The Hill's 12:30 Report: Big win for LGBTQ community

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Supreme Court rules employees can’t be fired for sexual orientation | Sidesteps hot-button cases on guns rights, police legal projections | ‘Defund the police’ movement hits semantics road block | Kudlow expects $600 unemployment checks to end in July | Says checks are a ‘disincentive’ | DC restaurants reopen with outdoor dining



LGBTQ workers are protected by civil rights laws:



In a landmark decision this morning, the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot be fired for being gay or transgender, as part of civil rights laws that prevent employer discrimination. 

The ruling: 6-3 

From Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchRoberts court tempers conservative expectations OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Five takeaways from Supreme Court's rulings on Trump tax returns MORE’s majority opinion: "Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids." 

Keep in mind: This is Pride Month (!)

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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Dodging cases left and right:

The Supreme Court sidestepped two big controversial issues this morning, one involving Second Amendment rights and the other involving legal protections for police officers. 

The first — guns: The court declined to hear a case involving carrying a firearm in public. 

The second — police officer legal protections: The court also declined to hear a case about qualified immunity for police officers.

Sliding out of the way:

Via The Hill’s Rafael Bernal, “The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request by the Trump administration to review California's so-called sanctuary laws, which limit cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.”

What refusing to hear this case means: “With the denial, the Supreme Court let stand the lower court's resolution in favor of three California sanctuary laws, which limited law enforcement cooperation on immigration and banned state and local authorities from using their resources to enforce federal immigration laws.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 2,095,043 

Deaths in the U.S.: 115,747

Breakdown of the numbers


Via The New York Times’s Jan Hoffman and Ruth Maclean, “Many mass immunization efforts worldwide were halted this spring to prevent spread of the virus at crowded inoculation sites. The consequences have been alarming.”


Expect to hear a lot about police reform:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Lawmakers are set to ramp up their debate of police reform legislation this week … [They] are hoping for a bipartisan deal — though steep policy and political hurdles remain — but this week they are set to unveil, or try to advance, competing proposals.”

Happening on Wednesday: “The House Judiciary Committee will mark up a wide-ranging reform bill, which was introduced by House and Senate Democrats last week. The bill, among other provisions, would ban chokeholds, limit the use of no knock warrants and overhaul ‘qualified immunity,’ a legal doctrine that shields police officers from lawsuits.” Keep in mind: “Republicans have signaled they are interested in trying to amend the bill, though with Democrats holding a majority on the committee it is unclear if any GOP proposals will make it into the legislation.”

Meanwhile from Republicans: “Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill MORE (R-S.C.) is expected to unveil the Senate GOP legislation by Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok MORE (R-Ky.) announced last week that he had tapped Scott to lead a working group to craft police reform legislation.”

What we know about Scott’s bill: “According to a draft circulated earlier this week, Scott’s bill would, among other provisions, increase funding for police body cameras and penalize not wearing them by reducing grants. It would also tie grant eligibility to reporting uses of force that cause death or serious injury to the FBI and to states maintaining a system that shares police records.”




Lands bill: The Senate is expected to work on a lands package, known as the Great American Outdoors Act, this week.

Nominations: The Senate will vote on district judge Justin Walker’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit 

The defense bill: The Senate is working on a big defense policy bill this week. Keep in mind: “Once [the bill] is on the Senate floor, is set to be a lightning rod for debates on everything from changing Confederate-named bases to limiting Trump’s ability to deploy troops within the United States under the Insurrection Act.”  

Context and details for each


The game of semantics:

Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, The “defund the police” movement has hit roadblocks over its slogan.

How so: Some supporters think the message is confusing and others think it could be misinterpreted.  

The movement: It “broadly refers to cutting funds for law enforcement and redirecting them toward social programs, particularly those focused on crime prevention and alternative forms of public safety.”  

But it’s an easy target for Republicans: “The slogan became an easy target for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE and other Republicans who have seized on the wording in an attempt to paint Democrats as supporting lawless communities.”

Where top Democrats stand:  Presumptive presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings Biden wins Puerto Rico primary MORE and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBattle over reopening schools heats up Pelosi: Trump wearing a mask is 'an admission' that it can stop spread of coronavirus Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools MORE (D-Calif.) have quickly distanced themselves from the phrase. 

How this could play out


Don’t expect the $600 unemployment checks to continue much longer:

National Economic Council director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE said he expects the $600 unemployment checks being sent to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic to end in July.

Why — Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “The $600 plus-up that's above the state unemployment benefits they will continue to receive is in effect a disincentive. I mean, we’re paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get.”


Ummmm, *click*:




The full story: Is the duck wearing a bow tie…?


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. 

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable on fighting for America’s seniors.  

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a video conference with governors to discuss the COVID-19 response. 

5:30 p.m. EDT: Roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule


Noon: The House Education and Labor Committee is holding a hearing on budget cuts and the impact on public education. Livestream


Today is National Lobster Day.

By the way, Nickelodeon has some news:

Over the weekend, Nickelodeon announced that SpongeBob SquarePants is part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Read Nickelodeon’s post on Twitter

Yes, but — keep in mind: “While some fans thought Nickelodeon was confirming that SpongeBob is gay—although they didn't specific what our favorite yellow sponge identifies as—the network could possibly be referring to the ‘A’ in ‘LGBTQIA.’ "

Reopened outdoor dining in Washington, D.C.:

Via Washingtonian, “Restaurants and bars across the DC-area have reopened their patios, rooftops, and terraces for on-premise customers for the first time in nearly three months. The landscape has changed significantly—features like widely spaced tables, capacity limits, reservations, abundant sanitizer, and no-contact systems are the new norm.” The list

And to brighten your Monday afternoon, here’s a man pranking his dog. Come on, pup! You’re better than that!: