This was excerpted from the April 27 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.
America is reeling from a murderous flurry of mass shootings that a polarized political system will likely do little to stop. Now the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could lead to many more guns on the streets.
The court’s conservative majority decided to hear an appeal of a New York law that restricts people from carrying concealed handguns in public. Its ruling, which will likely come next year, promises to be the first major Supreme Court decision on gun rights in a decade. The decision to hear the case likely reflects the influence of Donald Trump-appointed justices like Amy Coney Barrett.
Gun control advocates argue that a decision to side with appellants against a law that requires people to demonstrate they have specific and pressing needs for self-defense outside the home would effectively prevent Democratic-run states from regulating guns and implementing safety laws.
“Today’s announcement is a warning sign that our nation’s highest court is poised to brush aside the will of the people and instead side with gun lobby groups seeking to eliminate even the most modest firearm laws,” said Hannah Shearer, litigation director at Giffords Law Center, a gun control group.
To be clear, a decision by the Supreme Court to take up such a case does not mean it will come down on a specific side. But the broad views on gun rights held by new conservative justices are clear from their writings and rulings in lower courts.
The Supreme Court is supposed to act on principle, not politics, so it has no statutory duty to consider conditions in the country — for instance, a rash of mass killings — before considering which cases to hear. But it seems inevitable that making it harder for states that wish to do so to restrict carrying guns in public will inevitably lead to more shootings. Of course, gun rights activists would likely use such an outcome as proof that more Americans need to pack heat to defend themselves.
As well as clarifying the reach of the Second Amendment, the case will offer one of the clearest indications yet how Trump’s Supreme Court choices will dictate what it will be like to live in America decades after his presidency ended.
‘Even farther left … than we could have anticipated’
US Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming might have broken ranks with her Republican colleagues in voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump over the Capitol insurrection. But that doesn’t mean the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has gone ideologically squishy. The number three GOP leader in the House lashed out at Biden’s performance as he marks his symbolic 100th day in office this week.
“What we have seen so far in the Biden presidency is even farther left policies than we could have anticipated and certainly than he campaigned on,” Cheney said at a party meeting in Florida.
It’s true that Biden’s massive, multi-trillion-dollar effort to overhaul the US economy to benefit less well-off Americans has proved more expansive than most observers predicted. Don’t take our word for it, listen to one of the most influential House Democratic progressives — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York:
“I do think that the Biden administration and President Biden has definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had. I’ll be frank, I think a lot of us expected a much more conservative administration.”
Postcard from New Delhi
As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to surge in India, people are turning to social media to plead for oxygen, plasma and hospital beds, CNN’s Manveena Suri writes for Meanwhile.
Hashtags such as #COVIDSOS and #CovidHelp have become commonplace on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp: “URGENT: ICU/Oxygen bed needed in Delhi for my aunt who is COVID positive and a cancer patient. Age: 65 SPO2 level: 70 Her condition is very critical,” read one such tweet.
Even hospitals in the national capital region of Delhi are tweeting out SOS messages amid severe oxygen shortages. “INOX (INOX Air Products) commitment to replenish liquid medical oxygen remain unfulfilled. Only 1.5 hours to go. Please help us urgently,” wrote the private Park Group of Hospitals in a second tweet. Over eight hours later, the group tweeted that it had received more oxygen.
India on Monday reported 352,991 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 17.3 million cases, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health. This is the fifth day running that India, with a 1.3 billion population, has added more than 300,000 cases and topped the global record of new cases.
The country’s death toll is also rising fast, with 2,812 deaths reported on Monday, marking the 10th day in a row of rising figures. India has recorded more than 195,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
As offers of aid pour in from the United States, Europe and even from bitter rival Pakistan, plenty have also taken to social media to blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the crisis.
“Modi has taken India back decades. He was busy introducing fanaticism, hatred and intolerance in the society. His gross incompetence and negligence is criminal and should be investigated,” read a tweet in response to a post on India’s earlier positioning as a “vaccine engine to the world.”
A man jumped through the window of a damaged vehicle driving erratically in the main square of Albania’s capital on Sunday followed by other people who attempted to stop the driver, who police said was under the influence of marijuana.