The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court unveils two major opinions



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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 upholds ObamaCare in 7-2 decision | Sides with Catholic adoption agency that turned away same-sex couples | Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a holiday | 14 Republicans vote against otherwise unanimous Juneteenth bill | Takeaways from Biden-Putin summit | Biden says he got what he wanted out of summit | Manchin closed-lipped on election bill | 1,098-carat diamond found 


ObamaCare lives to see another day:  

The Supreme Court just rejected a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The decision: 7-2. Justices Samuel AlitoSamuel Alito'Freedom-loving' conservatives stoked latest round of infection and death Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol No reason to pack the court MORE and Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchNo reason to pack the court Democrats under new pressure to break voting rights stalemate Trump 'very disappointed' in Kavanaugh votes: 'Where would he be without me?' MORE dissented.

What to know about the case: “The case arose after 18 Republican states brought a legal challenge in 2018 aimed at striking down the ACA … The GOP challengers focused on the ObamaCare tax penalty meant to induce the purchase of health insurance by most Americans. They argued that President Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which zeroed out the penalty, made that provision unconstitutional. Without the tax penalty, they argued, ObamaCare effectively lost its constitutional footing.” Full breakdown from The Hill’s John Kruzel

Read the court’s decision

The argument from the dissenting justices


Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare



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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The Supreme Court took the Catholic adoption agency’s side:

Via The Hill’s John Kruzel, “The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that the city of Philadelphia ran afoul of religious protections when it cut ties with a Catholic adoption agency over its refusal to place foster children with same-sex couples.” 

Read the full opinion


Good job, everyone. Almost everyone agreed to something.:

President BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE is signing a widely supported bill today to make Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America, a federal holiday. 

When Biden will sign the bill — At 3:30 p.m. EDT: He and Vice President Harris will also deliver remarks during the signing. Livestream 

The House vote yesterday: The House voted 415-14 to make it a holiday.

What about the Senate? It passed with unanimous consent. 

Who voted against it?: 14 House Republicans. Here’s the list of whom: 

Why several Republicans voted against it: “Multiple Republicans expressed concern during House floor debate that officially calling the holiday Juneteenth National Independence Day could lead to confusion with Independence Day on July 4.” 

^ Don’t worry, we promise to keep them straight!


When you get breakfast with your friends to debrief after a big night out:

President Biden is back in the White House after his highly anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussian court sentences Navalny ally to 18 months of supervision Russia says 24 diplomats asked by US to leave by September Is Ukraine Putin's Taiwan? MORE

The gist of how Biden feels post-summit: Biden says he got what he wanted out of the summit. I.e.: It got the ball rolling with diplomacy.


  1. “The White House was careful to downplay expectations for the summit … Biden instead sought to frame the meeting as an exercise in worldly pragmatism.”
  2. “The most contentious subject from the two leaders’ dueling news conferences was an unexpected one — the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.”
  3. “Much of the commentary that initially followed Wednesday’s summit measured Biden’s performance against [former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE].” Trump set the bar low with his controversial Putin meeting in 2018, so Biden had a big advantage.
  4. “Putin’s desire to flex Russian muscle on the world stage is well known.”
  5. “The summit provided some positive mood music for Biden and Putin, but it is unclear whether it presages any real change.” 

More context and details to each, via The Hill’s Niall Stanage


Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe infrastructure bill creates more need for workforce training The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Simone wins bronze with altered beam routine Jesse Jackson arrested with voting rights protesters at Capitol MORE: I’m FULL of surprises!:

“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is keeping his colleagues guessing on whether he will back a sweeping election bill during a high-profile vote next week.” 

Why this is key: “Democrats are expected to hold a key test vote next week on S. 1, titled the For the People Act. The debate will spotlight a simmering months-long fight over voting rights. The measure is guaranteed to run headlong into a filibuster, but Democrats are hoping to at least put up a unified front and keep the focus on GOP opposition — not their own divisions.”

Lol — all of you know how much I appreciate bad puns:


Reporters wait in the shade




If you’ve been hearing talk about the ‘delta variant,’ here’s what that is:

Via CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt, “The Covid-19 delta variant originally discovered in India is now spreading around the world, becoming the dominant strain in some countries, such as the U.K., and likely to become so in others, like the U.S.”

How many countries has it spread to?: The World Health Organization says at least 80 countries. 

‘How worried should you be about the Delta variant?’: Via CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,499,445 

U.S. death toll: 600,658 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 313 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.17 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Getting traction: I love that she quickly returned to the job at hand — ‘and now back to this heat wave’:


Reporter announces Project Veritas disclosure on-air



This is a beautiful backdrop. I don’t know what he’s talking about!:


Reporters wait in the halls of Congress




The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

10 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today 

12:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris has lunch with CIA Director Bill BurnsWilliam BurnsGOP report on COVID-19 origins homes in on lab leak theory Havana Syndrome: Is it safe to serve? CIA watchdog to review handling of 'Havana syndrome' cases MORE.

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11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden signs the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Biden and Vice President Harris deliver remarks. Livestream


Today is National Apple Strudel Day and National Cherry Tart Day! Summer is here, my friends!

Don’t worry. I wouldn’t tease you with this story without a photo:

A 1,098-carat diamond has been found in Botswana (!)

As promised, here’s a photo of the enormous diamond

And because you made it to the end, here are some very confident ducks just ordering their bagels just like everyone else:  


Duck and ducklings roll into a Bagel World