Thursday Executive News Summary

Overdose deaths hit new record, U.S. Marshals sent to protect SCOTUS justices, appellate court strikes down California gun ban, and more.

Top of the Fold

  • Overdose deaths hit new record: Over 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday. This latest number sets a new record high, and for the second consecutive year, overdose deaths topped 100,000, continuing a negative trend that demonstrates the growing severity of the opioid crisis. Of the overdose deaths, 71,000 were due to fentanyl or other similar synthetic opioids, representing a 23% increase over the prior year. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, noted that drug overdose deaths are often tied to individuals using more than one drug. She explained, “The net effect is that we have many more people, including those who use drugs occasionally and even adolescents, exposed to these potent substances that can cause someone to overdose even with a relatively small exposure.” Experts point to the COVID lockdowns as being a significant contributing factor for the growth in drug abuse.

  • U.S. Marshals Service sent to protect SCOTUS justices: Attorney General Merrick Garland has finally acted in response to leftist pro-abortion mobs that have targeted, picketed, and harassed the homes of the six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices. Garland ordered the U.S. Marshals to help protect the Supreme Court and the justices, though it’s not clear if the protection includes the justices’ homes. According to federal law, it is illegal for anyone to act in an effort to influence or intimidate the Court, including by picketing or parading “in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge.” Republicans have blasted Joe Biden’s Justice Department for failing to enforce the law, protect the Court, and uphold the integrity of the judicial process. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) observed the hypocrisy: “When parents went to a public meeting in a public building to voice their concerns about their kids’ education, Merrick Garland sicced the feds on them. Now you have protesters marching at the private homes of Supreme Court justices about a pending case.”

  • Appellate court strikes down California gun ban: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a California law passed last year that banned the sale of semiautomatic firearms to anyone under the age of 21. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” wrote Judge Ryan Nelson in the majority opinion. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.” The Second Amendment-supporting Firearms Policy Coalition brought the suit and responded, “Today’s decision confirms that peaceable legal adults cannot be prohibited from acquiring firearms and exercising their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment.” While the ruling is a victory for Californians’ Second Amendment rights, it is only a partial one, as the state still maintains a law requiring the possession of a hunting license for anyone seeking to purchase a rifle or shotgun who is under the age of 21.

  • Ohio seeks to ban Big Tech censorship: Republicans in Ohio’s state House Civil Justice Committee recently approved a bill that aims to prevent social media platforms from censoring speech based upon a user’s “viewpoint.” Republican Scott Wiggam, one of the bill’s sponsors, explained, “By preventing Big Tech companies from continuing to engage in viewpoint discrimination, we hope to protect the free exchange of ideas and information in Ohio.” The bill would apply to social media companies with 50 million or more users, though it does not provide an enforcement mechanism other than allowing individual Ohioans to file civil suits against social media companies for speech suppression. Ohio may join other states such as Florida in aggressively defending citizens’ First Amendment rights against Big Tech abuse. Another Ohio bill sponsor, Al Cutrona, contends that these social media platforms are “common carriers.” “These services are affected with a public interest, are public accommodations, are central public forums for public debate, and have enjoyed governmental support in the U.S.,” Cutrona explained. “As such, Ohio is well within its rights to stop Big Tech from censoring users based on their viewpoint.”

Headlines

  • Biden admin cancels massive oil and gas lease sale amid record-high gas prices (Fox Business)

  • Senate fails to advance death cult bill to guarantee abortion access nationwide (Fox News)

  • Biden invents “ultra-MAGA” Republicans as midterm election Trump substitute (Washington Examiner)

  • Alvaro Bedoya confirmed for FTC, breaking long deadlock (Washington Post)

  • Yes, safe smoking kits include free crack pipes. We know because we got them. (Free Beacon)

  • Maskless Broadway star yells at audience member for not wearing a mask (Not the Bee)

  • “Doctor Strange” actor and her husband found guilty of sexually abusing a minor (LA Times)

  • Fisher-Price groomers release drag queen set for preschoolers (Not the Bee)

  • Did Fauci and Collins receive royalty payments from drug companies? (NR)

  • Policy: What Biden can do to lower inflation — but stubbornly refuses to (NY Post)

  • Satire: Here are more things Elon Musk should buy and fix (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

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