The Full Belmonte, 6/25/2022
Screenshot: NBC News
“Millions of Americans lost access to abortion moments after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and other precedents protecting that right, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez reports.
️ The big picture: 26 states are ‘certain or likely’ to ban abortion now, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Abortion clinics shut their doors in many states almost immediately after the ruling.
At least 13 states have ‘trigger laws’ in place to make abortion illegal shortly after the ruling.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court's opinion that Roe was ‘egregiously wrong and deeply damaging,’ and that states should have the right to regulate abortion — giving way for state lawmakers to ban abortion at any point in the pregnancy, including fertilization.
In their dissent, Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said: ‘Perhaps, in the wake of today’s decision, a state law will criminalize the woman’s conduct too, incarcerating or fining her for daring to seek or obtain an abortion.’
Outside the court: Abortion-rights supporters protest (left) ... while abortion opponents celebrate. Photos: AP
Anti-abortion rights leaders are already preparing their next moves.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser told Axios' Alayna Treene that the group will work to ban abortion ‘in every state and in every legislature, including the Congress.’
Abortion-rights leaders are bracing for what comes next.
‘The impact of this ruling truly will be swift and severe,’ said Julie Rikelman, senior director of U.S. litigation at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the abortion clinic in the case for which the Supreme Court issued its opinion.
‘We are on the verge of what may be the biggest public health crisis that we have seen in decades.’
Future fights: Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion overturning Roe that the court should reconsider other due process precedents protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives.” Read more at Axios
“WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday overruled Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years in a decision that will transform American life, reshape the nation’s politics and lead to all but total bans on the procedure in about half of the states.
The ruling will test the legitimacy of the court and vindicate a decades-long Republican project of installing conservative justices prepared to reject the precedent, which had been repeatedly reaffirmed by earlier courts. It will also be one of the signal legacies of President Donald J. Trump, who vowed to name justices who would overrule Roe. All three of his appointees were in the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling.” Read more at New York Times
Data: Guttmacher Institute, Axios research. Table: Simran Parwani/Axios
For many Americans, especially those living in the bluest parts of red states, abortions might not technically become illegal for a few more weeks — but they've instantly become almost impossible to obtain, Axios Local reports.” Read more at Axios
“OSLO — Hours after a shooting early Saturday in Norway’s capital that killed two people and seriously wounded at least 10, the police said they were treating it as a terrorist attack.
The shooting happened near a popular gay club in downtown Oslo, hours before the city was scheduled to hold its annual Pride parade. The event’s organizers later said they had canceled the parade and other events connected to a 10-day Pride festival at the suggestion of the police.
‘We will soon be proud and visible again, but for now, for today, we will hold our Pride events in our homes,’ Inger Kristin Haugsevje, the leader of Oslo Pride, said in a statement.
A male suspect was apprehended shortly after the shooting, the Oslo police said on Twitter. Christian Hatlo, a lawyer for the police, told reporters later Saturday that the man in custody was a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen who was originally from Iran, and who had a record of minor crimes.
The gunman opened fire outside two nightclubs and a diner, the police said. Mr. Hatlo later said that the authorities had charged him with murder, attempted murder and terrorism. He said they were investigating the shooting as a terrorist attack because of the number of crime scenes and the size of the death and injury tolls.
‘He seems to have had the intention to create fear in the population,’ Mr. Hatlo said.
The police have reason to assume that the attack was a hate crime because one of the three venues was London Pub, a center of gay nightlife in Oslo, Mr. Hatlo said.
The suspect’s defense lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
In addition to the 10 people who were seriously wounded, 11 others were lightly injured, some during a panicked rush to flee the scene, Mr. Hatlo said. He added that the police had seized two weapons, including a fully automatic one.
Shootings are exceedingly rare in Norway. Gun owners must be licensed and take safety classes, and a ban on semiautomatic weapons enacted by the Norwegian Parliament — a belated response to a 2011 attack by a far-right gunman that killed 77 people — took effect last year.” Read more at New York Times
President Joe Biden addresses the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn <i>Roe v. Wade on Friday at the White House. | Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Friday called the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade a ‘sad day for the court and for the country’ and called on Congress to restore abortion rights protections.
‘Now with Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women of this nation are now at risk,’ he stated, speaking from the White House. He called it, ‘a tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view.’
The White House had been quietly preparing for this moment for months. It began when the Supreme Court took the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case and accelerated dramatically with the early May leak of a draft opinion that signaled the court was ready to overturn Roe. Aides prepared for a variety of outcomes, including the possibility that Chief Justice John Roberts would be able to broker some sort of compromise that would at least partially leave Roe intact.
But a decision to gut the ruling was always viewed as the most likely, and West Wing staff began having multiple meetings a week to try to game plan a response, recognizing that such a decision would set off a political firestorm, one filled with both peril and opportunity for Biden.
The news broke a day before Biden was set to travel to the G-7 summit in Germany, thousands of miles away from Washington. And it created the specter of a president heading overseas to deal with foreign entanglements while massive political tectonic shifts were happening back home. The president said no executive actions could fill the abortion rights void left by the Court’s decision.
‘The court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized,’ said Biden.” Read more at POLITICO
CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES
Justice Clarence Thomas
“Friday’s landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Center is first and foremost about abortion. But the reasoning used by the 6-3 majority to overturn Roe v. Wade can also be applied in other cases where the court has protected a constitutional right through the Due Process Clause. These cases include Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to obtain contraception, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which extended the right of marriage to same-sex couples nationwide. A concurring opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday shows that both he and the conservative legal movement are targeting those precedents next.
In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito made something of an attempt to distinguish Roe from other cases that fall under what the court described as ‘substantive due process’ cases. ‘None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion,’ referring to the destruction of what he described as ‘potential life’ during an abortion. ‘They are therefore inapposite.’
He went even further when it came to the intense criticism he received from the joint dissent by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. ‘Finally, the dissent suggests that our decision calls into question Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell,’ Alito wrote. ‘But we have stated unequivocally that ‘nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.’ He went on to add, perhaps with a hint of frustration, that it is ‘hard to see how we could be clearer.’
Can Americans actually trust the Supreme Court to stop with Roe and go no further? According to Thomas, the answer is ‘no.’ The court’s senior-most justice’s concurring opinion in Dobbs urges his colleagues to overturn all of the court’s substantive due process rights. These would include Griswold, Lawrence, Obergefell—all of which Thomas specifically named in his opinion—and, by extension, other landmark rulings that shape Americans’ everyday lives and liberties.
In his concurrence, Thomas agreed with Alito that Dobbs itself did not directly threaten those precedents. ‘The Court’s abortion cases are unique, and no party has asked us to decide ‘whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised,’ he wrote, quoting from his past writings. ‘Thus, I agree that ‘nothing in [the court’s] opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.’
But this agreement was more procedural in nature than anything else: Thomas wrote that nobody had asked the court—in this case—to overturn anything else, but that, in his view, they should do so at the next available opportunity. “For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” he wrote, quoting again from his previous writings. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
‘Correcting the error,’ as Thomas put it, would have dramatic implications for American life. Without Griswold, states would be free to ban contraception, even for married couples. Without Lawrence, police could arrest people for engaging in sexual activity previously outlawed by so-called ‘sodomy laws.’ (Though this would primarily affect people in same-sex relationships, it could also conceivably apply to a significant number of heterosexual couples as well.) And without Obergefell, states would once again be free to deny Americans the right to unite themselves in marriage to the person they love.
Why would these decisions be imperiled? Alito’s argument against a constitutional right to obtain an abortion rests on the premise that such a right was not firmly rooted in the Anglo-American legal tradition. He cited a chain of legal scholars stretching back to medieval England who viewed abortion as equivalent to homicide—the exact opposite of a right. He also noted that most states criminalized or otherwise banned abortion until the 1960s, suggesting that it was not rooted in the post-revolutionary constitutional firmament of rights either.
‘The same could be said, though, of most of the rights the majority claims it is not tampering with,’ the liberal justices noted. ‘The majority could write just as long an opinion showing, for example, that until the mid-20th century, ‘there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain [contraceptives].’ So one of two things must be true. Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure. Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.’
According to Thomas, it is the latter. He criticized previous generations of justices for establishing rights that weren’t clearly delineated from the Constitution itself. ‘In practice, the Court’s approach for identifying those ‘fundamental’ rights ‘unquestionably involves policymaking rather than neutral legal analysis,’ he wrote, again citing his past writings. ‘The Court divines new rights in line with ‘its own, extra-constitutional value preferences’ and nullifies state laws that do not align with the judicially created guarantees.’
Thomas also argued that the court’s approach to substantive due process had caused immeasurable harm to American society. The two examples he cited were Dred Scott v. Sandford, which he described as a substantive due process case, and the court’s abortion jurisprudence, to which he attributed 63 million abortions since 1973. It is unclear how the use of contraception, the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, or the existence of married same-sex couples harms anyone in any way. But that may not be enough to save them.
The court’s defenders might try to reassure Americans by noting that Thomas wrote only for himself, and that Alito’s attempt to distinguish the precedents is the actual opinion of the court. That would be more comforting if Thomas’s previous concurring and dissenting opinions weren’t increasingly turning into the opinion of the court down the road. For years, he complained that his colleagues had let the Second Amendment turn into a “second-class right.” His majority opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen earlier this week aggressively reversed that trend.
Indeed, Alito’s own opinion in Dobbs includes no fewer than nine references to concurring and dissenting opinions written by Thomas himself over the past few decades. And Alito himself has called upon his colleagues in the past to reconsider the scope of Obergefell in particular, arguing that it unfairly singled out Americans who oppose same-sex marriage as bigots and did not sufficiently respect their rights to religious freedom.
There is nothing funny about Friday’s ruling. But it is darkly ironic that Alito went to such great lengths to tell Americans that the court’s ruling in Dobbs wouldn’t disturb any other constitutional rights, only for his closest ally on the court to effectively declare open season upon them. Future efforts by the Supreme Court should thus come as no surprise.” Read more at The New Republic
“WASHINGTON — During a two-hour meeting in her Senate office with the Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on Aug. 21, 2018, Senator Susan Collins of Maine pressed him hard on why she should trust him not to overturn Roe v. Wade if she backed his confirmation.
Judge Kavanaugh worked vigorously to reassure her that he was no threat to the landmark abortion rights ruling.
‘Start with my record, my respect for precedent, my belief that it is rooted in the Constitution, and my commitment and its importance to the rule of law,’ he said, according to contemporaneous notes kept by multiple staff members in the meeting. ‘I understand precedent and I understand the importance of overturning it.’
‘Roe is 45 years old, it has been reaffirmed many times, lots of people care about it a great deal, and I’ve tried to demonstrate I understand real-world consequences,’ he continued, according to the notes, adding: ‘I am a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of judge. I believe in stability and in the Team of Nine.’
Persuaded, Ms. Collins, a Republican, gave a detailed speech a few weeks later laying out her rationale for backing the future justice that cited his stated commitment to precedent on Roe, helping clinch his confirmation after a bitter fight. On Friday, Justice Kavanaugh joined the majority in overturning the decision he told Ms. Collins he would protect.
His seeming turnabout in the case on Friday prompted Ms. Collins and another senator, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, who gave Justice Kavanaugh crucial votes for his narrow confirmation to vent their anger, saying they felt their trust had been abused. Their indignation was echoed across the Capitol by lawmakers who said the court’s decision on Friday helped drain what was left of any credibility Supreme Court nominees have in their confirmation hearings.
‘I feel misled,’ Ms. Collins said in an interview, adding that the decision was in stark contrast to the assurances she had received privately from Justice Kavanaugh, who had made similar, if less exhaustive, pronouncements at his public hearing.
Mr. Manchin, the only Democrat to vote for Justice Kavanaugh, also expressed similar sentiments about Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who made his own strong statements about adhering to precedent during his confirmation in 2017.
‘I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,’ said Mr. Manchin, who himself is anti-abortion.
But the senators’ sense of betrayal has only highlighted the Kabuki theater that surrounds the Supreme Court confirmation process on Capitol Hill, in which lawmakers pose questions they know prospective justices are unlikely to fully answer and nominees offer comforting code words without committing to any particular position.
Senators pepper the nominee with questions about stare decisis — the principle of standing by things that have been decided — and commitment to precedent. Nominees tell the senators as little as possible but enough to get by, allowing the senators to cast their votes as they were predisposed to, depending on the nominating president’s party. It typically does not cause a huge backlash.
But with the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday, which eviscerated a nearly 50-year-old precedent and had far-reaching consequences, those statements of fealty to precedent began to look less like traditional hearing rhetoric and more, in the words of Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, like ‘rank deception.’
‘I have no respect left for some of the justices when you consider what they told us in their confirmation hearings,’ said Mr. Blumenthal, a former Supreme Court clerk. ‘Their credibility is approaching zero with us, but also with the American people.’” Read more at New York Times
“The Supreme Court on Friday overruled Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years in a 6-to-3 ruling. New York Times reporters are reading the majority opinion and continually providing analysis here.”
Anti-abortion protesters celebrated outside the Supreme Court on Friday.Credit...Shuran Huang for The New York Times
“Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, the attorney general in Missouri issued an opinion banning abortion in his state. Abortion clinics in several cities, including Montgomery, Ala., and Sioux Falls, S.D., shut down. But others in Illinois and Ohio kept seeing patients.
At a Phoenix clinic, 40 women were waiting to schedule appointments, setting the staff scrambling for answers about whether it was still allowed to perform abortions. ‘We sent a bunch of people home, and they were hysterical,’ said Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, the clinic’s owner.
In Ohio, Candice Keller, a former state representative who sponsored a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, broke down in tears of joy. ‘I just started to cry,’ Ms. Keller said. ‘It has been a real battle. It felt like you are never going to win. But we did win.’
The overturning of Roe on Friday, stunning even as it was long predicted, set off waves of triumph and of despair, from the protesters on either side massing in front of the Supreme Court, to abortion clinics and crisis pregnancy centers, and in texts with friends and bursting social media feeds.
The split-screen reaction reflected a polarized nation: jubilation and relief on one side, outrage and grief on the other.” Read more at New York Times
Anti-abortion activists celebrating at the Supreme Court.Credit...Shuran Huang for The New York Times
“The end of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling was the culmination of decades of work by Republicans and social conservatives — one that came to pass only after a former Democrat from New York who had once supported abortion rights helped muscle through three Supreme Court justices.
Publicly, former President Donald J. Trump heralded the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday ending federal abortion protections as a victory. Yet, as he faces possible prosecution over his efforts to subvert the 2020 election and prepares for a likely 2024 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump has privately told friends and advisers the ruling will be ‘bad for Republicans.’
When a draft copy of the decision leaked in May, Mr. Trump began telling friends and advisers that it would anger suburban women, a group who helped tilt the 2020 race to President Biden, and would lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.” Read more at New York Times
“WASHINGTON — Congress gave final approval on Friday to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous people from accessing firearms, ending nearly three decades of congressional inaction over how to counter gun violence and toughen the nation’s gun laws.
The House approved the measure 234 to 193 one month to the day after a gunman stormed into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and used a semiautomatic rifle to kill 19 children and two teachers, sparking outrage across the country and a flurry of negotiations on Capitol Hill. The measure now heads to President Biden, who is expected to sign it.
‘This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans,’ he said in a statement on Thursday evening. ‘Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it.’
Galvanized by the horror of the Texas shooting, as well as a racist attack at a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 Black people dead in May, lawmakers struck a deal that fell far short of the sweeping gun control measures Democrats have long demanded but was more expansive than the steps that Republicans have been willing to consider in the past given their hostility to any step that might curb access to guns.
The legislation will enhance background checks for potential gun buyers under the age of 21, requiring for the first time that authorities have time to examine juvenile records, including mental health records beginning at age 16.
It provides millions of dollars for states to implement so-called red flag laws that allow officials to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed in court to be too dangerous to own them, and other intervention programs. And it strengthens laws against straw purchasing and trafficking of guns.” Read more at New York Times
“DRUZHKIVKA, Ukraine — After weeks of bloody street fighting and months of withering artillery fire, Ukrainian forces will withdraw from Sievierodonetsk, a city that President Volodymyr Zelensky once said would determine the ‘fate’ of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
The retreat from the devastated industrial city on the east bank of the Siversky Donets River was confirmed Friday by Serhiy Haidai, the head of the military administration in Luhansk. It represents the most significant loss for the Ukrainian military since Russian forces seized Mariupol a month ago after a similarly brutal campaign of heavy shelling and street fighting left that southern port in ruins.
It means the Russian military can now concentrate fully on taking control of Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s twin city on the west bank of the river and the last city in the Luhansk region still under Ukrainian control. Analysts expect that the Russians will then set their sights on seizing the remnant of the Donetsk region still held by Ukrainian forces, which would complete their conquest of Donbas.
For now, the battle is far from over, and the fight for what has come to be known as the Sievierodonetsk pocket, a slice of territory now roughly 15 miles wide and three-quarters surrounded by Russian forces, has entered a new phase as Russian troops move to encircle Lysychansk.” Read more at New York Times
The FDA said that Juul hadn’t submitted sufficient evidence that its devices were safe.PHOTO: CRAIG MITCHELLDYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
“Juul Labs Inc. asked a federal appeals court on Friday to temporarily block the Food and Drug Administration’s order for the vaping company to immediately pull its e-cigarettes off the U.S. market, a decision that would abruptly halt its business.
In addition to fighting the FDA’s order, Juul has been working with its legal advisers on options that include a possible bankruptcy filing if the company is unable to get relief from the government’s ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The company’s counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, is advising on the contingency plans, the people said.
In a filing Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Juul asked for an administrative stay until it can petition the court for an emergency review of the FDA’s order. Juul said the FDA’s order was extraordinary and unlawful and it would suffer significant irreparable harm without a stay, according to its court filing, which was partly redacted.” Read more at Wall Street Journal
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Orlando Museum of Art on Friday, taking all 25 works that had been part of an exhibition on the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the museum said.
An affidavit filed to secure the search warrant called the collection’s origin story, as it had been described by its owners and the museum, into question, and noted that there was reason to doubt the authenticity of the art works.
The New York Times had previously reported that the F.B.I.’s Art Crime Team had been investigating the authenticity of 25 paintings that the museum had said were created by Basquiat and were on exhibit there for months.” Read more at New York Times
Lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google.
“The four Democrats allege the companies engage in unfair and deceptive practices by enabling the collection and sale of mobile-phone users’ personal information. Both companies have recently taken steps to limit these practices by allowing users to opt out of having their mobile-ad identifiers—a string of numbers and letters built into Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems—transmitted to apps. Apple and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment. The FTC declined to comment.” Read more at Wall Street Journal
“The World Health Organization is considering declaring monkeypox a global emergency following its rapid spread around the world.” [Vox] Read more at PBS Newshour
“BERLIN — Lawmakers voted on Friday to end a Nazi-era ban on the advertisement of abortion services, a measure that had effectively criminalized doctors who provided information about the procedure.
The law, though ignored for years, had recently prompted several high-profile legal cases against doctors. That, in turn, led to a sustained campaign by abortion-rights activists for repeal of the advertising ban, which Germany’s relatively new government had made a goal.
Abortion in Germany is legal until the 12th week of pregnancy, after a mandatory consulting session.
‘This is our day,’ wrote Nora Szász, a gynecologist in the central city of Kassel, in a Tweet. Referring to the law by its criminal code number, she added: ‘The #219a falls and with it a piece of the worst patronization of women.’
With the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that had legalized abortion, the German lawmakers’ decision reflected a broad counterpoint on the issue.” Read more at New York Times
“Mass protests led by Indigenous groups over surging food and gas prices in Ecuador entered their 12th day on Friday. An estimated 14,000 people have participated in the protests since mid-June.” [Vox] Read more at New York Times / José María León Cabrera and Megan Janetsky
“Tokyo (CNN)Drinks after work probably seemed like a good idea -- but for one worker in Japan the hangover is likely to last for some time.
The unnamed worker lost a USB flash drive containing the personal details of every resident of the city of Amagasaki, northwest of Osaka, after going for drinks this week, according to a statement Thursday from the city's government.
Public broadcaster NHK reported that the worker, a man in his 40s, fell asleep on the street after drinking alcohol at a restaurant. When he woke up, his bag containing the flash drive was gone.
The man works for a company tasked with providing benefits to tax-exempt households, the city government's statement said.
On Tuesday, he went to the city administration's information center and transferred residents' data onto a flash drive. The data included the names, birth dates, and addresses of 465,177 people, the statement said -- the city's entire population.
The flash drive also contained sensitive information including tax details, bank account names and numbers, and information on households receiving public assistance such as childcare payments.
On Wednesday, the employee searched for the flash drive but couldn't find it, so he filed a lost property report with the police, according to the government statement. Later that afternoon, the company notified city authorities about the loss.
The flash drive is encrypted, and no data leak has been confirmed yet, authorities said in the statement.
It added that though the employee had been authorized to access the data, he had not been given permission to transfer it onto a separate electronic device. The statement also criticized the employee for failing to erase the data from the flash drive after completing his work at the city office, and for carrying it personally instead of using a more secure transportation method.
Authorities held a news conference on Thursday, with the city's mayor and other officials bowing in apology to residents.
The city will make payments to eligible households without delays, and will provide more information on the case as they investigate, said the official statement -- which ended with a pointed reminder for government employees to get permission before taking flash drives out of the city's offices.” Read more at CNN