Daily Bread for 7.4.21

Good morning.

Independence Day in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 92. Sunrise is 5:22 AM and sunset 8:36 PM, for 15h 13m 36s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 25.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Independence Day events include the Whippet City Mile at 11:30 AM, a parade at Noon, amusements, food vendors from Noon to 10 PM, Steve Meisner at 3:30 PM, the band Cold Sweat and the Brew City Horns 7-10 PM, and fireworks @ 10 PM.

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress ratifies the text of the Declaration of Independence, after having voted unanimously for separation from Great Britain two days earlier. 

Recommended for reading in full — 

Kellen Browning reports Hundreds of Businesses, From Sweden to U.S., Affected by Cyberattack:

Hundreds of businesses around the world, including one of Sweden’s largest grocery chains, grappled on Saturday with potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities after a software provider that provides services to more than 40,000 organizations, Kaseya, said it had been the victim of a “sophisticated cyberattack.”

Security researchers said the attack may have been carried out by REvil, a Russian cybercriminal group that the F.B.I. has said was behind the hacking of the world’s largest meat processor, JBS, in May.

Nicholas Stephanopoulos writes The Supreme Court showcased its ‘textualist’ double standard on voting rights:

Today’s conservative judges pride themselves on being textualists. When interpreting a statute, they always start with the law’s text. Unless the law is ambiguous, they end with the text, too. As Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. put it just last year, the courts’ focus must never waver from what a statute’s “words were understood to mean at the time of enactment.” Any other approach, even one that “sails under a textualist flag,” Alito lectured, is “like a pirate ship” — inappropriate and illegitimate.

So it was a shock to see the Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by none other than Alito, stacking one extra-textual constraint after another onto Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. That provision prohibits any “standard, practice, or procedure” that makes it disproportionately harder for minority citizens to vote. In that situation, voting isn’t “equally open” to citizens of all races, and minority citizens “have less opportunity” to vote.

But Alito, and the five conservative justices who joined his opinion in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, were unwilling to heed this clear textual command. They invented several limits that will make it harder for plaintiffs to win future Section 2 cases — and that appear nowhere in Section 2’s language.

One of these is a requirement that a law impose more than the “usual burdens of voting,” before being struck down. But Section 2 states that it applies to any “denial or abridgment” of the right to vote. The court qualified that broad language, effectively inserting the word “substantial” before “abridgment,” with no basis in the text.

The court also manufactured out of whole cloth a principle that, even if a particular regulation is racially discriminatory, it can be overlooked if a state offers “other available means” for voting. Maybe that’s a good idea; maybe not. But it wasn’t Congress’s idea. On the contrary, Congress made clear that each electoral restriction must be analyzed separately.

The court’s most astonishing extra-textual move, however, was its pronouncement that one “relevant consideration” is “the degree to which a voting rule departs from what was standard practice” in 1982, when Section 2 was revised in response to an earlier Supreme Court ruling. Why on earth would that be? The provision never says that. In fact, Section 2’s whole point is to unsettle the status quo, to end voting restrictions that disproportionately harm minority citizens. The provision aspires to move American democracy forward, not keep it fixed forever in 1982.

Meet The Last Artisans Making Traditional Bagpipes By Hand In Scotland’s Capital:

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