National News Roundup: Year 2, Week 51 (January 6–12)

Kara Hurvitz
6 min readJan 15, 2019


Another week of shutdown, which by now is the U.S. longest government shutdown in modern history, and between that and an intense week of Russia investigation developments, it feels like the entire country is holding its breath. But any doctor can tell you that it’s not good for people to hold their breath indefinitely, and countries are no different. We’re starting to see real consequences, so here’s hoping we see some kind of shutdown solution soon.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. This week’s news contains some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise — I’m a lawyer, not a Russia investigation! — but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

With the ongoing shutdown, we’re of course seeing one big, long Disregard of Governing Norms this week — but there are a lot of subtleties to unpack. Here are the main things to know from this past week:

This was an incredibly wild week for the Russia Investigation and there’s definitely a lot to process. Here are the main bits to know:

Your “Normal” Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

  • Recent Court Resilience. There was a lot of good court-related news in the past few days. First a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from expanding exemptions to employers who don’t want to cover hormonal medications. Though this first decision only applied to thirteen states, the decision was expanded by another federal judge to cover the entire nation the following day. And continuing the access to justice theme, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association has joined the shutdown lawsuit party, suing the federal government for depriving its workers of pay without due process.

So that’s what I have for this week, and ho boy did it feel like a lot! For making it through, you deserve this raccoon at a ballgame and an eventual better government. I’ll be back next week with more (and hopefully better) news, and I hope you will be back as well — but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me an extra few hours in the day!



Kara Hurvitz

Boots on the ground for social change, one step at a time.