1/ Trump nominated federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh served under Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh also worked on the 2000 Florida recount litigation that ended in a Supreme Court decision that handed George W. Bush the presidency. "What matters is not a judge's personal views," Trump said, "but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say I have found, without doubt, such a person." Trump called Kavanaugh a judge with "impeccable credentials," and said he is "considered a judge's judge." (New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Washington Post)

  • Brett Kavanaugh's track record. A sampling of Kavanaugh's most important decisions and past statements about policy issues. (Politico)

  • Where Brett Kavanaugh might fit on the Supreme Court. According to at least one measure, Kavanaugh may be less conservative than Neil Gorsuch. (New York Times)

  • Brett Kavanaugh, explained. He's a veteran of every conservative fight from the Clinton impeachment to the fight against Obamacare. (Vox)

  • Who is Brett Kavanaugh? Bio, facts, background and political views. (Politico)

2/ Chuck Schumer: "I will oppose [Brett Kavanaugh] with everything I've got." The Senate minority leader said Kavanaugh's potential opposition to Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act is "far against what the American people want. When they learn this, they're going to oppose the nominee." (Washington Post)

  • Republicans control a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Democrats need at least two GOP lawmakers – plus every Democrat – in order to block Kavanaugh's confirmation. With Sen. John McCain undergoing cancer treatment, the Republican majority is trimmed to 50-49. However, several Democratic senators are up for reelection in states where Trump won in 2016. Three Democratic senators (Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Donnelly) broke with the party last year to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Politico)

  • If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, 22 states will likely ban abortions. Reversing the case wouldn't automatically make abortion illegal; instead, the decision about abortion legality would be returned to the states. Four states — Louisiana, Mississippi and North and South Dakota — have "trigger laws," which would immediately make abortion illegal if and when the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. (NPR)

  • Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins signaled their comfort with Kavanaugh. Murkowski said "there were some who have been on the list that I would have had a very, very difficult time supporting." Collins touted Kavanaugh's experience, saying: "It will be very difficult for anyone to argue that he’s not qualified for the job." (Politico)

3/ A federal judge rejected Trump's request to allow long-term detention of children who entered the U.S. illegally with their parents. A 1997 consent decree limits the time children can be held in immigration detention to no more than 20 days. Judge Dolly M. Gee called the legal reasoning behind Trump's attempt to get out from under the legal agreement "tortured," and said it was "a cynical attempt" to shift immigration policy. Trump responded to the ruling: "I have a solution: Tell people not to come to our county illegally. That's the solution." (Politico / New York Times / Reuters)

  • The ACLU accused the Trump administration of unnecessarily delaying the reunification of immigrant children and parents by DNA testing every family, which violates their privacy and civil liberties, slows down the reunifications, and is not required either by law or by current circumstances. (Talking Points Memo)

  • The Pentagon said it would not pay for housing some 32,000 immigrants detained due to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. The Defense Department "is not going to have any involvement, any interaction with the children or the families." Instead, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services would be responsible for their care. (Foreign Policy)

  • A federal judge ordered the U.S. government reunite 63 children under the age of five or face penalties, but didn't specific what penalties could be applied. "These are firm deadlines," the judge said. "They are not aspirational goals." (Reuters)

4/ A senior European Union official told Trump that "US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU." European Council President Donald Tusk's comment came shortly before Trump tweeted that American military spending on NATO was "very unfair!" Tusk added that "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem." (Associated Press / New York Times)

5/ Trump said his sit-down with Putin will probably be easier than his meeting with NATO allies. "I have NATO. I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all," Trump said. "Who would think?" He added that he sees Putin as a "competitor." (Politico / CNN / Axios)

  • Green Day's "American Idiot" is topping the UK charts in time for Trump's visit on Thursday. (Slate / HuffPost)

6/ During their trip to Moscow last week, an all-Republican delegation of U.S. lawmakers met with at least two Russian individuals who are currently sanctioned by the United States. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama spoke with Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who has been sanctioned since 2014 for Russia's "illegitimate and unlawful" activities in Ukraine. The group also heard from Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Konstantin Kosachev, who complained about the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals. Kosachev was sanctioned in April over Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and other "malign activity." (BuzzFeed News)

  • Two Republican senators are downplaying Russian election interference after their July 4th trip to Moscow. Sen. Ron Johnson suggested that Congress went too far in punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, calling the meddling "unacceptable," but "not the greatest threat to our democracy" and that "we've blown it way out of proportion." Rep. Kay Granger, meanwhile, said she met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and said the U.S. and Russia "can be competitors without being adversaries." (Roll Call / Law and Crime)

  • One Republican told Russian government officials to "stop screwing with our election." Sen. John Kennedy said he warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Congress will "double down on sanctions … if you screw with the elections this fall." (CNN)

poll/ Democrats face long odds to take back the Senate with three Democratic senators poised to lose their seats to Republicans. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Bill Nelson in Florida and Joe Donnelly in Indiana are all behind in the polls. To win the Senate, Democrats need to keep all 10 seats they're defending in states that Trump won in 2016 – plus pick up two more seats. (Axios) / SurveyMonkey)


Notables.

  1. Rudy Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally and through his law firm while serving as Trump's personal attorney. Giuliani said in recent interviews that he is working with clients in Brazil and Colombia, among other countries, in addition to giving paid speeches for an Iranian dissident group. Giuliani has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients, saying that it's not necessary because he does not directly lobby the U.S. government and he doesn't charge Trump for his services. (Washington Post)

  2. A federal judge delayed the sentencing of Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to Robert Mueller's investigators. Flynn could be sentenced by late October. (NPR / NBC News / Los Angeles Times)

  3. A federal judge ordered that Paul Manafort be moved to a detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, "to ensure that the defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense." (Politico / Washington Post)

  4. The EPA sent a proposed rule to relax carbon dioxide emissions standards for power plants to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. The rule would replace the Clean Power Plan, an important part of Obama's climate change agenda to reduce carbon emissions by 32% from America's energy sector by 2030, with a more industry-friendly alternative. (The Hill)