Reason Roundup

Pro-Choice Activists Protest Outside Homes of John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh

Plus: Elon Musk's plans for Twitter, officials want to tax NFTs, and more...


Pro-choice activists protested outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday, chanting slogans like "our body, our choice" and "we will not go back."

Footage from the protest outside Kavanaugh's house depicts a raucous spectacle, whereas the activity at the chief justice's residence were somewhat more restrained, according to eyewitness reports:

The street and sidewalk are public spaces, and it's legally permissible to protest there. The First Amendment rightly protects Americans whose displeasure with their government's policies compels them to engage in free expression—even if the form that expression takes is hostile and unpleasant. The Bill of Rights enshrines the people's right to protest; there is no right enjoyed by government actors to avoid witnessing protests.

Needless to say, that is separate from the question of whether such tactics are wise or worthwhile. Many people watching such protests are going to react like this:


Elon Musk has a plan to change Twitter, and The New York Times obtained the details over the weekend. Musk reportedly told investors that he intends to fire as many as 1,000 Twitter employees. He also wants to quadruple the company's revenue from $5 billion to $26 billion by 2028. He plans to move away from Twitter's reliance on advertising to make money and instead adopt a subscription-based model, in which some users are paying a few bucks a month for more features or a better user experience.

Musk is also toying with eliminating the company's San Francisco headquarters and not paying salaries to board members.

Musk was also the subject of a recent New York Times profile that attempted to frame his upbringing in apartheid South Africa as one where an environment of free speech allowed racist disinformation to shape his childhood. The problems with this framing are many, as Jesse Singal notes:

The Times' reporters went looking for examples to demonstrate that Musk was a racist supporter of apartheid, and they came up completely empty-handed. None of his high school classmates "offered recollections of things he said or did that revealed his views on the politics of the time. But Black schoolmates recall that he spent time with Black friends." And Elon's father—Errol Musk, from whom he is estranged—said that his son objected to the apartheid regime from an early age:

"As far as being sheltered from it, that's nonsense. They were confronted by it every day," recalled Errol, who said he belonged to the anti-apartheid Progressive Party. He added, "They didn't like it."

Mr. Musk became friends with a cousin of Mr. Netshituka's, Asher Mashudu, according to Mr. Mashudu's brother, Nyadzani Ranwashe. One time at lunch, a white student used an anti-Black slur, and Mr. Musk chided the student, but then got bullied for doing so, Mr. Ranwashe said.

Mr. Mashudu was killed in a car accident in 1987, and Mr. Ranwashe said he remembered Mr. Musk being one of only a handful of white people who attended the funeral in the family's rural village.

"It was unheard of during that time," he said.

If anything, it sounds Musk's encounters with censorship and institutionalized racism as a child showed him the risks of letting the authorities restrict what people are allowed to say.


States are trying to figure out how to tax non-fungible tokens (NFTs). But so far, the tax dollars aren't showing up, reports Axios, which notes that "the IRS hasn't addressed the taxation of NFTs in any of its guidance on cryptocurrency (or elsewhere)," leaving state officials somewhat confused. 

Two locales are nonetheless attempting to get more money out of the NFT craze, Bloomberg Tax reported in April:

Both Washington state and Puerto Rico are drafting regulations that would stretch their sales tax on digital products to include NFTs, unique digital assets that act as certificates of authenticity for digital products—including works of art, music, tickets, and collectibles. No other U.S. state revenue agency has yet introduced an NFT sales tax strategy.

Unsurprisingly, governments are late to the party: NFT prices have crashed, and sales are down 92 percent from a peak last September, according to The Wall Street Journal


  • Russian leader Vladimir Putin defended his country's invasion of Ukraine in a speech during the country's holiday celebrating victory over the Nazis during World War II, arguing that "a pre-emptive response to the aggression" was "a forced, timely and only correct decision, a decision made by the sovereign, strong and independent country," reports The Wall Street Journal.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, offered a counter-story in a speech pushing back against Putin's telling of history. Zelenskyy argued that Putin had "appropriated" Russia's WWII victory.
  • Taiwan is finally turning away from its zero-COVID strategy. 
  • Groups that offer online abortion consulting for abortion drugs, which can be delivered by mail, are seeing a surge in interest, especially from Republican states. 
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom are squabbling about the Democratic Party's role in the abortion fight. 
  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she won't enforce the state's existing law banning abortion, which dates back to 1931, if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade
  • Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness delivered 2022's biggest domestic box office weekend yet, as people debated whether the horror-tinged movie should have been rated R.
  • The BBC has announced a new Doctor Who: Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa.