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The DC: Supreme Court declines to hear Planned Parenthood case, and... 🤫 Do "hush money" payments violate campaign finance laws?

by Countable | 12.10.18

Welcome to Tuesday, donkeys, elephants, and donkey-headed elephants...

The Supreme Court won't consider state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. SCOTUS' newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, cast the deciding vote.

The case was brought by Republican-led states that were seeking to block Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's reproductive health services. (Federal law already prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving funds for abortion-related services.)

Three of the court's conservatives – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch – dissented, arguing SCOTUS should enter this legal fight.

“These cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act,” said Justice Thomas. “Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty.”

Should states be allowed to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood?

On the Radar

  • President Trump argued Monday that any payments to buy the silence of women about alleged affairs weren't illegal campaign contributions - as federal prosecutors contend - but rather a "simple private transaction." Trump's tweets sought to counter assertions made by his former attorney Michael Cohen in legal filings Friday. The president averred the payments were only being scrutinized because Democrats have been unable to find evidence of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia. Do you think Trump violated campaign finance laws?

Under the Radar

  • A nine-year-old Coloradoan has successfully convinced the town of Severance to overturn its archaic ban on snowball fights. The no-snowball law was part of an 1920 ordinance that forbids the throwing of “missiles” or stones at people, animals, trees, or property. “The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world,” Dane Best argued, according to local newspaper The Greeley Tribune. “The law was created many years ago. Today’s kids need a reason to play outside.” The town agreed. Do you support towns banning snowball fights?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

The House of Representatives: In

The Senate: In

  • Voting on the confirmation of Justin Muzinich to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

What You're Saying

Here's how you're answering Should Indian Tribes Have More Freedom to Develop Energy on Their Lands?

(Follow Linda's comment here.)

(Follow Virginia's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Before bills and nominations are brought up for a passage vote in Congress, they typically have to be considered and approved by relevant committees.

We take a thorough look at the hearings Congressional committees will be holding this week in our Committee Watch, but here are a few we're watching extra closely:

  • On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to conduct oversight of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 10am
  • On Wednesday, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold an oversight hearing titled “Missing and Murdered: Confronting the Silent Crisis in Indian Country”. 2:30pm
  • On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing to adopt several classified and unclassified committee reports9am

What are you watching this week? Let us know what to cover here.

Enjoy Countable while collecting Kibbles 'n Bits as you celebrate National App Day and Holiday Food Drive for Needy Animals Day,

—Josh Herman

Talk to Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

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Written by Countable

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