Background Briefing: July 3, 2023


American Democracy Under Threat as Unelected Justices Veto Policies They Don’t Like Aided By Phony Front Groups

We begin with the collusion between the right wing Supreme Court majority and far-right phony front groups claiming to represent popular interest groups, but are more often than not a wealthy individual and a few activists for hire who bring the cases that Roberts and company want to rule on, which are funded by dark money from one or another of Leonard Leo’s front groups, which helped fund the Republican State’s Attorney’s Generals who were behind killing student loan relief, the front group supporting the lying Christian web designer’s victory for anti-gay bigotry and the phony Students For Fair Admissions front group that brought the Affirmative Action case to the all-to-eager justices to rule on. Joining us is Garrett Epps, a legal affairs editor of the Washington Monthly who has taught constitutional law at American University, the University of Baltimore, Boston College, Duke, and the University of Oregon. He is the author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, and we discuss his latest article at The Washington Monthly, “John Roberts’s Tiresome Act.”


The Israeli Military Targets Angry Young Palestinians Alienated From Their Own Aged and Inept Government

Then we look into the large-scale Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp against increasingly militant young Palestinians alienated from their aged and inept leaders who they feel have failed to protect them from the encroachment of increasingly emboldened Israeli settlers supported by the increasingly religious nationalist Israeli government. Joining us is Khaled Elgindy, Senior Fellow and Director of Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs at the Middle East Institute. He previously served as an advisor to the Palestinian leadership on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004-2009 and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations in November 2007. His latest book is Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians from Balfour to Trump.


Has Putin Lost His Monopoly on Violence and Will the ICC Charge Him With Genocide?

Then finally we assess the extent to which Putin has lost his monopoly on violence in Russia and whether he will eventually be charged by the ICC for genocide in Ukraine and speak with Alexander Motyl, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires and theory, he is the author of Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires and Why Empires Reemerge: Imperial Collapse and Imperial Revival in Comparative Perspective. He has an article at The Hill, “Putin and Prigozhin are both war criminals.”