Monday: Below the Fold
SCOTUS on election authority, Pentagon debuts the B-21 Raider, Russia rejects G7 price cap on oil, and more.
SCOTUS on election authority: An argument over state election authority in North Carolina will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court and promises to have wide-ranging repercussions. The dispute between North Carolina’s legislature and state courts over the congressional redistricting map has raised the question of who has the constitutional authority to regulate elections. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature were stopped by the state courts from implementing their redrawn congressional redistricting map following the 2020 Census over allegations that the map was too partisan. Republican lawmakers say the U.S. Constitution’s Election Clause, which reads in part that “the time, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof,” grants individual state legislatures the authority to determine their own election rules, not the courts. Democrats claim that this argument is a threat to “American democracy.” The significance of SCOTUS taking this case is much broader than North Carolina, as courts in several states like Pennsylvania effectively sidestepped legislatures to enact their own election rules during the pandemic. As Justice Samuel Alito observed regarding the Election Clause, “There must be some limit on the authority of state courts to countermand actions taken by the state legislatures when they are prescribing rules for the conduct of federal elections.”
Pentagon debuts the B-21 Raider: After years of secret development, on Friday in Palmdale, California, the Pentagon unveiled America’s latest military aircraft, a nuclear stealth bomber named the B-21 Raider. It’s the nation’s first new bomber in over 30 years, and almost everything about this aircraft is classified. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin heralded the new bomber, which he says “isn’t just another airplane” but “the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love.” The B-21 will serve as part of the nation’s nuclear defense system. The other two parts of that triad are nuclear ballistic missiles launched from silos and nuclear warheads launched from submarines. Austin boasted: “Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft. Even the most sophisticated air defense systems will struggle to detect a B-21 in the sky.” The new technology will enable the B-21 to disguise itself as other objects to radars thanks to its ability to control electronic emissions and its new propulsion system. As Northrop Grumman chief executive Kathy Warden explained: “It is incredibly low observability. You’ll hear it, but you really won’t see it.” Thus far, six B-21s are in production, with a total 100 planned. The bombers’ costs are unknown, but the Air Force previously presented an average cost of $550 million back in 2010. The B-21’s “Raider” moniker is in honor of the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo early in World War II.
Russia rejects G7 price cap on oil, warns of cutoffs: On Friday, the U.S. and the UK, along with Australia, Canada, and Japan, agreed to join the European Union in capping the price they would pay for Russian crude oil at $60 a barrel. The deal was intended to continue to punish Vladimir Putin for starting and continuing his war with Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, the Kremlin refused to accept the cap. “Europe will live without Russian oil,” warned Mikhail Ulyanov, Russian representative to international organizations in Vienna. “Moscow has already made it clear that it will not supply oil to those countries that support anti-market price caps. Wait, very soon the EU will accuse Russia of using oil as a weapon.” For Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the oil price cap was not low enough, as he called for the cap to be set no higher than $30 a barrel. The current price of crude sits at roughly $85 per barrel, but Russian oil has already been selling for less than $60 per barrel for some time now as demand from China has decreased.
The Twitter Censorship Files: The mistaken claims in 2020 by former spooks about Hunter Biden’s emails framed the social media site’s decision to block the news (WSJ)
Full thread on Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story (Townhall)
Leaked email alleges Katie Hobbs, Twitter employees colluded to censor “election related misinformation” (Daily Wire)
Final push for votes in Georgia runoff tests parties’ sway in battleground (WaPo)
Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, Lloyd Austin says (AP)
Kevin McCarthy vows military vaccine mandate will end or national defense bill won’t move forward (Fox News)
Wuhan whistleblower claims COVID-19 leaked from Chinese lab (Washington Examiner)
Religious freedom carveouts in same-sex marriage bill have far-left Democrats grumbling (Fox News)
Biden administration confirms it wants taxpayers to pay for sex-change operations on minors (Daily Caller)
Balenciaga designer Demna finally addresses BDSM ad scandal, apologizes (NY Post)
Ronna McDaniel set to get new opponent for RNC post (Politico)
California reparations proposal could mean $223K per person in payments for black residents (Fox News)
No motive known in attack on North Carolina city’s power grid, but NBC hypes possibility conservatives to blame (Townhall)
Ironic: Switzerland considers banning electric vehicle travel amid energy crisis (Daily Wire)
Policy: Win for website designer at Supreme Court would be win for free speech for all (Daily Signal)
Satire: Democrats vow to find new social platform that will censor the news about what they did on Twitter (Babylon Bee)
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