Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a rather dramatic surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning struck down Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama, in a case in which Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both conservatives, joined the court’s three liberals in the majority. It’s a ruling that’s likely to affect district maps in other southern states.
* Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a longshot Republican presidential candidate, argued last night that his party “should clarify that there is no pledge to support a nominee if they are found guilty of espionage or a serious felony.” I find it extraordinary that a major American political party would have to consider such a clarification — and almost certainly won’t.
* As her second term in Michigan gets underway, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is reportedly creating a new political action committee. The Democrat’s operation will be called the “Fight Like Hell PAC.”
* Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is wasting little time in using his Republican presidential campaign to go after Donald Trump and the former president’s re-election effort. “The grift from this family is breathtaking,” Christie said on Tuesday night at a town-hall-style event in New Hampshire. “It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis? That’s your money he stole. ... That makes us a banana republic.”
* As his Republican presidential campaign gets underway in earnest, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ made a surprise trip to the U.S./Mexico border, where he tried to defend his administration’s controversial migrant-relocation program.
* Despite Trump’s condemnations of early voting, the Republican National Committee launched a new initiative this week, intended to encourage GOP voters to cast their ballots early and cut into the Democrats’ existing advantage.
* And in Utah, Republican Rep. Chris Stewart confirmed that his last day on Capitol Hill will be Sept. 15. Barring dramatic intervention by the GOP-led state legislature, the seat will likely remain vacant for several months.