging a conspiratorial special about the establishment forcing everyone to eat bugs, Carlson seemed (or pretended) to have no idea that his departure was coming.

“We’ll be back on Monday,” Carlson said, while closing his segment last Friday.

This story has been updated.

Ron DeSantis Short-Circuits When Asked About Dropping Poll Numbers

The Florida governor is a walking meme.

Courtesy of CNN

Ron DeSantis’s costume is beginning to rip at the seams.

Ever since the Florida governor began leaning more and more into the possibility of his 2024 candidacy, he’s more and more adopted mannerisms of the previous Republican president, Donald Trump: his vocal cadence, his hand motions, and his relishing of not answering questions and attacking the media. DeSantis is under the illusion that he’s projecting strength and not, in fact, looking incredibly pathetic.

But the laborious efforts are beginning to wear on the not yet announced presidential hopeful. During a visit to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the Florida governor was asked about his thoughts about polling behind Trump.

And his face seemed to be glitching, perhaps while hearing the trigger word of what his blueprint is based off of.

The comments came while the Florida governor has constantly been everywhere but Florida. While Fort Lauderdale was flooding under the weight of the rainiest day in its history, DeSantis was journeying around Ohio to sell his book. Over the past few weeks, he’s visited other states and even Washington, D.C., courting Republicans and gloating about his radical agenda in Florida. It’s gone incredibly poorly, as DeSantis has a meager handful of endorsements, while Trump has already secured the approval of an array of members of Congress and governors—including many members in DeSantis’s own state.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Bud Light Ad Is So Bad It’s Funny

Someone in her marketing team has to be pranking her with this one.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders unveiled a line of beer koozies celebrating the “real women of politics” with possibly the worst ad known to mankind.

While the video never mentions Anheuser Busch by name, it’s a clear response to a Bud Light ad featuring transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. The sponsored video—less than a minute long and more than a month old—has sparked a bizarre, bordering on unhealthy obsession among conservatives.

Sanders’s koozies feature photos of her and other right-wing women governors. She promoted the launch on Twitter Sunday by announcing, “Real women don’t have to fake it.”

Frankly, she needs to fire her marketing team.

Women fake stuff all the time, from cheekbones to interest in men’s talking points to … other stuff.

Sanders herself also fakes concern for democracy, children’s welfare, and the truth.

Supreme Court Protects Access to the Abortion Pill, for Now

Access to mifepristone will remain available while the legal battle plays out.

Activists holding abortion rights signs like "Safe abortion is a human right" and "Keep abortion legal."
Probal Rashid/LightRocket/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday halted lower court rulings that would have restricted access to the abortion pill mifepristone, leaving national access to the pill in place—for now.

A Texas federal judge ruled two weeks ago that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should be yanked from the U.S. market. The Department of Justice appealed the decision, first to the Fifth Circuit Court, which only partially stayed the ruling. The Justice Department then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which issued a temporary administrative stay while it considered the appeal.

The high court has now decided to temporarily stay the Texas court’s ruling. The court will issue a final decision on the abortion pill at a later time.

The stay means that nationwide access to mifepristone will remain unchanged as the lawsuit moves through the appeals process. The abortion pill is still available nationwide, without restriction.

Danco Laboratories, which manufactures mifepristone, had argued that a partial stay on the pill would “irreparably injure” its business because it would have to change its drug labels, recertify providers, and get approval for a supplemental new drug application, all processes that could take months. Danco also pointed out that it could not comply with both the Fifth Circuit ruling and the injunction out of Washington.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions performed in the United States. These drugs can be ordered online and delivered via mail, making them a key resource for people who live in states that have cracked down on abortion access since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer. The Supreme Court’s decision Friday is a temporary relief to nationwide abortion access.

A bigger issue at play, though, is that nonelected judges who do not have medical backgrounds are now making decisions about medication. As Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, previously told The New Republic, “The question for appellate courts is not just about abortion but about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

The Texas case “undermined” the FDA’s authority, she said. “To take seriously that it ignored risks, risks unsupported by any credible evidence, suggests questions as to what federal courts might decide about other federal agencies’ decisions.”

Even Fox News Doesn’t Want to Pay for a Blue Check on Twitter

Elon Musk’s big idea to save Twitter revenue is falling flat on its face.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It has been 24 hours since Twitter purged all non-paid blue verification checkmarks, and not even Fox News is choosing to pay to get it back.

This comes just a few days after Twitter owner Elon Musk gave Fox an exclusive and absolutely bananas interview.

The only people who still have blue checks—once a coveted symbol of influence and credibility—are those who pay $8 a month for Twitter Blue (and a few celebrities Musk is trolling because they were mean to him once).

Only a handful of people who weren’t already subscribed to Twitter Blue have started paying for it since the purge.

Oh Look, New York City Is Actually Pretty Darn Safe

A new report finds that New York City shootings and murders are down, despite Republicans’ best attempts to portray it as a crime haven.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Chair Representative Jim Jordan holds a House Judiciary Committee field hearing on violent crime in New York on April 17.

Amid all the noise of the “liberal city infested with crime” narrative this week, you might have missed a report revealing the truth: New York City is one of the safest major cities in America, and may only be getting safer.

According to the NYPD’s weekly statistics report, shootings are down 23.1 percent relative to this point last year, while murders are down 6.6 percent. Hate crimes, a special concern over the past few years amid rising hate toward an array of marginalized groups, are down 40.6 percent.

Meanwhile, New York City recorded the third-lowest number of murders per capita among the 20 largest cities in 2022.

One of Republicans’ primary hobbies is criticizing cities (read: places with public transportation and lots of not-white people and queer people) as bastions of crime. The hobby has become all the more the rage as conservatives have tried to discredit Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg following his office’s indictment of twice-impeached former President Donald Trump.

The Republican pastime has fallen short of the facts (shocker) and has become more than just dumb posts online, but “official” House business too. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee held a “field hearing” in Manhattan, attempting to deride New York as a center of crime. An expert witness pointed out that the city is in fact very safe, especially relative to some of the places that the assailing Republicans themselves hailed from.

There arguably is indeed a crime wave sweeping the nation. Just over the past month, America has been host to a wave of mass shootings, and an array of appalling instances of people being shot for accidentally pulling up to the wrong driveway, ringing the wrong doorbell, or trying to open the wrong car door. This record pace of shootings is sparked by inordinately easy access to guns and reactionary social distrust: issues instigated by Republicans and issues they seem to have no concern to actually rein in.

Republican Senate Candidate Suggests Reparations for White People

Bernie Moreno is a far-right Republican backed by Donald Trump.

Capitol building
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Trump-approved Republican Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno says to hell with reparations for the descendants of slaves—what about the people who freed them?

The Republican made the wild suggestion at a campaign event the same day he announced his candidacy to become the nominee to take on Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.

“White people died to free Black people. That’s never happened in human history before, but it happened here in America. That’s not talked about in schools very much, is it?” Moreno posed, as if the conservative movement hasn’t already gone full throttle in whitewashing American history and pitching white Americans as saviors.

“They make it sound like America is a racist, broken country. You name a country that did that: that freed slaves, died to do that. You know, they talk about reparations. Where are the reparations for the people in the North who died to save the lives of Black people?”

“That’s right!” an audience member said toward the end of Moreno’s remarks, which were completely unconcerned with facts or history.

“I know it’s not politically correct to say that, but you know what, we gotta stop being politically correct. We gotta call it what it is,” Moreno continued, triggering his audience to break out into cheers and applause.

It’s amazing how, in their libidinal desire not to be “politically correct,” far-right Republicans are falling over themselves not to be “logically correct,” either.

Interestingly enough, if someone was actually looking for what isn’t “talked about in schools very much,” they may look to a cursory two-minute history lesson from Representative Jamaal Bowman this week, in which he laid out exactly how slavery and ensuing structural racism has left Black people systemically worse off.

Florida GOP Bill Would Let Doctors Deny Health Care to Anyone if They Just Felt Like It

The bill is expected to target women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in the state.

Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Florida’s House of Representatives will vote next week on a bill that would allow doctors and health insurance companies to deny care to anyone they want.

According to the bill, “a health care provider or health payor has the right to opt out of participation in or payment for any health care service on the basis of a conscience-based objection,” meaning based on their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.

Providers and insurers would face no consequences under the measure and would not be required to refer patients to a place that would provide the needed care. If they are penalized for denying care or coverage, the doctor or company can sue.

House Bill 1403 makes no mention of protections against gender- or race-based discrimination. Critics are worried that the sweeping nature of the text would let providers deny care or coverage to women, people of color, and LGBTQ people.

Kara Gross, the legislative director and senior policy counsel for the ACLU of Florida, slammed the state legislature for government overreach, pointing out that the bill does not set a standard for potential objections.

There is no definition of ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ in the bill. Who determines what constitutes a sincerely held moral or ethical belief, and more importantly, why should access to health care be denied based on such vague, imprecise, and subjective terms?” Gross said in a statement Wednesday. She cited examples that could lead to people denying care, such as believing people should not have children before marriage.

“Medical standards, not individual, subjective beliefs, should guide medical and health care services.”

HB1403 is the latest in an onslaught of measures that Florida Republicans have put forward attacking people’s rights and health care access. They have especially targeted LGBTQ rights, particularly for transgender people. Just Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would let the state take transgender minors away from their families if they are receiving gender-affirming care.

But HB 1403 makes clear that Republicans are perfectly fine with stripping rights away from everybody. Also on Wednesday, the House passed an anti-drag bill that is already stopping Pride parades and festivals in the state.

During the debate on that measure, Democrat Daryl Campbell warned that “right now, [Republicans are] going after the LGBTQ+ community. For those watching, they will come after you when it’s in their interest.”

It appears that is already happening in Florida.

Students Across Florida Are Protesting Ron DeSantis’s Entire Agenda

Students are walking out of school and discussing history lessons banned in classrooms.

Students from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools School for Advanced Studies–Wolfson campus protest during a statewide walkout on April 21.
Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Florida students across the state are conducting a two-day protest and walkout against pretty much Ron DeSantis’s entire policy agenda. Students from at least 300 high schools, every state HBCU, and 90 percent of Florida’s overall colleges were slated to be participating, according to organizers.

The efforts began Friday, as students walked out of class, choosing instead to learn a banned history lesson about Black and LGBTQ historical figures. The students also checked their voter registration and began sending letters to school board officials and DeSantis himself, vowing to use their votes to defend student rights.

Students also held a rally at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus, in solidarity with Floridians being attacked by an array of bills pushed by state Republicans.

Students are trying to bring attention to laws that would ban the teaching of race, gender, and intersectionality; ban “any speech or expressive activity” that “advocate[s] for diversity, equity, and inclusion”; and criminalize anyone who has an undocumented person in their home or car. They also are protesting the state’s new six-week abortion ban and permitless carry laws.

Demonstrators during the “Walkout 2 Learn” rally in Miami on Friday, April 21
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

“Republicans … claim that they hate cancel culture,” Democratic Representative Angie Nixon told local affiliate WJXT. “However, they are literally the ones trying to cancel cultures. They’re trying to cancel our communities. They’re trying to cancel the ability for our students—our babies—to learn, to be taught true history, Black history, LGBTQ history, trans history, our history, American history.”

The protest follows Florida’s expansion of the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law up through high school. It also comes as groups begin to cancel Pride celebrations in the wake of Florida Republicans’ forthcoming drag ban, which is so extreme it would also ban high school kids from watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show or even the musical Hair.

“The overwhelming majority of Florida students, faculty, and community members reject these attacks on our education, livelihood, and safety,” organizers with Stand for Freedom said. “We understand that diversity is what makes our schools and nation strong … students will be rallying to unite against these infringements on our individual freedoms.”