Will Tonight's Capitol Riot Hearing Deliver Bombshells or Be Another Dud?
Plus: Families sue over Texas directive on care for transgender kids, teleworker taxes will come before Ohio Supreme Court, and more...
Spoiler alert. It's been nearly a year and a half since Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Since then, the events of January 6 have been subject to intense scrutiny from law enforcement, legislators, pundits, and the press. So it's hard to imagine what new information could possibly come out in tonight's first public hearing on the day's events. But aides for the House select committee investigating January 6 are promising just that.
"There will be a lot of new information revealed at [Thursday's] hearing," a committee aide told reporters yesterday, per CNBC. "We will be revealing new details showing that the violence of January 6 was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden."
The new information will reveal "that former president Donald Trump was at the center of that effort," the aide added.
As a teaser, it's good stuff. But I can't help but suspect it's a little overhyped. It's hard to imagine any bombshells having been discovered in the committee's investigation and yet kept quietly under wraps until now.
Besides, congressional committee hearings have a way of promising big reveals and then merely delivering a string of fluffy soundbite moments for committee members.
But we shall see! The hearing is scheduled to start tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern and will be aired live on the committee's YouTube page, as well as approximately everywhere else. "All of the major broadcast networks plan to carry the hearing live, as do the major cable news networks, with the exception of Fox News," points out The New York Times, which will also be streaming the hearing live on its website.
"The nine-member committee is expected to show video from the day of the attack, and to hear testimony from a Capitol Police officer, Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury from the violence," notes CNBC:
Also scheduled to testify is Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker, who was following members of the far-right Proud Boys group in the days before the riot and on the day of the invasion itself.
A panel aide said that the committee will also present previously unseen records and tape from prior witnesses interviews, including senior Trump administration officials, campaign aides and family members of the former Republican president.
Some Republican officials have been refusing to comply with the investigation. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) accused the committee members (of which seven of nine members are Democrats) of "weaponizing government to attack Republicans."
The panel has subpoenaed McCarthy, Jordan, and three other Republican representatives: Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. McCarthy wrote in a letter to the committee that he would not comply with the subpoena. Biggs, Jordan, and Perry have also pushed back on demands that they testify.
My response to the Select Committee: https://t.co/iYQFDszwWg
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 27, 2022
PFLAG, ACLU, and Lambda Legal sue over Texas transgender directive, say family was investigated after trans teen's suicide attempt. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal have filed a lawsuit against Texas leaders on behalf of PFLAG, an organization representing the families of LGBTQ people. The suit seeks to stop a directive that families allowing minor children with gender dysphoria to receive "gender affirming care" should be investigated for child abuse.
"After the Texas Legislature failed to pass legislation criminalizing well-established and medically necessary treatment for adolescents with gender dysphoria, the Texas Governor, Attorney General, and Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services have attempted to legislate by fiat and press release," states their lawsuit, filed in the District Court of Travis County, Texas. More from the suit:
Governor Abbott's letter instructing DFPS to investigate the families of transgender children is entirely without constitutional or statutory authority; and despite this, the Commissioner nonetheless has implemented a substantive regulatory change, starting with a statement directing DFPS to carry out the Governor's wishes and subsequently carried out through an unauthorized process that defies both the agency's authority and its longstanding policies and practices.
The Governor and Commissioner have circumvented the will of the Legislature and, in so doing, they have run afoul of numerous constitutional and statutory limits on their power. Additionally, by their actions, Defendants have trampled on the constitutional and statutory rights of transgender children and their parents.…The Governor has also declared that teachers, doctors, and the general public should be required, on pain of criminal penalty, to report to DFPS any person who provides or is suspected of providing medical treatment for gender dysphoria, a recognized condition with well-established treatment protocols. And DFPS has launched investigations into families for child abuse based on reports that the families have followed doctor-recommended treatments for their adolescent children. The Commissioner and DFPS have recently resumed these unlawful investigations, which have already caused lasting harm to Plaintiffs in this case.
The actions of the Governor, the Commissioner, and DFPS violate the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, are ultra vires and therefore invalid, violate the separation of powers guaranteed by the Texas Constitution, and violate equality and due process protections guaranteed by the Texas Constitution. Plaintiffs ask the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy these violations of Texas law and of the plaintiffs' rights and to immediately return to the status quo ante. Plaintiffs also seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction only against the Commissioner and DFPS to maintain the status quo ante and prevent them from continuing to cause Plaintiffs irreparable harm while this case proceeds.
In addition to PFLAG, plaintiffs include Mirabel Voe—the mother of Antonio Voe—and the families of two other transgender minors. Antonio Voe is 16 years old, began taking puberty blockers in 2021, and started hormone therapy this past January.
"On February 22, the same day as Abbott's Letter, Antonio attempted to die by suicide by ingesting a bottle of aspirin. Antonio said that the political environment, including Abbott's Letter, and being misgendered at school, led him to take these actions," states the lawsuit.
Following the attempt, Antonio was admitted to a local hospital, which referred him to an outpatient psychiatric facility. He was transported to that facility on February 24.
While at that outpatient facility, the staff there learned that Antonio had been prescribed hormone therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria. During a family therapy session, staff at the facility told Antonio and his mom that their family might be reported for "child abuse" because of Abbott's Letter and DFPS's new rule.
Antonio was discharged from the psychiatric facility on March 5.
On March 11, an investigator from CPS visited the family's home to interview Antonio and Mirabel.
You can read the full petition here.
This is the second suit against the directive that the ACLU has helped bring.
"In March, a district judge granted an injunction blocking the state from continuing these investigations or opening new ones," notes The Texas Tribune. But the state appealed and the Texas Supreme Court said last month that it may resume investigations, albeit not against the one family that had sued.
Ohio Supreme Court will consider taxes on teleworkers. As more and more people have been working from home, the question of where they must pay taxes has become a contentious issue. Do they pay to the place where their employer is located, or to the location of the residence from which they are working? Last year, for instance, the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided not to take up a case in which New Hampshire sued over Massachusetts' policy of taxing people working remotely and out of state for companies based in Massachusetts. Now, a similar case—but involving cities instead of states—has made it to the Ohio Supreme Court.
At the center of the case is teleworker Josh Schaad, who says the city of Cincinnati has unjustly taxed him for remote work. "In this case Mr. Schaad lives outside the city of Cincinnati—he lives in Blue Ash—yet he was paying Cincinnati tax for all the work he did in Blue Ash," Jay Carson, senior litigator at the Buckeye Institute, told WKRC.
"Six hundred other cities in Ohio could be affected by this lawsuit," WKRC reports. "The Supreme Court will not hear this case until the end of this year or early next year."
There is a way of writing about the history of black Americans and gun rights that isn't gross and I attempted it a few years ago. https://t.co/KEPRcrZnty
— Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) June 8, 2022
• "A series of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have made it practically impossible to sue a federal officer over an alleged constitutional rights violation," notes Reason's Damon Root. And "in a 6-3 ruling released today, the Court doubled down on this regrettable trend."
• "New York's body armor ban may be stupidest gun legislation yet," suggests J.D. Tuccille.
• An armed man was arrested near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The man allegedly told police he was there to kill Kavanaugh.
• "Despite what you may have heard, Tuesday was a fairly good day for criminal justice reform in California," suggests the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
• I talked to Justin Amash last night about the future of the liberty movement:
.@reason's @ENBrown and I had a wide-ranging conversation on libertarianism and its future—organizing to win and making libertarian ideals accessible to the broadest possible audience. Check it out now at https://t.co/tTEHqfaivS, or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 9, 2022
• How pregnancy became gender neutral.
• Somehow, Washington Post staff drama is still commanding headlines and even got a mention on The View.