1/ The first presidential debate between the two oldest candidates to ever seek the White House was an embarrassment for America – and a disaster for Biden. Minutes into the debate, Biden, 81, appeared unsteady as he frequently stumbled over his words, cited incorrect facts and figures, and often paused to correct phrases mid-sentence as part of his meandering and – at times – unintelligible delivery. At one point, Biden drifted from taxes to child care to health care to “Covid” before concluding that he “finally beat Medicare.” Minutes later, after Biden trailed off again, Trump responded: “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said, either.” When he wasn’t speaking, Biden stood slack-jawed and stared off into the distance. Following the debate, Biden said he thought he “did well” and that “it’s hard to debate a liar.” Later, Biden acknowledged his poor debate performance and age, saying: “I’m not a young man, to state the obvious. I don’t walk as easy as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong.” His campaign attributed his hoarse voice and slow start to “a cold.” Publicly and privately, some Democrats have started questioning whether the party could or should replace Biden as their presidential nominee. Trump, 78, meanwhile, was himself: incoherent and deranged. The convicted felon refused to condemn the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, refused say whether he’d accept the results of the election if he loses, repeated his lies about fraud in the 2020 election, claimed liberal doctors are killing newborn babies, mused about when “we had H20” and how his environmental “numbers” were the “best ever,” attacked asylum seekers and other immigrants, and continuously offered strings of falsehoods and exaggerations that had little or no basis in fact instead of answering the questions from moderators. In the sharpest exchanges of the night, Biden called Trump a “convicted felon” with the “morals of an alley cat,” and “such a whiner,” while Trump claimed Biden’s performance in office has been “absolutely criminal,” and falsely alleged that Biden “gets paid by China,” and is a “Manchurian candidate.” Trump added: “He’s not equipped to be president. You know it and I know it. It’s ridiculous. […] We shouldn’t be having a debate about it. There’s nothing to debate.” The second and last debate is schedule for Sept. 10. (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

  • 📝 Takeaways: Associated Press / CNN / NBC News / ABC News / NPR / Wall Street Journal

  • 📝 Fact checks: NBC News / New York Times / CNN

  • Most memorable lines from the Biden-Trump debate. “Biden accused Trump of having the ‘morals of an alley cat,’ while Trump seized on Biden’s verbal missteps, such as saying his administration ‘finally beat Medicare.’ (Washington Post)

  • The Big Takeaway From Biden’s Extremely Rough Debate Night. “Biden could not speak extemporaneously in a coherent manner for much of the debate. He didn’t look confident, staring down and around, mouth slight agape.” (Slate)

  • Was the Debate the Beginning of the End of Joe Biden’s Presidency? “The news of the debate was not Trump saying crazy, untrue things, though he did so in abundance. It was Biden. The President of the United States, eighty-one years old and asking to be returned to office until age eighty-six, looked and sounded old. Too old. His voice was muffled. He lost his train of thought. He raced through answers. When Trump talked, the split screen showed Biden staring, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, in a way that made him look even older.” (The New Yorker)

  • Is There a Good Reason Not to Panic? Well, No, Not Really. “The Democrats have always had three options. Sticking with Joe Biden always seemed like the least bad option. Last night, that changed.” (The New Republic)

  • Democrats can and should replace Joe Biden. “A comatose Joe Biden would make a better president than Donald Trump. And the president’s capacity to lead the executive branch is, by most accounts, far greater than his capacity to speak in coherent, extemporaneous sentences.” (Vox)

  • Time to Go, Joe. “Whatever happens would not be as bad as what happened to Biden last night in Atlanta. Or, for that matter, to the scores of people around the country and globe who have been forced to root for him against the catastrophic alternative. Denial had its place, but it is not a strategy.” (The Atlantic)

  • Ditch Biden. That Debate Performance Was a Disaster. “All Biden had to do was appear mildly competent. All he had to do was let Donald Trump be Donald Trump. Then the rest would take care of itself. It’s hard to see how the bar could have been set any lower. And yet Biden not only failed to meet it, he delivered what may very well be the single worst debate performance in American history.” (The New Republic)

  • Biden Must Drop Out. “There are three ways to go about this.” (Slate)

  • At Least No One Is Accusing Biden of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs. (New York Magazine)

  • Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping. “Participants in meetings said the 81-year-old president performed poorly at times. The White House said Biden is sharp and his critics are playing partisan politics.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • Trump Should Never Have Had This Platform. “Through the uproar, it will be important to keep in mind that this election is not about Biden. It’s about you and your commitments and your values. Biden is just the instrument. Like any instrument, he’s imperfect. But better an imperfect instrument than a would-be autocrat who demands a cult of personality.” (The Atlantic)

2/ The Supreme Court ruled that the Justice Department improperly charged charge more than 300 people with obstructing Congress during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, including Trump’s. In a 6-3 ruling — in which two justices crossed ideological lines — the court concluded that a 2002 law, which was enacted after the Enron scandal to prevent destruction of evidence in financial crimes, only applied in cases where the alleged obstruction related to “impairing the availability or integrity” of “records, documents, or objects” used in the disrupted proceeding. The court ruled that the Justice Department had applied the law too broadly and that the physical presence of some of the rioters inside the Capitol alone was not “obstruction of an official proceeding” under the law. The ruling may force prosecutors to reconsider charges in dozens of pending cases, and judges may need to resentence some defendants already sent to prison for interfering with Congress’ effort to certify Biden’s victory. (Associated Press / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN / NBC News / ABC News)

3/ The Supreme Court upended a 40-year-old decision and weakened the executive branch’s ability to interpret laws it’s charged with implementing. The court’s six conservative justices overturned the 1984 decision colloquially known as Chevron, which required judges to defer to federal agencies’ “reasonable” interpretations of “ambiguous” federal laws. The ruling expands the power of federal judges to overturn agency decisions over environmental, public health, workplace safety, consumer protections, and more. The precedent, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, is one of the most cited in American law. (Politico / Axios / Associated Press / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNN / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)

4/ The Supreme Court ruled that cities can ban people from sleeping and camping in public places. In its first ruling on homelessness in four decades, the court found that a local ordinance in a small Oregon town, which criminalize behaviors associated with being unhoused, like sleeping or camping on public property or in parks, doesn’t amount to “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment even when no shelter is available. In Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, she called laws against homeless individuals “unconscionable and unconstitutional,” saying “Sleep is a biological necessity, not a crime.” Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said homelessness is complex, but the Eighth Amendment “does not authorize federal judges to wrest those rights and responsibilities from the American people and in their place dictate this Nation’s homelessness policy.” (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / NPR / Axios / Associated Press / Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

5/ The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the state’s six-week abortion ban. Iowa joins 17 states that have now banned all or most abortions following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, affecting more than 1 in 3 women ages 15 to 44. “There is no right more sacred than life, and nothing more worthy of our strongest defense than the innocent unborn,” Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said, adding that “I’m glad that the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the will of the people of Iowa.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / CNN)

  • 📅 The WTFJHT Calendar: Now until then.

  • ⚖️ July 1: Supreme Court’s decision on Trump’s immunity.
    ⛔️ July 4: Independence Day – No WTFJHT.
    ⚖️ July 11: Trump is sentenced.
    🐘 July 15: Republican National Convention.
    🇮🇱 July 24: Netanyahu addresses joint session of Congress.
    🫏 Aug. 19: Democratic convention.
    ⛔️ Sept. 2: Labor Day – No WTFJHT.
    📺 Sept. 10: Biden-Trump debate.
    📆 Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote in some states.
    ⛔️ Oct. 14: Indigenous Peoples’ Day – No WTFJHT.
    🗳️ Nov. 5: Presidential Election.