Tuesday's Mini-Report, 7.14.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* He claimed to be innocent: "The U.S. carried out the first federal execution in 17 years at a prison in Indiana after a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling cleared the way. Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of killing an Arkansas family in a plot to establish a whites-only nation, was executed by lethal injection early Tuesday at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute."

* A case we've been keeping an eye on: "A New York judge dismissed a legal challenge to the publication of Mary Trump's tell-all book about her family Monday -- one day before its scheduled release."

* Dunford: "Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph F. Dunford Jr. has removed himself from consideration to chair the Congressional Oversight Commission, a key mechanism created by Congress in March that is supposed to scrutinize coronavirus spending, three people familiar with the situation said Tuesday."

* SCOTUS: "House Democrats urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to speed up the process for getting the legal battle over President Donald Trump's business records back into the lower courts."

* Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) "wants the Justice Department to review what led to" Donald Trump's decision to commute Roger Stone's sentence.

* A story worth watching: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that China’s expansive maritime claims across most of the South China Sea were 'completely unlawful,' setting up potential military confrontations with Beijing and sanctions against companies as the United States seeks to push back Chinese activity in the region."

* In related news: "China hit back Tuesday, outlining its historical claims to the waters and stating that the U.S. was trying to 'sow trouble' and had acted like a bully by sending frequent vessels to the area."

* Climate crisis: "A federal report expected to be released Tuesday found the Trump administration set a rock-bottom price on the damages done by greenhouse gas emissions, enabling the government to justify the costs of repealing or weakening dozens of climate change regulations."

* On Capitol Hill: "Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas will announce this week that he will compete for the chairmanship of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to congressional aides familiar with his planning, in an effort aimed at recapturing a key position for the party’s liberal wing after years of centrist leadership."

See you tomorrow.