1/ Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of July, giving Trump a second chance to fundamentally shift the court to the right for decades by creating a five-member conservative majority. Kennedy was the court’s leading champion of gay rights, who also joined the court’s liberals in cases on abortion, affirmative action and the death penalty. Kennedy’s decision to retire will impact the midterm elections, as Democrats and Republicans seek control of the Senate, which confirms Supreme Court justices. Senate Democrats currently lack the number of votes needed to deny the seat to Trump’s nominee. (CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times)

  • What Kennedy’s departure from the Supreme Court will mean for abortion, gay rights, and more. Kennedy has been the swing vote on many of the Court’s most ideologically charged decisions. (Vox)

  • Mitch McConnell promised a Senate vote on a new Supreme Court nominee by the fall. Trump added that the search for Kennedy’s successor will begin “immediately.” (The Hill / New York Times)

  • Charles Schumer called McConnell’s determination to vote a Supreme Court nominee before the November midterm elections the “height of hypocrisy” for Republicans. McConnell kept Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant for more than a year after he died, arguing that voters should weigh in during the 2016 presidential election on the ideological balance of the high court. (The Hill)

2/ The House rejected the latest Republican immigration bill in a 301 to 121 vote despite a last-minute tweet, all caps tweet of support from Trump. Lawmakers will now leave for their 10-day Fourth of July recess with no resolution on the fate of the Dreamers, who were brought to the country illegally as children. (CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post)

3/ A federal judge ordered the federal government to reunite migrant families separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and to end most family separations. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw issued a nationwide injunction requiring that all children under the age of five be reunited with their parents within 14 days and that older children be reunited within 30 days, and temporarily stopping the practice of separating children from their parents. The judge also ordered that all children who have been separated be allowed to talk to their parents within 10 days. (Politico / New York Times / CNN / Washington Post)

  • Melania Trump will visit more immigration holding centers this week. [Editor’s note: I really don’t care, do u?] (Politico)

4/ Jeff Sessions called the outrage over separating migrant children from their families a “radicalized” issue championed by the “lunatic fringe” living in “gated communities.” Sessions was speaking to the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Los Angeles where he suggested that those those who condemn the division of families who cross the border illegally are hypocrites. “These same people live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in and hear them speak,” Sessions said, “They like a little security around themselves, and if you try to scale the fence, believe me, they’ll be even too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.” (Washington Post / New York Daily News)

5/ The Supreme Court ruled that non-union public-sector workers cannot be required to pay union fees despite being represented by the union in collective bargaining negotiations. A 1977 decision made the distinction that forcing nonmembers to pay for a union’s political activities violated the First Amendment, but that it was constitutional to require nonmembers to help pay for the union’s collective bargaining efforts. More than one-third of public employees are unionized, and public-sector unions stand to lose tens of millions of dollars as a result of the ruling. (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NBC News)

6/ A former Fox News executive is expected to be the next White House communications director. Bill Shine was forced out as Fox News co-president for how he handled sexual harassment claims at the network. Shine is good friends with Sean Hannity. (CNN / Washington Post / New York Times)

7/ Trump will meet Putin in the next few weeks, according to national security adviser John Bolton. The meeting is expected to take place in mid-July, when Trump will be in Europe for a previously scheduled NATO summit in Brussels on July 11-12. America’s European allies are worried that Trump’s meeting with Putin will undermine the NATO summit in the same way Trump clashed with allies at the G7 summit and then praised dictator Kim Jong-un. Asked why the meeting was taking place, Bolton replied: “I’d like to hear someone say this is a bad idea.” (New York Times / CNN / Axios / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

8/ First-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District on Tuesday. Ocasio-Cortez’s grassroots victory is being called one of the most shocking political upsets of the year, marking the first time in 14 years that a member of Crowley’s own party attempted to unseat him. Crowley outspent Ocasio-Cortez by a 10-to-1 margin. (CNN / Vox)

  • Top takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries. (Politico)

  • Former NAACP chief Ben Jealous won Maryland’s Democratic primary for governor and will now take on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the November election. Jealous promised to deliver a progressive agenda that includes free college, legal marijuana and a $15-an-hour minimum wage. (Baltimore Sun)

poll/ 37% of voters support the GOP tax overhaul – down from 44% in April. 55% of voters say they have not noticed an increase in their paychecks as a result of the law. (Politico)

poll/ 74% of voters support Trump’s decision to reverse his administration’s own policy of separating children from their family when they’re caught crossing the border illegally. 44% approve of the way Trump is handling immigration, compared to 48% who disapprove. (Politico)

poll/ 92% of Republicans believe the news media frequently and intentionally reports false or misleading stories. Overall, 65% of Americans think fake news is reported because “people have an agenda,” 30% believe it’s due to laziness or “poor fact-checking,” and 3% think fake news is reported by accident. (Axios)


  1. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will receive temporary Secret Service protection for an unspecified period of time. The protective detail comes days after Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA, over her role in the Trump administration. (CNN)

  2. Conservatives unsuccessfully lobbied Scott Pruitt last year to remove a career staffer in hopes of derailing the 13-agency National Climate Assessment, which concluded that human activity is “extremely likely” to be driving climate change. Conservatives wanted Pruitt to “recall and replace” the staffer, who worked for the committee overseeing the congressionally mandated report. (Politico)

  3. The man charged with murder of a woman at last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, now faces federal hate crime charges. The Department of Justice indicted James Alex Fields Jr. with a hate crime resulting in death, 29 charges for hate crimes involving an attempt to kill dozens of people, and one charge of “racially motivated violent interference” with a federally protected activity. (Associated Press / Vox / New York Times)

  4. Trump’s voter fraud commission was ordered to hand over documents demanded by Democrats by July 18. The now-defunct Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was set up after Trump’s inauguration in order to investigate his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election. It was dissolved after some states refused to hand over voter information. (The Hill)

  5. North Korea continues to make upgrades to its nuclear reactor “at a rapid pace,” despite pledging to denuclearize. Satellite imagery shows infrastructure improvements to the site, including the cooling system for the plutonium production reactor. (The Guardian)

  6. Trump made 103 false statements last week, setting a new one-week record for his presidency. His previous record for false claims in a week was 60, which he set in early March. By some counts, that brings Trump’s total to 1,829 false claims in the first 521 days of his presidency, an average of 3.5 per day. Other counts put the number of false or misleading statements above 3,000. (Toronto Star)