The Slatest for Jan. 16: One Reason DeSantis’ Big Gamble on Iowa Didn’t Pay Off

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Well! Trump won the Iowa caucuses handily last night—and while the result isn’t surprising, it does really ramp up that sense of shovel-worthy dread, doesn’t it?

• Reporting from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mike Hlas gives us a sense of the scene on a particularly frigid caucus night, and explains why Iowa voters chose Trump.

• Jim Newell explains where the rest of the GOP field goes from here, and points out where the media messed up in its coverage.

• And you know who really didn’t win the Iowa caucuses? Ron DeSantis, who focused his campaign strategy intensely on Iowa, but failed to win a single county. Ben Mathis-Lilley has some ideas about why he flopped so badly.

• Plus: Candidates are dropping like flies! (So long, Vivek!) Who is even still in this race? Shirin Ali has the full rundown of all the candidates who’ve dropped out and those who are forging on.

A Guess Who? board with the faces of key players in Trump's defamation trial.
Illustration by Slate. Photos by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Office of Habba Law, Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images and Spencer Platt/Getty Images

E. Jean Carroll is taking Trump back to court a second time! The trial got underway today—and it promises to tell us how his criminal trials are going to go, Robert Katzberg writes.

Plus: Shirin Ali introduces all the key players in the trial, and Jill Filipovic explains what’s at stake (money, mostly, but not only).

There’s been a subtle but important change over the past century in how cases are selected—and its consequences are suddenly becoming very apparent. Dahlia Lithwick speaks with law professor Ben Johnson about how the Supreme Court became a gatekeeper for what kind of legal decisions are made these days.

Collage: Ayo Edebiri, Quinta Brunson, and Niecy Nash-Betts all in glamorous dress, holding Emmy awards.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

There was something a little different about this year’s Emmys—and not just because the awards show took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (they were delayed by the writers strike). “With a Black host, multiple Black winners, and showcased reunions of underappreciated Black television shows, this may have been the Blackest Emmys in recent memory,” Nadira Goffe writes. She takes a look at the highlights of the night.

Musk is in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board for allegedly violating his workers’ free speech rights. Jason Solomon and Erica Posey argue that “in doing so, he inadvertently illustrated a path forward for workers and democracy.”

After Dazed and Confused and before A Time to Kill, there was John Sayles’ masterpiece: Lone Star, a brilliant thriller that captured life on the border before the wall. Dan Kois speaks with Sayles about the Western that helped make Matthew McConaughey a star.

A white whale has a ticking clock in its mouth.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.

… much like Luke Winkie was during his 24-hour marathon of reading Moby-Dick! He explains why it was actually a whale of a time.

Thanks so much for reading! We’ll see you back here tomorrow.