Simple Politics Year in Review: 2022
As we begin 2023, let's take stock of 2022
Happy January, friends!
But first, let’s take a moment to recap a bit of 2022.
It was a year of stripped constitutional rights for women and girls, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the January 6th Committee hearings, the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, the supermarket killings in my home town of Buffalo, and the nail-biter midterm elections.
The “breaking” news was endless, sometimes senseless, and hard to keep track of—let alone unpack. The complex threats facing American democracy are why I wrote three books on civic education, and why I created Simple Politics: to bring elite legal education beyond the walls of the law school classroom, to prompt thoughtful dialogue and, ultimately, to encourage positive change through learning and communication.
Thanks so much to all of you for following my work and for reading this newsletter, which I started last summer. I am excited to share more in 2023.
Here’s what I have my eye on:
(1) whether Donald Trump is indicted so that the Oval Office has accountability moving forward;
(2) how much more power does the now-radical Supreme Court majority assign to itself at the expense of the presidency, Congress, the states—and thus the people; and
(3) what the GOP-led House does with its investigative powers, other than stoke increasingly ugly chaos (remember, multiple sitting members asked Trump for pardons).
For now, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite articles, life updates and podcasts from last year below!
As always, thanks for reading, and if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe!
Simple Politics with Kim Wehle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
My latest book, How To Think Like a Lawyer — and Why, was released with Harper Collins!
2022 Roundup of Podcasts
How to Think Like a Lawyer and Why
April 2022: On this episode of the Utterly Moderate Podcast, I discussed my book, how we get reliable points of view, how we create spaces in which to talk about hard stuff, and how to make hard decisions.
A Deep Dive On Roe
May 2022: On this episode of the Bulwark Podcast, I discuss the constitutional Framers’ intent to keep government out of certain spheres of private life and how that pertains to Roe v. Wade.
Jan. 6 Committee Report: Analysis
Dec. 2022: I discussed with Midday for NPR the long-awaited final report from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, which was released in December 2022. The Select Committee recommended that former President Donald Trump be prosecuted for four crimes.
2022 Roundup of Articles
The Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of the federal government, stripping women of their constitutional rights, hamstringing states’ ability to regulate guns, and sidelining the constitutional mandate to keep religion out of government, virtually overnight. Read Article here
As I wrote for Politico, considered alongside two First Amendment rulings last term, the Dobbs decision marked a serious step in an emerging campaign by religious conservatives on the Supreme Court to undermine the separation of church and state and to promote Christianity as an intrinsic component of democratic government. Read Article here
It is difficult to overstate the constitutional significance of the final public hearing of the House January 6th Committee. Read Article here
After months of wrangling, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, agreed to sit for an interview with the January 6 Committee – thus avoiding a subpoena, at least for now, as I explained for The Guardian. Read Article here
Unlike for presidents, there is ample precedent for firing federal judges via impeachment. Though no Supreme Court justice has ever been removed this way, there have been two attempts, as I wrote in Politico. Read Article here
For Politico, I wrote about an issue that got lost in the coverage of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings: requests for presidential pardons by people who advanced Donald Trump’s election fraud lies. Some of them are sitting members of the House majority today. Read Article here
In June of 2022, I joined ABC News as a legal contributor!
I will continue to work exclusively with ABC News in 2023, so make sure to tune in! You can catch all my interviews on my YouTube channel here.