Day: December 7, 2022

Background Briefing: December 7, 2022


Far Right Supreme Court Justices Seem to Support a Dangerous Fringe Theory That Could Upend Our Elections

We begin with oral arguments before the Supreme Court today in which Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch seemed to support the alarming fringe legal theory known as the Independent State Legislature Theory which removes State Supreme Courts from election decisions giving all power to state legislatures. Joining us is Fred Wertheimer, the Founder and President of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes campaign finance, lobbying, ethics and related reforms to accomplish these goals. He has spent 35 years working on government integrity issues and we discuss his article at The Brookings Institution, “Democracy on the ballot—the “independent state legislature theory” will not empower state legislatures to override presidential election results.”


The Biden Administration Gets a Lawsuit Against MBS Dismissed in Return he Greets China’s Leader With a State Visit

Then we examine the dismissal of a lawsuit against the Saudi Crown Prince at the behest of the Biden administration who in return got stiffed again by MBS who today is greeting China’s Xi Jinping on a state visit. Joining us is the person who brought the lawsuit, Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now DAWN who was formerly the executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, where she oversaw 19 countries, with staff located in 10 countries. She has led dozens of advocacy and investigative missions throughout the region, focusing on issues of armed conflict, accountability, legal reform, migrant workers, and political rights and has published widely on human rights issues in the Middle East in international and regional media.

Why Are Top US Conservatives Giving Aid and Comfort to Putin?

Then finally, Bret Schafer joins us to examine who is giving aid and comfort to the enemy or who is a useful idiot and expand on his quotes in an article at The Guardian “Top US conservatives pushing Russian spin on Ukraine war, experts say.” He is a senior fellow and head of the information manipulation team for the Alliance for Securing Democracy at The German Marshall Fund. An expert in computational propaganda, state-backed information operations, and tech regulation, he is the creator and manager of Hamilton 2.0, an online open-source dashboard tracking the outputs of Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state media outlets, diplomats, and government officials.