The Hill's 12:30 Report: Justices sidestep major abortion decision despite pressure

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Justices avoid major abortion decision in ruling on Indiana law | Ranking the top 10 Dems in the 2020 primary | How Nevada could be a wild card in the 2020 race | Congress's to-do list gets longer | Senate GOP vows to quash any impeachment charge | Trump returning from Japan | Dem slams Trump for criticizing Biden in Japan | Trump knocks aircraft carrier design | National Hamburger Day deals

  

NEWS FROM THE SUPREME COURT

Punting on the issue of abortion … for now:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indiana's law that requires the fetal remains of abortion or miscarriages to be buried or cremated. http://bit.ly/2VQOyHW

Keep in mind: Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence communications director to leave White House White House crowd sings 'Happy Birthday' to Trump Trump won't say if he'd endorse Pence in 2024 MORE (R-Ind.) signed this fetal remains bill into law when he was governor of the state.

How the court sidestepped a bigger abortion ruling: The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a provision blocking abortions on the basis of sex, race or disability. 

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Why this is important: Conservative states have been passing abortion restrictions in recent months and are hoping the Supreme Court will take up an abortion case to issue a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Keep in mind: Legal experts say it is highly unlikely Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the near future, but both sides in the debate are watching the courts closely.

  

Transgender children in a Pennsylvania school district can choose which bathroom to use:

The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a transgender bathroom policy that allows Pennsylvania children to choose which bathroom and locker room aligned with their gender identity. http://bit.ly/2wnocTt

Which Pennsylvania schools: The case involved the Boyertown school district, in Philadelphia's far suburbs.

 

It's Tuesday -- welcome back! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Who will play the part of 'Maximum Security' and 'Country House'?:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, 24 Democrats are running for the presidential nomination to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE, but here are the top 10 Democrats with a real chance... and how they have moved in The Hill's rankings: http://bit.ly/2WbbXsI 

  1. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE -- ranked No. 2 in February.
  2. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (I-Vt.) -- ranked No. 3 in February.
  3. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Mass) -- ranked No. 5 in February.
  4. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Calif.) -- ranked No. 1 in February.
  5. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D) -- Was not ranked in February.
  6. Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeProgressive activist: Democratic nominee will 'need to ride a little bit to the center' Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points MORE (D-Texas) -- ranked No. 4 in February.
  7. Sen. Cory Booke r(D-N.J.) -- ranked No. 6 in February.
  8. Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE (D-Minn.) -- ranked No. 7 in February.
  9. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro-- Not ranked in February.
  10. Businessman Andrew YangAndrew Yang2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP MORE-- not ranked in February.

Breakdown for each contender: http://bit.ly/2WbbXsI

Who was on February's top 10 list but fell off: Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (D-N.Y.) dropped down. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCongress can defend against Russia by outlawing anonymous shell companies Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties MORE (D-Ohio) and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom The Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom Bloomberg pledges 0 million to close coal-fired power plants MORE also appeared in February's rankings, but both decided against running. Here's February's list: http://bit.ly/2Gzduk6

 

THE NEW 2020 WILD CARD:

The state of Nevada. How so: http://bit.ly/2EEG00X

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOne year after Singapore, the North Korea problem is bigger than nukes One year after Singapore, the North Korea problem is bigger than nukes China's Xi to visit North Korea: state media MORE v. Joe Biden

Trump takes the side you wouldn't (or maybe you would) expect:

Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted that he has confidence in North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and agreed with Kim's criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump tweeted: "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that's sending me a signal?" http://bit.ly/2I5rvnI

^ By the way, my autocorrect did ~not~ like the spelling of "Swampman."

What started this: North Korean media has been criticizing Joe Biden recently as "reckless and senseless, seized by ambition for power" and a "fool of low IQ." 

Then yesterday, Trump was asked about his tweet: And the president doubled down on his Biden insults by saying, "Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is based on his record. I think I agree with him on that." 

 

THEN THIS MORNING:

House Democratic Caucus chairman Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) slammed President Trump for his comments about Biden, calling Trump the "fake leader of the free world." Jeffries's full tweet: "Many House Republicans wrap themselves in the flag and patriotic rhetoric. But they have nothing to say when fake leader of the free world blatantly sides with a Communist North Korean Dictator? PHONIES."  http://bit.ly/2XdjlA6

 

Trump criticizes aircraft carrier redesign:

"President Trump criticized plans to overhaul some U.S. aircraft carriers' catapults while speaking to sailors aboard an assault ship stationed in Japan on Tuesday." The issue: Powering the catapults with steam vs. electric. http://bit.ly/2VSkGLn

Trump said aboard the USS Wasp: "You know, they were saying -- one of the folks said, 'No, the electric works faster. But, sir, we can only get the plane there every couple of minutes.' So, really, what they did was wrong ... I think I'm going to put an order. When we build a new aircraft carrier, we're going to use steam. I'm going to just put out an order: We're going to use steam. We don't need -- we don't need that extra speed." 

Trump added: "Steam's only worked for about 65 years perfectly." 

Trumps also noted: The cost to upgrade the catapult systems has reached $900 million.

 

Tidbit from the USS Wasp:


 

PHOTOS FROM THE JAPAN TRIP:

Here are photos posted from first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpPress: Why do we need a new press secretary? What President Trump needs in his next press secretary  White House mulling restoring daily press briefing with Sanders replacement: report MOREhttp://bit.ly/30YIMrE

 

HERE ARE FIVE TAEKAWAYS FROM THE TRIP: 

http://bit.ly/2YSED6w

 

IN CONGRESS

That to-do list is growing, guys:

"With the first half of 2019 off to a slow legislative start, both chambers are facing a potential logjam of crucial deadlines and competing priorities heading into the back half of the year. Lawmakers say they are eager to start moving bills, but deep partisan divisions, and the looming 2020 elections, sets the stage for significant political and policy clashes." http://bit.ly/2YSWGJL 

Here's a list of legislation to keep an eye on:

  • Disaster aid
  • Budget caps
  • Debt ceiling
  • Government funding
  • Infrastructure
  • Surveillance
  • Violence Against Women Act
  • Defense authorization
  • Food insurance

Details for each: http://bit.ly/2YSWGJL

  

LATEST WITH IMPEACHMENT TALKS

Don't stress, we got you:
Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, even if House Democrats move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump, Republican senators say they will quickly quash the effort in the higher chamber. http://bit.ly/2X8T5qt

How that works: "While [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Jon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE (R-Ky.)] is required to act on articles of impeachment, which require 67 votes -- or a two-thirds majority -- to convict the president, he and his Republican colleagues have the power to set the rules and ensure the briefest of trials."  

From Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? Trump wishes 'Happy Father's Day to all,' including 'worst and most vicious critics' MORE (R-S.C.): "I think it would be disposed of very quickly. ... If it's based on the Mueller report, or anything like that, it would be quickly disposed of." 

 

MEANWHILE IN THE HOUSE:

Here are seven key allies for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (D-Calif.) as she tries to tamp down Democratic calls for President Trump's impeachment: http://bit.ly/2YSmKoi

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Hahahahahaha: 

If you're curious what the dress looked like: Here's a photo -- she looked great!: http://bit.ly/2wqc58p

  

When your mind is wandering:

 

Full-size photo: Oh wow, this is pretty funny. http://bit.ly/2I8GoFU

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out.  

President Trump is on his way back to Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump get back to the White House after their trip to Japan.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

Happening now: Scripps National Spelling Bee. 539 contestants still remain. Livestream: https://es.pn/2HFqbJn

10 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) appears on MSNBC with Lawrence O'DonnellLawrence Francis O'DonnellCNN's Don Lemon: 'Extremely shortsighted' if NY Times barring reporters from my show New York Times reinforces policy prohibiting reporters from appearing on cable shows like Maddow Harris praises Amash for calling for Trump's impeachment: He has 'put country before party' MORE

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Hamburger Day

To celebrate, here's a list of burger deals today: http://bit.ly/2HHg9Yn

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a hippo with the same summer plans as me: http://bit.ly/2HHgDxK