Election 2024: Drip Drip

It has yet to be a particularly eventful week, but there have been an accumulation of minor political and legal developments to memorialize.

There was a by-election tonight in New York’s 3rd District, in northern Long Island. This district has the fourth-highest average income of any US Congressional district, but even so when it flipped to the Republicans in the 2022 midterms that was a surprise. The then-incumbent, moderate Democrat Tom Suozzi, had decided to instead run (unsuccessfully) in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Facing an open seat, the Republicans ran an appealing young Republican who had never before held office but had lost 44-56 to Suozzi in 2020, a Brazilian immigrant named George Santos. This time Santos won, 54-46.

Of course, it was only after the election that the national media made any attempt to dig into the background of Representative Santos, rapidly discovering he was a serial fabulist: Almost nothing he had claimed about his background, or reported on campaign finance paperwork, turned out to be true. Despite this, with the House Republican majority as narrow as it was and with the seat likely to flip back to the Democrats without Santos, it took almost half of his term before the House finally expelled him on ethics charges. Suozzi then announced he would run for his old seat back. As of this writing the election has been called for Suozzi, who is leading 54-46 with 84% of the vote in.

With the Democrats about to gain a seat, the House Republicans made a second attempt today to impeach DHS Security Mayorkas, and this time they had the votes: Representative Scalise returned to D.C. after a six-week absence due to cancer treatment, casting the deciding vote for the first-ever impeachment of a Cabinet secretary, 214-213.

Yesterday was the deadline imposed by the D.C. Circuit for Trump to make a request that SCOTUS stay its decision denying his interlocutory appeal in the Jan 6th federal, or else Judge Chutkan would have been allowed to unpause the proceedings. He filed his brief yesterday, and today Chief Justice Roberts asked Special Counsel Smith to reply within the week; I strongly suspect that reply will get filed tomorrow. Two amicus briefs were filed today, both opposing Trump’s request for a stay; one of the briefs is from a long list of former Republican officials, headed by former Senator John Danforth, but also including Michael Luttig and George Conway.

No further news yet from SCOTUS on Trump v. Anderson, or from Judge Engoron.