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 PenceBill Maher says he's 'glad' David Koch is dead Five things to know about David Koch Former sheriff's deputy files lawsuit claiming he was fired for not wanting to be alone with a woman 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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 BidenBiden evokes 1968, asks voters to imagine if Obama had been assassinated Biden blasts Trump's 'embarrassing' actions heading into G-7 summit Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates MORE -- ranked No. 2 in February.
  2. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country MORE (I-Vt.) -- ranked No. 3 in February.
  3. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Mass) -- ranked No. 5 in February.
  4. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Calif.) -- ranked No. 1 in February.
  5. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Stocks sink as Trump fights with Fed, China Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates MORE (D) -- Was not ranked in February.
  6. Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate 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 KlobucharSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch 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 YangSurprise: Andrew Yang's favorite president is a Republican Yang: It's a 'mischaracterization' to say Democrats are for open borders Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates 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 GillibrandThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate Gillibrand unveils mental health plan MORE (D-N.Y.) dropped down. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades Dayton mayor assigned extra security following verbal spat with Trump The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (D-Ohio) and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergSunday shows - Trump's Epstein conspiracy theory retweet grabs spotlight Bloomberg: Next generation of Democrats needs to 'earn their spurs' Bloomberg: McConnell may allow gun reform vote to boost reelection chances 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 UnTrump on North Korean projectile launches: Kim 'likes testing missiles' North Korea fires two more projectiles into sea Biden blasts Trump's 'embarrassing' actions heading into G-7 summit 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 JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro 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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Stocks sink as Trump fights with Fed, China El Paso, Dayton hospitals deny Trump claim of doctors leaving OR to meet him The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? 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 McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence 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 GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death 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 PelosiPelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Is there internet life after thirty? Pelosi says Dems 'have to be ready to throw a punch — for the children' in 2020 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'DonnellThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Federal guidance identifying 'go back to where you came from' as discrimination goes viral after Trump comments The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Democrats' first debate night 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