Supreme Court history, New York gun bill, Liz Cheney debate: 5 things to know Thursday

·5 min read

Justice Breyer to retire from Supreme Court; Ketanji Brown Jackson to make history

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer said his retirement from the Supreme Court will be effective Thursday after the court issues its final set of rulings for this term. In January, Breyer informed Biden that he would step down at the end of the term in the summer if his replacement was confirmed by the Senate. Breyer is one of three justices of the court's liberal wing, who dissented from a ruling last week that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion established by the court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former public defender who rose to become a judge on a powerful federal appeals court, will make history when she is sworn in early Thursday afternoon as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the 116th justice overall. She will be joining three women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member court.

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New York bill in response to Supreme Court gun ruling may pass

New York will ban people from carrying firearms into many places of business unless the owners put up a sign explicitly saying guns are welcome, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday. The Democrat said she and legislative leaders have agreed on the broad strokes of a gun control bill that is poised to pass as soon as Thursday, just days after the Supreme Court struck down the state's handgun licensing law. Due to the court's ruling, New Yorkers will, for the first time in more than a century, be able to get a license to carry a gun outside the home for personal defense. Previously, it was hard to get an unrestricted handgun license unless you worked in law enforcement or security. But Hochul said she also wanted to protect the rights of property owners who decide they don't want firearms on the premises. "We're going to protect the rights of private property owners (and) allow them to not have to be subjected to someone walking into their workplace or a bar, restaurant with a concealed weapon," Hochul said.

Rep. Liz Cheney goes back to Wyoming after hearings to debate GOP foes

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is returning to Wyoming after a busy week of hearing public testimony before the House Jan. 6 committee to debate Republican primary challengers in Sheridan on Thursday. The televised debate will feature Cheney and four challengers, none as well known as attorney Harriet Hageman, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Facing a backlash among Republicans in deep-red Wyoming, Cheney will likely draw criticism for investigating Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election and his encouragement of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The state Republican Party last year censured Cheney and voted to not recognize her as a Republican. Even so, Cheney out-raised Hageman by a well over 2-to-1 margin over the first three months of 2022. On Wednesday, Cheney urged her party to rid itself of Trump, calling the former president a clear and present threat to the GOP and to American democracy at large during an address at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.

NBA's free-agent frenzy: Dominoes fall as teams, players make moves

On the eve of NBA free agency, a pair of superstars declined the player options on the final years of their contracts to become unrestricted free agents. However, James Harden (Philadelphia 76ers) and Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) appear likely to return to their old teams on new deals. Wednesday was the deadline for Harden, Beal and others to make decisions on their player options ahead of free agency. Players that declined their options can begin negotiating with teams when the free agency moratorium opens Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. This year's free-agency period may be short on blockbuster moves as relatively few contenders have salary cap space to offer max contracts. So, it will be interesting to see which teams improve through trades in the offseason. Guard Zach LaVine is the most prominent unrestricted free agent available, and it would be a serious blow to the Chicago Bulls' effort to compete in the Eastern Conference if he leaves.

If you're driving for the July Fourth holiday, leave now

A record 42 million people are expected to take Fourth of July road trips this year, according to AAA, and if you're one of them, you're likely to be stuck in traffic. Drivers should expect some of the worst travel delays during on Thursday and Friday afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Here are the best times to travel for the holiday weekend, according to transportation data company Inrix:

  • Thursday: Before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

  • Friday: Before 10 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

  • Saturday: Before noon or after 7 p.m.

Sunday and Monday, meanwhile, are expected to have low congestion all day. So plan ahead, and leave early.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ketanji Brown Jackson, New York gun bill, Liz Cheney: 5 things to know Thursday