June 24, 2018 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

June 24, 2018

1. S.3036 [115th] Keep Families Together Act
2. H.R.4760 [115th] Securing America’s Future Act of 2018
3. H.R.6136 [115th] Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018
4. H.R.5515 [115th] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019
5. H.R.5005 [107th] Homeland Security Act of 2002
6. H.R.5428 [115th] Stand with UK against Russia Violations Act
7. S.2937 [115th] HELP Separated Children Act
8. H.R.2 [115th] Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018
9. H.R.392 [115th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
10. H.R.5895 [115th] Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources –

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Upsets House Democrat Joe Crowley | Time


The upset was a stunning blow for Crowley, a 10-term congressman and New York political machine boss who was viewed as a possible successor to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But it was also a clear marker of the energy on the far left at the moment. A record number of women are running for office this year. And the slate of candidates on the ballot is also far more diverse than typical.

Source: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Upsets House Democrat Joe Crowley | Time

How Increasingly Severe El Niños Are Threatening Tropical Forests Around the World | Pacific Standard


Junjie Liu’s team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, found that, during the 2015–16 El Niño, extreme drought meant trees stopped absorbing CO in South America. In Southeast Asia, forest fires raged in extremely dry conditions, quickly releasing stored carbon. And in tropical Africa, high temperatures resulted in increased ecosystem respiration.

Together, the three regions emitted 2.5 gigatons more carbon during the 2015–16 El Niño than during the opposing phase of the cycle, known as La Niña, in 2011, with emissions split roughly evenly between the three forest regions.

Source: How Increasingly Severe El Niños Are Threatening Tropical Forests Around the World – Pacific Standard

CBO projects grim budget outlook under Trump | TheHill


In 30 years, the U.S. debt burden is projected to double, eclipsing even the debt carried by the United States during World War II.

Payments the U.S. government makes to China and others holding U.S. debt would surpass projected Social Security spending in 2048, the report found.

Interest payments will also exceed discretionary spending, the amount that Congress approves for defense and nondefense spending each year, which is projected to hit 5.4 percent of gross domestic (GDP) product by 2048.

Source: CBO projects grim budget outlook under Trump | TheHill

A Decision That Will Live in Infamy | Bloomberg


The decision will be a stain not only on the legacy of the Roberts court, but on that of the Supreme Court itself. The court tried to compensate by saying how bad the Korematsu decision was.

And Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a separate concurrence in which he hints that perhaps the lower courts could reconsider the question of anti-religious animus. But these efforts are far too little to save the court, or Kennedy, from the judgment of history, which will be harsh.

Source: A Decision That Will Live in Infamy – Bloomberg

What constitutional rights do undocumented immigrants have? | PBS NewsHour


“Yes, without question,” said Cristina Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School. “Most of the provisions of the Constitution apply on the basis of personhood and jurisdiction in the United States.”

Many parts of the Constitution use the term “people” or “person” rather than “citizen.” Rodriguez said those laws apply to everyone physically on U.S. soil, whether or not they are a citizen.

As a result, many of the basic rights, such as the freedom of religion and speech, the right to due process and equal protection under the law apply to citizens and noncitizens.

How those rights play out in practice is more complex.

Source: What constitutional rights do undocumented immigrants have? | PBS NewsHour

Crowley surprise tops huge night for left | TheHill


Veteran Rep. Joseph Crowley’s (D-N.Y.) surprise loss on Tuesday is the biggest prize the reform-minded Democrats who backed Sanders have claimed so far.

Crowley’s loss is as stunning as then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) primary defeat in 2014 — maybe more so, because while Cantor spent his fateful primary hobnobbing in Washington, Crowley had taken his challenge more seriously, actively campaigning for his own seat in a borough where he still runs the Democratic machine.

But the result was the same: A member of Congress once poised for the Speakership is now out of a job.

Source: Crowley surprise tops huge night for left | TheHill

Is eating natural food the same as eating what’s healthy? | Aeon Essays


The question is: who or what designed us for the natural foods that fuel us?

Neither Aristotle nor most of those deeply beholden to him in the succeeding ages could answer detailed questions about that, from a scientific standpoint. It took Charles Darwin in the 19th century to introduce those answers.

Darwin would say that our ancestors, who managed to make good use of the foods available in their environment, survived to pass on their genes to us. They were naturally ‘selected’ for preservation.

For example, we’re designed for fruit, because that’s one of the primary foods our ancestors enjoyed.

Our systems are less-well designed to metabolize fruit juice with its concentrated sugar load than the fruit itself. Our ancestors didn’t juice their fruit – that would have been a lot of extra work for no gain.

Source: Is eating natural food the same as eating what’s healthy? | Aeon Essays

Trump’s Travel Ban at the Supreme Court: Deference Joined by Nudges Toward Civility | Lawfare


In another implicit yet unmistakable reference, this time addressing the Supreme Court’s own checkered history, the majority overruled the court’s infamous decision in Korematsu.

During the presidential campaign, in an exchange that drew substantial attention, then-candidate Trump was distressingly coy when asked whether he would have supported the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But here, Roberts labeled the internment “morally repugnant” and pronounced the court’s decision in Korematsu as “gravely wrong” then and now.

Roberts cited Justice Robert Jackson’s dissent, which averred that the internment had “no place in law under the Constitution.”

As Leah Litman has noted, the court’s words reinforce that constitutionalism is ultimately a job for the people themselves.

Source: Trump’s Travel Ban at the Supreme Court: Deference Joined by Nudges Toward Civility – Lawfare

The Supreme Court’s travel ban decision echoes some of the worst SCOTUS decisions in history | Vox


Three times in American history, the Supreme Court has been asked to speak to a law, neutral on its face, yet rooted in a popular hatred or intolerance of minorities. Three times, it has chosen to ignore the real reasons for the law.

Three times, it has instead given a free pass to laws and policies predicated on discriminatory judgments that our Constitution supposedly bars.

The world is complex enough, and empirically messy enough, that it will simply always be possible for governments to whip up a “rational” justification for illegitimate acts, even if the true motivations are quite different.

I can imagine almost no national security or immigration policy, even if justified to the public in terms of pure animus, and adopted in that spirit, that could not be re-described in way that would pass the test the Supreme Court just used.

Source: The Supreme Court’s travel ban decision echoes some of the worst SCOTUS decisions in history – Vox