The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wins by losing in the Supreme Court


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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: Supreme Court grants prosecutors access to Trump’s taxes | Shields Trump’s financial records from Congress | Court rules that half of Oklahoma is an Indian Reservation | Upended 2020 helps Biden | Florida becomes new COVID-19 epicenter | Trump’s Jacksonville convention plans look bleak | Jacksonville attorneys sue to block convention | Jobless claims fall | Biden campaigns in Pa. | National Sugar Cookie Day 



A good news, bad news situation:



“The Supreme Court in a split decision on Thursday granted New York state prosecutors access to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MOREs tax returns, even as it shielded a trove of his financial records from Congress.”

The decisions: 7-2. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinions on both cases. Justices Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasWhy are anti-racism forces silent on anti-Semitism? Trump's contempt for advice and consent The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Biden VP possible next week; Meadows says relief talks 'miles apart' MORE and Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoConservatives blast Supreme Court ruling: Roberts 'abandoned his oath' Supreme Court again rejects church challenge to virus restriction Should we judge judges by whether their decisions appeal to us? MORE dissented in both.   

What this means: Via NBC’s Pete Williams: “The rulings … represent a mixed bag for the president … both matters will go back to lower courts, meaning it is unlikely anything would be decided before Election Day in November.” 

Read the Trump v. Vance opinion: That’s the case granting New York state prosecutors access to Trump’s taxes.

Read the Trump v. Mazars opinion: That’s the case shielding Trump’s financial records from Congress.

For context:




The other ruling today — Nearly half of Oklahoma is an Indian reservation:

Via The New York Times’s Adam Liptak and Jack Healy, “The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled by a 5-4 margin that nearly half of Oklahoma is an Indian reservation in the eyes of the criminal-justice system, preventing state authorities from prosecuting offenses there that involve Native Americans.” 

The ruling: 5-4 

Read the full opinion


Throwback to simpler times — I dearly miss the running of the interns:




It’s Thursday. 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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Report: Facebook leads industry on removal of hate speech



At 35,000 people, our safety & security teams work to keep our platforms safe 24/7. A recent EU report found we remove more reported hate speech than other major platforms. But any hate speech is too much — there’s more work to do.


Learn more.



What do Fauci, Redfield and Azar have to say?:

The Hill Virtually Live is hosting an event, “Health Reimagined: The Future of Healthcare.”  Tune in — here’s the livestream


Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTo preserve our democratic freedoms, let's cultivate service-minded, thoughtful citizens Russia says coronavirus vaccine will be ready for doctors in two weeks Fauci: 'I seriously doubt' Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary 

Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute MORE (D-Ill.)

Dr. Patrice Harris


Some of the beds and some of the baths are going to the beyond:

Bed Bath & Beyond announced that it will close 200 stores in the next two years.

For context: That is 21 percent of its stores.

Jobless claims are falling:

The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims is falling even as the cases of coronavirus are continuing to spike.

The numbers: 1.3 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, down from 1.427 million the week before. 

Yes, but: “But the number of people applying for help under the expanded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program spiked, rising by 42,000 to more than 1 million claims.”



How Facebook is combating hate and voter suppression



Facebook is taking critical, new steps to protect its platforms and the upcoming election:


— Strengthening policies against hate
— Expanding voter interference policies
— Launching new Voting Information Center


Get the latest.



Florida has become the new epicenter:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel, “Florida has emerged as a global epicenter of the latest coronavirus surge, raising questions about the safety of major events that relocated to the state.” 

In April and May: “As coronavirus cases surged throughout much of the Northeast in April and May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida sheriff bans deputies from wearing masks after refusing to enforce order DeSantis rules out 2024 White House run: 'Total garbage' US surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases MORE (R) declared victory. Florida was one of the last states to impose a stay-at-home order, and one of the first to reopen. DeSantis earned praise from President Trump for his response to the pandemic and attacked the media for fearmongering after the state reopened its beaches.” 

Let’s not forget: The NBA and Major League Soccer have even moved their seasons to Florida. And the Republican National Convention moved to Jacksonville. 

And now…: “Weeks later, infections are skyrocketing. Some sports teams have already arrived in the state, and league leaders are facing questions about whether it’s safe to continue with their plans.” 

Where we go from here


“Almost 200 Major League Soccer players stood in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in Florida to honor George Floyd Wednesday night before the first MLS game since the pandemic shutdown.” 


In Washington, DC — cases are rising a bit:

Via The Washington Post’s Dana Hedgpeth, Julie Zauzmer and Erin Cox, “The daily influx of new coronavirus cases increased slightly in the Washington region Wednesday, with hospitalizations rising in Virginia for the second consecutive day and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan saying he was closely watching surrounding states for a surge to cross the border.” 

Yes, but keep in mind: “It was not clear whether the more than 1,110 new coronavirus cases and 36 deaths reported by Virginia, Maryland and the District on Wednesday represent a blip or change in a trajectory.”

Some good news this morning:





Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 3,057,431 

U.S. death toll: 132,360 

Breakdown of the numbers

For context: A month ago today, 1,963,828 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 111,139 had died.


In a normal universe, the Democratic National Convention would have been next week:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “[Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE] may miss out on the publicity boost from an early, larger convention — but he is also in a much stronger position than many pundits had predicted.” 

How so: “Biden has … jumped into a significant polling lead as Trump has come under fire for his response to the coronavirus.” 

Yesterday: “On Wednesday, Biden and his main rival for the nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), announced that their representatives had finalized agreed positions on key issues for the Democratic platform.” 

How Biden’s lead is partly from President Trump’s missteps

And the Republican National Convention is also looking pretty bleak:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester, President Trump’s plans for a full-scale GOP convention in Jacksonville, Fla., next month are looking increasingly bleak amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases.” 

Where that stands:


A group of lawyers in Jacksonville are suing to block the Republican National Convention from happening in their city.

From the suit: "To avoid community spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and welfare of Plaintiffs and the community, it is necessary and essential that all super spreader events where large numbers of people congregate in close proximity indoors not occur.” Read the full lawsuit







The House and Senate are out. President Trump is at the White House today and Vice President Pence visits Pennsylvania.

10:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left for Pennsylvania.

12:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Trump Victory luncheon in Manheim, Pa.

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable in the Cabinet Room with Hispanic leaders.

2:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a roundtable discussion in Philadelphia, Pa., on reopening America. 

4:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a COVID-19 briefing with health care providers in Philadelphia. 

8:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence arrives in Washington, D.C.


Happening now: The Hill Virtually Live is hosting an event, “Health Reimagined: The Future of Healthcare.” Featured speakers: Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC director Robert Redfield, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), Dr. Patrice Harris and more. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks a in Dunmore, Pa. Livestream 

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs an executive order, the “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.” Livestream

5:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a “Back the Blue” rally in Philadelphia. Livestream


Today is National Sugar Cookie Day. This feels like a December holiday to me, but I’ll never say no to a sugar cookie. ;)

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog taking on a door stopper. A well-matched fight: