The Slatest for Jan. 18: Texas Is Trying to Incite a Violent Clash at the Border. Where Is the Supreme Court?

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the state’s National Guard to block Border Patrol agents from doing their jobs, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (the Trumpiest federal appeals court) cleared the way for him to do so.

Now tensions are mounting by the hour—and if violence breaks out, Mark Joseph Stern writes, the Supreme Court will share the blame. He explains how this whole saga at the border has unfolded, why the Texas Guard’s actions violate federal law, and why the high court really needs to intervene.

Judge Aileen Cannon is quietly undermining the Trump classified documents case. A new order she issued last week adds to “the mountain of evidence that she is firmly in the former president’s pocket,” Dennis Aftergut and Laurence H. Tribe write. They explain how Judge Cannon has clearly learned all the wrong lessons since her first pro-Trump ruling in 2022.

A woman holds her arm around a boy with a bandage on his head.
AFP via Getty Images

As the war in Gaza hit its 100-day mark this week, the International Court of Justice has been deliberating on that question. On What Next, Mary C. Curtis spoke to international law professor Adil Haque about what exactly constitutes a genocide.

A challenge to Florida’s stringent abortion regime is currently before the state’s Supreme Court. Adam Richardson explains why the Ron DeSantis–appointed judges who will soon be tasked with deciding on reproductive rights in the state have such a warped view of history.

The side of a Boeing 737-9 Max jet from the Alaska Airlines fleet. The space where the door plug should be is covered with a sheet of plastic, and orange stairs lead to the opening.
National Transportation Safety Board via Getty Images

An Alaska Airlines flight narrowly escaped disaster—and its experience is a warning. For What Next: TBD, Lizzie O’Leary spoke to Jon Ostrower about how Boeing got to this terrifying point.

Everyone should be rooting for the Detroit Lions to go all the way, Alex Kirshner argues. He explains why they’re the league’s most irresistible team in years.

A blue Stanley cup in the sky has wings.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Amazon and Getty Images Plus.

No, no, not the hockey one—we’re talking about the reusable water cups that have been trending on TikTok. “It’s basically,” Meg Duff writes, “a Big Gulp with a glow-up.” She has a few ideas about what’s behind the sudden boom.

We’re glad you asked! After New York magazine ran an illustration of four cats hugging on the cover to illustrate a story on polyamory, Anna Gibbs consulted some experts about the mating and social habits of felines.

But you don’t have to! Kelly M. Justice shares the surprising anecdote to imposter syndrome.

Thanks so much for reading, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.