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Biden ‘deeply disappointed’ as supreme court expands right to carry concealed weapon – live


Biden ‘deeply disappointed’ in supreme court gun decision

Saying he was “deeply disappointed”, President Joe Biden has issued a statement condemning the supreme court’s ruling that greatly expands the right to carry concealed weapons across the United States.

“Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States supreme court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” Biden said.

Joe Biden said the ruling ‘should deeply trouble us all’.
Joe Biden said the ruling ‘should deeply trouble us all’. Photograph: Alexander Drago/Reuters

He backed efforts by states to respond to the court’s ruling with new regulations.

“As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations,” the president wrote, referring to the conservative justice who died in 2016.

Concluding with an appeal for action, Biden said, “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”

Vice president finds supreme court gun ruling “deeply troubling”

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

More high-level reaction to this morning’s US Supreme Court decision vastly expanding Americans’ gun rights.

US vice president Kamala Harris has packed a lot into one tweet.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling on guns is deeply troubling as it defies commonsense and the Constitution. Lives are at stake. Congress should pass the bipartisan gun safety proposal immediately and continue to do more to protect our communities.

— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) June 23, 2022

Harris has to be mindful of not being seen to try to upstage her “deeply disappointed” boss, of course. Neither politician expressed outrage, as such.

US Vice President Kamala Harris meets with state attorneys general on protecting reproductive health care access in the Ceremonial office at the White House complex earlier today.
US Vice President Kamala Harris meets with state attorneys general on protecting reproductive health care access in the Ceremonial office at the White House complex earlier today. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/EPA

Meanwhile, the House Speaker and fellow California Democrat Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement, also slamming a conservative-leaning supermajority on a politicized bench and calling it radical.

It is unfathomable that, while families in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities mourn their loved ones stolen by gun violence, a supermajority of the Supreme Court has chosen to endanger more American lives.

Today’s decision by a radical, Republican-controlled Court extends what was intended to be a limited right to self-defense at home to a new right to bring guns into our public spaces.

“Disturbingly, the twisted logic of this ruling could hinder the ability of local, state and federal governments to keep families safe from gun violence – at a time when urgent steps are deeply needed.

By making it more difficult to enact measures that reduce gun violence, the GOP Supermajority Court is condoning the horrific mass shootings and ongoing tragedy of daily gun deaths plaguing our nation.

“Despite this ill-considered ruling, Democrats will never relent in our fight to end the scourge of gun violence. While more is needed, the bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation advancing in the Senate includes a number of important steps that will save lives and must become law.

At the same time, our House Democratic Majority is carrying on our fight to protect our children by raising the age to buy assault weapons, banning high-capacity magazines, ensuring safe storage requirements, continuing our fight for background checks for purchases of guns and even high-capacity magazines, and more. As we always promise the courageous survivors of gun violence, we will keep fighting until the job is done.”

Nancy Pelosi on the hill.
Nancy Pelosi on the hill. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Hugo Lowell

Federal investigators searched the home of former Trump administration justice department official Jeffrey Clark yesterday morning as part of the department’s criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Then-acting assistant US attorney general Jeffrey Clark speaks next to then-deputy US attorney general Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, on October 21, 2020.
Then-acting assistant US attorney general Jeffrey Clark speaks next to then-deputy US attorney general Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, on October 21, 2020. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

It was not immediately clear what investigators were looking for or which agencies were involved, though Clark was a key figure in former president Donald Trump’s unsuccessful plans to coerce the justice department into endorsing his election fraud claims as he attempted to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.

Federal investigators descended on Clark’s home in Virginia, the source confirmed, a day before the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack planned to highlight his involvement in Trump’s plans, at its fifth public hearing this afternoon.

In a statement on the search, Trump’s former director for the office of management and budget, Russ Vought said: “more than a dozen DoJ law enforcement officials searched Jeff Clark’s house in a pre-dawn raid” and “took his electronic devices.”

Vought is now the head of the Center for Renewing America, where Clark also works.

Clark and a spokesman for the justice department could not be reached for comment.

Today’s hearing is expected to show how Trump improperly pressured top justice department officials to falsely declare that the 2020 election was corrupt, and how Trump only decided against firing them for refusing to go ahead with his plans when threatened with mass resignations.

And it will bring attention to a memorably turbulent stretch at the department as Trump in his final days in office sought to bend to his will a law enforcement agency that has long cherished its independence from the White House, the Associated Press adds.

The testimony is aimed at showing how Trump not only relied on outside advisers to press his false claims of election fraud but also tried to leverage the powers of federal executive branch agencies.

The witnesses will include Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol.

Three days earlier, Rosen was part of a tense Oval Office showdown in which Trump contemplated replacing him with the lower-level official Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to champion Trump’s bogus election fraud claims.

US DoJ ‘respectfully disagrees’ with Scotus ruling on guns

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

The Department of Justice has released a statement from spokeswoman Dena Iverson, following the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court’s decision in the gun rights case, namely New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc, et al versus Bruen, Superintendent of New York State Police, et al.

We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusion that the Second Amendment forbids New York’s reasonable requirement that individuals seeking to carry a concealed handgun must show that they need to do so for self-defense.

The Department of Justice remains committed to saving innocent lives by enforcing and defending federal firearms laws, partnering with state, local and tribal authorities and using all legally available tools to tackle the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities,” the statement reads.

This far-reaching decision by the supreme court is the most important ruling on gun laws by the highest US court in more than 10 years.

The District of Columbia v Heller decision in 2008 that reversed a firearms ban for the general public in Washington, DC, in a key ruling issued by the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia that interpreted the second amendment to the US constitution as supporting an individual’s right to have guns for private uses, including self-defense.

And in 2010 there was the ruling in McDonald v Chicago, in which the court decided that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”, applies to state and local governments as well as the federal government.

Senate progresses on gun control measure

The US Senate has further advanced a bill tightening gun access, its most significant legislation controlling firearms in decades and a response to the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the racist massacre at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

Gun safety bill advances over filibuster, 65-34

Final passage later today or tomorrow

— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) June 23, 2022

The legislation that would invest in mental health services and red-flag laws as well as cut off gun access for domestic abusers is the result of days of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise on the issue, one of the most contentious in Congress.

It won the votes of every Democrat in the evenly divided chamber, as well as 15 Republicans, more than enough to overcome filibusters from their colleagues and take the bill to the next step.

Final passage of the $13 billion measure was expected by week’s end with a House vote to follow, though timing was uncertain, the Associated Press noted.

This post has been modified to clarify that the legislation is still moving through the Senate and has not yet been passed in that chamber.

The National Rifle Association has unsurprisingly hailed the supreme court’s decision as a victory.

“Today’s ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led,” the group’s executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. “The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home. This ruling brings life-saving justice to law-abiding Americans who have lived under unconstitutional regimes all across our country, particularly in cities and states with revolving door criminal justice systems, no cash bail and increased harassment of law-enforcement. ”

The powerful gun lobbying group highlighted its lengthy efforts to overturn state restrictions on carrying concealed weapons.

Wayne LaPierre with Trump at the annual NRA summit in May.
Wayne LaPierre with Trump at the annual NRA summit in May. Photograph: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

“This is more than just a great day for New York because this ruling opens the door to rightly change the law in the seven remaining jurisdictions that still don’t recognize the right to carry a firearm for personal protection. The NRA has been at the forefront of this movement for over 30 years and was proud to bring this successful challenge to New York’s unconstitutional law,” Jason Ouimet, the head of the NRA’s lobbying arm the Institute for Legislative Action.

While the NRA is a powerful group in Washington, it’s also embroiled in a corruption scandal that’s ensnared LaPierre and other members of its leadership.

Biden ‘deeply disappointed’ in supreme court gun decision

Saying he was “deeply disappointed”, President Joe Biden has issued a statement condemning the supreme court’s ruling that greatly expands the right to carry concealed weapons across the United States.

“Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States supreme court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” Biden said.

Joe Biden said the ruling ‘should deeply trouble us all’.
Joe Biden said the ruling ‘should deeply trouble us all’. Photograph: Alexander Drago/Reuters

He backed efforts by states to respond to the court’s ruling with new regulations.

“As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations,” the president wrote, referring to the conservative justice who died in 2016.

Concluding with an appeal for action, Biden said, “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”

Gun control groups have vowed to continue fighting despite the supreme court’s expansion of concealed carry rights, including by finding legal avenues for states to limit gun possession.

In a statement, John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said, “Today’s ruling is out of step with the bipartisan majority in Congress that is on the verge of passing significant gun safety legislation, and out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support gun safety measures. Let’s be clear: the supreme court got this decision wrong, choosing to put our communities in even greater danger with gun violence on the rise across the country.”

“The supreme court misapplied fundamental constitutional principles in ruling against New York,” chief litigation counsel at Everytown Law Eric Tirschwell said. “Even so, states can still pass and enforce a wide array of laws to keep public spaces safe from gun violence, and we’re ready to go to court to defend these laws.”

The supreme court finished issuing opinions for the day with its blockbuster ruling on gun access, but across the street at the Capitol, the Senate is in the midst of considering a gun control bill that would be the most significant in decades.

Senator majority leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech on the chamber’s floor that passing the measure, which cleared a crucial procedural vote on Tuesday, is his top priority.

“It’s been a long time, but this breakthrough is welcome. So, I urge my Republican colleagues, let’s get this bill passed, and pass it today,” Schumer said. “Americans have waited long enough. Let’s finish our job today.”

The bill represents Congress’s response to the massacres in Uvalde and Buffalo, and appears to have enough support from both parties to pass the evenly divided Senate, as well as the House of Representatives. However its lacks many of the more stringent measures Democrats hoped would be enacted following those mass shootings, including raising the age to buy an assault weapon to 21 from 18. It also would have no impact on the supreme court ruling that opens the door for almost all Americans to carry concealed weapons.

Gun rights have been in the news for weeks following two shocking mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York — a fact that has not escaped the supreme court.

In his concurrence with the majority opinion, conservative justice Samuel Alito connects the latter shooting with the concealed weapons regulation that the court struck down. “Will a person bent on carrying out a mass shooting be stopped if he knows that it is illegal to carry a handgun outside the home? And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator,” wrote Alito, who was also the author of the draft opinion overturning abortion rights that leaked in May.

You can read the full decision here.

New York governor calls ruling ‘dark day’, vows response

Calling the supreme court’s ruling overturning its regulations on concealed weapons “absolutely shocking” and hypocritical, New York governor Kathy Hochul said the state will look at ways to craft legislation that can shield the public from gun violence.

“They have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions. We can have restrictions on speech — you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater — but somehow, there’s no restrictions allowed on the second amendment,” Hochul said in a speech minutes after the court’s decision was released.

Hochul said that her government had a “whole lot of ideas” for dealing with the ruling. “Our new laws are going to be looking at restrictions on sensitive locations, changing the permitting process… we’re gonna have training requirements, we’re going to make sure that people (who) have concealed weapons have specified training.”

“This is New York. We don’t back down. We fight back,” she said. “I’m sorry this dark day has come.”

Kathy Hochul called the ruling ‘reprehensible’.
Kathy Hochul called the ruling ‘reprehensible’. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Ed Pilkington

Ed Pilkington

The supreme court’s just-announced decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen is a major win for advocates of gun rights, and will allow most everyone across the United States to carry a concealed weapon. The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington takes a closer look at its implications:

The US supreme court has opened the door for almost all law-abiding Americans to carry concealed and loaded handguns in public places after the conservative majority struck down a New York law that placed strict restrictions on firearms outside the home.

The majority decision renders the New York law an unconstitutional violation of the second amendment right to bear arms. The law had required anyone wanting to carry a handgun in public to prove that they had a “proper cause” to do so.

The ruling has profound implications for the safety and conduct of up to 83 million people who live in New York and seven other states plus Washington DC, which have similar “proper cause” laws. They include some of the most heavily populated states in the country such as California and New Jersey, which between them account for roughly three out of every four Americans.

Supreme court strikes down New York concealed weapon law

In a major decision affecting gun rights nationwide, the supreme court has invalidated a New York law that regulated who is allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public:

The Supreme Court STRIKES DOWN a New York gun-control law that required people to show “proper cause” to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home. The vote is 6-3. https://t.co/jA2Gl7lTiG

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2022

The decision split along the court’s ideological lines, with the three liberal justices dissenting from the ruling upheld by the court’s six-justice conservative majority.

The supreme court has issued two more opinions, one dealing with the rights of prisoners on death row, and the other regarding lawsuits over Miranda warnings, which police typically read to people when they’re arrested.

The Supreme Court sides with a man on Georgia’s death row in a case about what procedural mechanism prisoners must use to challenge the constitutionality of a state’s execution method. SCOTUS says prisoners are not limited to the federal habeas laws to bring such challenges.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2022

If a police officer fails to give a suspect his Miranda warnings, and the gov’t uses the suspect’s un-Mirandized statements against him in court, can the suspect sue the officer for violating his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination? In a 6-3 ruling, SCOTUS says no.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2022

The court is continuing to announce opinions, with the next set for 10.30am Eastern time.

The supreme court has begun issuing its latest batch of opinions, and the first decision deals with a lawsuit over North Carolina’s voter ID law, as SCOTUSblog details:

The Supreme Court rules 8-1 that GOP lawmakers in North Carolina can intervene in litigation to defend a state voter-ID law. The NAACP is challenging the law, and the NC attorney general (a Democrat) is defending it. GOP legislators want to intervene anyway. SCOTUS says they can.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2022

The court has more opinions to release, and you can follow along here.

Nina Lakhani

Outside of Congress, people who participated in the January 6 insurrection are facing the music. Nina Lakhani reports on the latest sentencing connected to the attack:

A West Virginia lawmaker who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol while live-streaming the deadly insurrection has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Derrick Evans, 37, was arrested and charged shortly after the attack, in part thanks to self-incriminating video footage he shot of himself leading and egging on rioters who overwhelmed police at the Capitol.

He resigned, then pleaded guilty to the felony of committing civil disorder in March, but was given bail and appeared virtually from his home for sentencing on Wednesday.

Evans, who had been sworn into the Republican-led legislature less than a month before the attack, is among 21 lawmakers known to have joined the rioters trying to overturn the 2020 election. He is the only one to be prosecuted so far.

Hugo Lowell

While the FBI works behind the scenes, the January 6 committee will today hold its fifth public hearing, this time focusing on what was going on at the justice department around the time of the 2020 election. Hugo Lowell takes a look at what to expect:

Donald Trump pressured top justice department officials to falsely declare that the 2020 election was corrupt and launch investigations into discredited claims of fraud as part of an effort to return him to office, the House January 6 select committee will say on Thursday.

The panel investigating the Capitol attack is expected at its fifth hearing to focus on how Trump abused the power of the presidency to twist the justice department into endorsing false election claims – and potentially how the Republican congressman Scott Perry sought a pardon for his involvement.

The finer details of the hearing were outlined to the Guardian by two sources close to the inquiry who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal details ahead of the hearing. They cautioned that the details might still change.

The FBI had a busy Wednesday. As the January 6 committee has publicly aired more and more evidence of Donald Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election result by creating slates of “alternate electors” and trying to get Vice-President Mike Pence to use them to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, agents have been executing search warrants and serving subpoenas to Republican officials allegedly involved in the plot.

These include the top Republican party official in Nevada, Michael McDonald. Agents seized his phone when they executed a search warrant on Wednesday that 8 News Now said was in connection with his involvement in creating a list of fake electors. The FBI was also looking for the state party’s secretary James DeGraffenreid, the Las Vegas outlet reported. Biden won Nevada, but the state Republican party nonetheless had its electoral college voters create fake, non-legally binding certificates saying Trump won the state, according to 8 News Now.

Agents also visited the home of Brad Carver, a lawyer in Georgia who signed a document saying he was a Trump elector, and Thomas Lane, who worked for the former president in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post reported. The Georgia GOP chair, David Shafer, also received a subpoena, as did a group people who claimed to be Trump electors in Michigan, the newspaper reported.

Separately, a top justice department official during Trump’s final weeks in office has said that there was no fraud in the 2020 election. “Some argued to the former president and public that the election was corrupt and stolen,” Jeffrey Rosen, the acting attorney general during the attack on the Capitol, said in opening remarks to the January 6 committee obtained by the Associated Press.

“That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps reaffirm that fact.”

Rosen will be a witness during today’s hearing.

January 6 committee to meet as FBI expands investigation into fake electors plot

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Washington will once again start its day on tenterhooks ahead of the supreme court’s release of decisions at 10am eastern time, in which the justices could announce major changes to abortion rights as well as gun and environmental regulations. Then at 3pm eastern will come the January 6 committee’s fifth hearing, in which lawmakers are to explore former president Donald Trump’s efforts to get the justice department to comply with his scheme to overturn the 2020 election.

Here’s what else is happening today:





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