Clinton 2811
Sanders 1879
 Needed   2383
Trump 1542
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  SCOTUS Strikes Down Anti-Abortion Laws
      •  Clinton and Warren Campaign Together
      •  Should Clinton Choose Elizabeth Warren?
      •  Oh, Those Bernie Supporters
      •  AFL-CIO Will Oppose Trump
      •  Almost No One Wants to Speak at the GOP Convention
      •  Trump's Failed Baja Condo Project Left Buyers Angry
      •  Dueling Benghazi Reports Coming Tuesday

SCOTUS Strikes Down Anti-Abortion Laws

As expected, the Supreme Court delivered its ruling in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt on Monday. In a bit of a surprise, however, they rendered an actual binding ruling. By a vote of 5-3, the Court struck down Texas' laws that required abortion-performing doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and that required clinics to meet the same readiness standards as a hospital trauma center. The decision will potentially negate similar laws in nearly 20 other states.

Taking a closer look, we are reminded that the supposed distinction between "judicial activists" and "judges who rule based on the law" is nonsense. Seven of the eight judges followed the party line of the president who nominated them. The exception was Anthony Kennedy, the swing voter who—as everyone predicted—was the decider. In the past, Kennedy has generally been supportive of restrictions on abortion rights, and so we are left wondering what was different in this case. One possibility is that he simply saw significant legal differences between this case and some of the past abortion cases that have been on the Court's docket. Another is that the 80-year-old justice was thinking tactically. Had the decision been 4-4, the case would unquestionably have made its way back to the Court in the future, by which point Merrick Garland or some other Democratic nominee will likely be seated. Recognizing that every 4-4 decision is a bit of a black eye for the Court, and possibly deciding he didn't want to eventually end up on the "losing" side, Kennedy may have concluded that casting his lot with the liberals was the best alternative available to him. Indeed, he may decide that leaning that direction might be the best general choice for him as he closes out his three-decade career on the Court.

It is also possible, though the evidence is far from clear, that Chief Justice John Roberts was thinking along similar lines. There is little doubt that Roberts personally opposes abortion, and his jurisprudence to date has been consistent with that position. However, as we and others have pointed out, he has a special responsibility to be mindful of the prestige and the image of the Court. Though he ended up voting to uphold the laws, he did so in as passive a way as is possible. He authored no dissent, despite the obvious significance of this case, choosing only to join Samuel Alito's dissent, while not joining Clarence Thomas's. That's unexpectedly hands-off, and it is worth wondering if Kennedy had flipped, possibly Roberts would have tactically reconsidered his vote.

Turning to the presidential candidates, to nobody's surprise, Hillary Clinton immediately hailed the decision, calling it "a victory for women." Meanwhile, to everybody's surprise, Donald Trump—the same man who finds time to tweet what he had for lunch today—has said nothing about the ruling. Presumably, this is Paul Manafort's handiwork. Given how badly Trump has fumbled abortion questions in the past—once shifting positions on the issue five times in as many days—it's probably wise for him to take some time to figure out what he wants to say. For now, however, his focus is on other very important issues, namely how biased CNN is, and how racist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is. (Z)

Clinton and Warren Campaign Together

The two best-known female politicians in the country, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, campaigned together for the first time on Monday. They appeared on stage in similarly colored blue outfits in Cincinnati. Warren roused the crowd in ways that Clinton can't even dream of, as both of them eviscerated Donald Trump, portraying him as a greedy corporate titan who cares only about himself. Clinton pointed out that Trump suits are made in Mexico, Trump furniture is made in Turkey, and Trump barware is made in Slovenia. None of his products are made in Ohio. The crowd lapped it up.

Warren is clearly auditioning for the role of vice president. She wants to show Clinton what a powerful effect she has on an audience and what an enormous addition she would make to the ticket. Why she is doing this is unclear. Warren is 67 and is really too old to run for president in 2024 and probably too old for 2020, if Clinton loses. Why she wants to give up her powerful position in the Senate for the infamous bucket of warm piss is something only she knows. If her goal is to pass progressive legislation, it would make far more sense for her to stay in the Senate and work on writing progressive bills there and shepherding them though the Senate as opposed to spending her time going to foreign funerals. With an inexperienced president in the White House, the Veep can be a trusted adviser, but Clinton has more experience than any recent president and if she needs advice, she can ask Bill. Seems strange. (V)

Should Clinton Choose Elizabeth Warren?

Apparently, Elizabeth Warren wants the #2 slot on the Democratic ticket. Almost as apparently, Hillary Clinton would prefer to go another direction, but may decide she has no choice. Is this thinking correct, though? As the commentariat takes a closer look, there is growing skepticism about Warren's value to the ticket.

Gabriel Debenedetti, writing for Politico, wonders exactly how much upside there is in adding Warren to the ticket. He observes that the Democratic Party, as predicted, is coalescing behind Hillary Clinton. While there was a time when 20% of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) voters said they would support Donald Trump, that number has already dropped to 8%, while 81% now say they will support Clinton. By way of comparison, 83% of Clinton supporters ultimately voted for Barack Obama in 2008 (and he did pretty well).

Slate's Jamelle Bouie, meanwhile, is concerned about the downside in adding Warren to the Democratic ticket. He argues that there are two cardinal rules for a Veep: Don't overshadow the top of the ticket, and don't jeopardize control of Congress. The rock star Warren would almost certainly violate the former rule, and by subjecting her seat to an election whose timing would result in very poor turnout, she could violate the latter. Bouie also agrees with us that the progressive causes that Warren holds so dear would be better served by her being a leading voice in the Senate. This week's campaign events (see above) should give Clinton much insight into how crowds respond to Warren, and into what kind of partner the Massachusetts Senator might be. At that point, she'll be able to decide if she wants to take Debenedetti's and Bouie's counsel. (Z)

Oh, Those Bernie Supporters

Bernie Sanders' supporters are still making headlines, although not in a good way. To start, there are the "Still Sanders" folks in California. Because The Golden State counts absentee and provisional ballots at a snail's pace, there are 586,872 votes that have not yet been counted. Since Hillary Clinton's lead is currently 427,990 votes, the die-hard Sandersnistas are convinced that he could still flip the state. Never mind that (a) those 586,872 also include plenty of Republican votes, and (b) there's no particular reason to think that the remainder would break 90% or 95% for Sanders, and (c) even if California did flip, it wouldn't change the delegate math in any appreciable way.

Meanwhile, a story out of Nevada reveals that Sanders' supporters were not all as pure as the driven snow, despite their pretensions otherwise. Recall that, in some states, caucus ties were resolved by a coin flip. This being the case, Sanders' Nevada state director, Joan Kato, strongly advised staffers to equip themselves with double-sided coins. Not only is this rather shady behavior from a campaign that likes to complain about "rigged" elections, it's also not terribly bright. In Nevada, true to form, ties aren't decided by coin flips—they are decided by cutting a deck of cards. One can only imagine that Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon—presidential candidates who knew how to cheat the correct way—are rolling in their graves. (Z)

AFL-CIO Will Oppose Trump

The president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, made it clear yesterday of what he thinks of Donald Trump: not much. Despite Trump's opposition to trade agreements, Trumka noted that almost all the products sold under the Trump label are made abroad and if Trump wanted to help American workers, he could single-handedly do a lot for them by doing all his manufacturing in the United States. Trumka said that Trump won't fix the problem; Trump is the problem.

A current hot potato is the TPP agreement, which Trumka opposes and which Clinton now opposes even through she was previously for it. Trumka is afraid that a lame duck session of Congress after the election might approve it and implored Clinton to not let that happen. (V)

Almost No One Wants to Speak at the GOP Convention

Normally, politicians will do anything to get a prime-time speaking slot at their party's convention. It is massive publicity for them and allows them to showcase the issues they care about. Politico just asked 50 prominent Republican governors and senators if they were interested in speaking at the Republican National Convention. Only a few said they were open to it. Others said no, or that they weren't even going to the convention, or simply didn't respond to the question. For example, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who is leading the congressional panel "investigating" Hillary Clinton's handling of Benghazi said he wasn't going to the convention. So did Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among others. Representatives Mark Sanford (R-SC), Sean Duffy (R-WI), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) all said they aren't interested in speaking. The list goes on and on. Clearly many Republicans regard Trump as so toxic that they will do anything to avoid associating with him. This is obviously not good for party unity. (V)

Trump's Failed Baja Condo Project Left Buyers Angry

As reporters continue to investigate Donald Trump's business deals, more stories come out that aren't going to be helpful to his presidential hopes. The Los Angeles Times has investigated a planned condo project in Baja California (in Northern Mexico), which Trump praised as the best resort in Mexico. People were invited to a weekend in the area and were subjected to a high-pressure pitch to buy a condo in the development. About 250 people bought into the idea and put up deposits of $50,000 and more. To make a long story short, the project failed, nothing was ever built, and everyone lost all their money. Trump has said that he merely licensed his name to the project, so it wasn't his fault that it went under and he didn't owe anyone anything.

Over the years, Trump has left a long trail of angry customers and vendors who have sued him for fraud, as in this project. Condo buyers at Trump Towers in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale claimed they were misled and lost deposits. Students at Trump University sued because the courses they took, some of them costing up to $35,000, were worthless. Numerous vendors have sued Trump for not paying bills for products delivered or work done. It's a fair bet that many of the people Trump duped would be quite happy to star in Hillary Clinton's ads this fall. Stay tuned. (V)

Dueling Benghazi Reports Coming Tuesday

Speaking of Trey Gowdy and his Benghazi hearings, we might finally be reaching the end of the process. The Democrats released their "report" first, preemptively trying to get their version of events out in advance of the GOP. The document has relatively little to say about Benghazi itself, but has much to say about the Gowdy's panel, declaring that it collected "no credible evidence" against Hillary Clinton, and that it "squandered millions of taxpayer dollars in a partisan effort to attack a presidential candidate."

Part of the Republican report leaked early Tuesday morning; the rest is scheduled to be released later in the day. It will apparently argue that an attack on Benghazi was possible, and that Clinton and her staff should have been aware of that fact. If that sort of wishy-washy verbiage is the best the GOP has, then they are effectively proving the Democrats' point, since an attack is "possible" just about everywhere the U.S. has an embassy, or a military base, or territory (ok, maybe not on the moon).

In any event, nobody is going to read 1,200-plus pages' worth of boring politician-speak, so few minds are going to be changed by the two reports. Those who blame Clinton for Benghazi will continue to do so, those who absolve her will do the same. And thus, the status quo will hold. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun27 Support for Trump is Cratering
Jun27 Trump's Donor List is Grim
Jun27 Trump's Economic Plan Would Explode National Debt
Jun27 Rubio Faces a Wealthy Challenger on the Right
Jun27 O'Malley Is Back
Jun27 McConnell Won't Say If Trump Is Fit To Be President
Jun27 Sanders Will Continue the Platform Fight
Jun27 SCOTUS Abortion Ruling Coming on Monday
Jun27 Obama, Clinton Embrace LGBT Community
Jun27 One No Trump
Jun26 About Those Donald Trump-Brexit Parallels
Jun26 What is Trump Doing in Scotland?
Jun26 Clinton Super PAC Will Spend Over $10 Million in Pennsylvania
Jun26 Republicans Alarmed by Trump's Lack of Money
Jun26 Clinton up Double Digits on Trump Again
Jun26 George Will Leaves the GOP
Jun26 Dobson Justifies Support for Trump
Jun26 Lewandowski's Head Rolled Due to Attacks on Federal Judge
Jun26 Israel Could Take Center Stage at DNC
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Probably Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun24 The Supreme Court Just Injected Itself into the Election
Jun24 Trump Donates $50 Million To His Campaign
Jun24 Corey Lewandowski Joins CNN as Political Commentator
Jun24 Trump Can't Back up Claims About Clinton Server
Jun24 Kirk Running Against Trump
Jun24 Democratic Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun24 Federal Judge Throws Out Cleveland's Anti-Protest Plan
Jun24 Democrats End Sit-In
Jun24 Brexit Will Proceed
Jun23 Rubio Changes His Mind and Files for Reelection
Jun23 Why Clinton Might Not Pick Warren as Veep