Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Wednesday asked his first question on the bench since 2016, reported the New York Times.

Details: The query came while the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing a case about racial discrimination during jury selection in Mississippi. The justices had, to that point, been in agreement that a white Mississippi prosecutor violated the Constitution in his attempt to block black jurors from 6 trials of Curtis Flowers, a convicted murderer. Thomas asked whether the defense lawyer in the sixth trial had eliminated any jurors and for the race of those jurors. Prior to 2016, Thomas hadn't said anything on the bench for a decade.

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China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.