The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court broadcasts live for the first time

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

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Supreme Court oral arguments broadcasted live for the first time | How to watch | Trump’s town hall at the Lincoln Memorial | Says he was treated worse than Lincoln by the press | Revises coronavirus death toll to 75k-100k | Apple update for Face ID users wearing face masks | J. Crew files for bankruptcy | Carole Baskin tricked into interview, YouTubers pretended to work for Jimmy Fallon



Justices, please mute yourselves: 


For the first time ever, the Supreme Court is broadcasting its oral arguments live by teleconference (!) 

Why this is so significant: The Supreme Court is famously tech-adverse.


“Patent and Trademark Office v. B.V.”  

The gist: “The case concerns trademark protection in the age of internet business. was denied trademark protection because the Patent and Trademark Office found the name was too generic and that trademarking it would give the company an unfair monopoly over a common word.”   

Listen to today’s live oral argument: Here’s the livestream from C-SPAN: 

^ If you want to better understand what you’re hearing: The National Constitution Center is hosting a panel discussion to discuss the case. Livestream, again from C-SPAN


“USAID v. Alliance For Open Society International, Inc.”  


It’s Monday. 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  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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A beautiful backdrop for a town hall:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE participated in a two-hour Fox News town hall last night at the Lincoln Memorial. 

Wow, that’s stunning: Here is aerial video of the town hall’s backdrop. Watch


Trump’s prediction for a vaccine: "I think we'll have a vaccine by the end of the year," Trump said. “We'll have a vaccine much sooner rather than later."

The president revises the predicted death toll: Trump predicted that between 75,000 and 100,000 people could die. For context: Trump said on April 20 that 50,000-60,000 people could die.

Getting traction — Trump said he’s treated worse than former President Abraham Lincoln: “I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said, pointing to the statue of Lincoln. “They always said, ‘Lincoln, no one got treated worse than Lincoln.’ I believe I am treated worse.” Watch 

On reopening the country: “Anybody over 60 … we have to protect those people. We have to watch it. And maybe they stay back longer. But I think you can really have it both ways. I think a lot of people want to go back … you see demonstrations all over the country. And those are meaningful demonstrations.  Watch


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,161,346

Deaths in the U.S.: 67,781

Breakdown of the numbers

The class divide is striking in the COVID-19 outbreak:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The COVID-19 outbreak ravaging the United States is exacerbating the nation’s class divide, closing small businesses and bankrupting households while many in the nation’s elite emerge relatively unscathed.”  

When the class divide became the most obvious: “The disparity was highlighted in April when stock markets enjoyed a banner month even as 22 million people were added to the unemployment rolls.”  

The political ramifications

Ah ha!:

Apple is releasing a software update to allow iPhone users to unlock their devices without having to remove face masks.

How it will work — it will direct you to the passcode screen: “In the new version of iOS, Face ID will recognize when someone is wearing a mask, and the iPhone will pull up the passcode entry screen after swiping up from the bottom of the screen -- no more constant searching for your face. The Face ID tool still won't unlock your iPhone unless you take off your mask, but it will make the switch to the passcode-unlock option significantly faster.”  



Uber drivers, riders must wear masks:

Via CNN Business’s Sara Ashley O’Brien, Uber is planning to require drivers and riders to wear a mask or face covering. 

How it would work: “As part of the policy, Uber is in the process of developing technology to detect if drivers are wearing masks or face coverings before they go online and start accepting trips, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy decision was just made recently and has not yet been introduced. The company already has face verification capabilities as part of its ‘Real Time ID-check’ feature used to verify the identity of drivers. Uber is also looking into ways to hold riders accountable, the person said.”

J.Crew filed for bankruptcy:

Via The New York Times, “J.Crew, the mass-market clothing company whose preppy-with-a-twist products were worn by Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama celebrates seniors, tells them to 'breathe deep and dance your heart out' at virtual prom The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead Michelle Obama working with 31 mayors on increasing voter participation MORE and appeared at New York Fashion Week, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.” 

For context: “It is the first major retailer to fall during the coronavirus pandemic, though other big industry names including Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney are also struggling with the toll of mass shutdowns.”


Keep in mind as the Senate returns to Washington, D.C. today:



^ She also added: “49, or half of U.S. senators, are 65 and older, which is generally the age CDC has used to represent higher risk.”

What the ‘new normal’ will look like on Capitol Hill:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis, “The pandemic has already upended daily routines and legislative calendars during the extended recess, forcing lawmakers to adapt to Zoom hearings and cloistered campaigning. But now Congress’s leading medical authority is warning that the upheaval will extend to virtually all facets of life in the Capitol complex. And those changes are likely to last years.” 

What to expect going forward: “No longer packed into cubicles, many aides will be asked to work remotely, while desks will be spaced farther apart in congressional offices. Members will be advised to meet with constituents and lobbyists over video- or tele-conferencing rather than in person for the next 12 months. Capitol elevators will be restricted to no more than two people at a time. And in the numerous cafeterias around the Capitol complex, popular options like self-service salad bars and coffee machines will be no more. Instead, they will be staffed by cafeteria workers.” 

More on what to expect


My colleague Peter Sullivan put it well … ‘Not now, murder hornets’:


Via The New York Times’s Mike Baker, a two-inch long insect called the “murder hornet” has made its way to the United States for the first time. 

The biggest risk is to honeybees: “Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young.” Scientists are worried the hornets can annihilate bee populations in the U.S.  

What about people? — Well, this sounds pleasant: “For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.”  

Can they kill people?: The hornets kill around 50 people a year in Japan.

Everything we know so far 







What happened: Two YouTubers pretended they worked for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and tricked Big Cat Rescue’s Carole Baskin into a video interview.  

The full video


The Senate returns this afternoon. The House is out. 

President Trump has no public events on his schedule.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on a nomination. The Senate’s full schedule today


3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. Livestream


Today is National Orange Juice Day.

Welp, I’m not sleeping tonight:

Check out this local news report about the beaches reopening in Florida. Watch — oh my

And because you made it this far, here’s one puppy that is not on the same page as everyone else. I am SO on your wavelength, pup: