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9:40 AM ET, June 28, 2018

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 Top Items: 
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Why Anthony Kennedy Gave Up  —  In his last year on the bench, the lifelong devotee of dignity and the rule of law joined Team Trump.  What happened?  —  It was always more fan fiction than reality that Justice Anthony Kennedy was a moderate centrist.  Democrats liked to soothe themselves …
RELATED:
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
Mitch McConnell Has Already Won  —  Mitch McConnell has just one goal: to preserve and extend Republicans' advantage in Washington and beyond.  He'll do anything to achieve that goal, indifferent to everything but the will to power.  We see this most clearly in McConnell's approach to the Supreme Court.
Discussion: HuffPost, Salon and OpenSecrets.org
Yascha Mounk / Slate:
So Much For the Institutions  —  Kennedy's retirement proves we can't count on elites to constrain Trump's worst excesses  —  When he heard that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was retiring on Wednesday, a friend in his twenties told me: “Today is the darkest political moment my generation has experienced.”
Mike Allen / Axios:
Trump takes over America  —  President Trump, with his refusal to take advice or yield to experts, is the West Wing.  Republicans who control both halves of Congress won't lift a finger against him and fully support his every move.  —  The big picture: With his chance to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy …
Discussion: The Week, Mediaite and Chuck Grassley
New York Times:
With Kennedy Gone, Justice Must Be Won at the Ballot Box  —  The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher.  It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.  —  If the last few days hadn't been dispiriting enough for those who believed …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The Republican Court and the Era of Minority Rule  —  Democrats have won the national vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, which, with the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, will have resulted in the appointment of eight of its nine justices.  And yet four of those justices …
Weekly Standard:   Exit Kennedy  —  Yes, elections have consequences.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:   The day conservatives have been waiting for on the Supreme Court. Trump is poised to deliver
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Justice Kennedy deserves this nasty, unflinching sendoff
Stephanie Ebbs / ABC News:
Here are 25 names Trump could nominate to replace Justice Kennedy
Jeffrey Rosen / The Atlantic:
The Justice Who Believed in America
Discussion: Refinery29, CNN and KTLA
Mark Sherman / Associated Press:
Justice Kennedy retiring, giving Trump pivotal court pick
Discussion: Townhall, Slate, CNN and ABC News
BostonGlobe.com:   Kennedy's retirement gives Trump another chance to make long-term impact
David Harsanyi / The Federalist:
Was Gorsuch Worth A Trump Presidency? It's Starting To Look That Way
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Mitch McConnell's politics of shamelessness have won
CBS News:
CBS News interview with ICE whistleblower interrupted by surprise visit from government agents  —  In his first television interview, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson James Schwab opens up about why he abruptly resigned in March.  Schwab admits both the Obama …
Discussion: Law & Crime
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
An Upset in the Making: Why Joe Crowley Never Saw Defeat Coming  —  It was less than three weeks until Primary Day and, on first blush, the poll that Representative Joseph Crowley had been shown by his team of advisers was encouraging: He led his upstart rival, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, by 36 percentage points.
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New York Times:   Top Democrat's Defeat Throws Party Leadership Into Turmoil
Washington Post:
The worst thing to be in many Democratic primaries? A white male candidate.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / americamagazine.org:   Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her Catholic faith and the urgency of a criminal justice reform
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump's private NATO trashing rattles allies  —  You've already read a hundred stories about President Trump's clashes with some of America's closest allies at the G7 summit in Canada.  But we've got new details from his private conversations with heads of state that have put …
Discussion: ABC News, The Week and Raw Story
RELATED:
Axios:
Trump to meet Putin in Finland next month
Washington Post:
Trump, Putin will hold a summit July 16 in Finland, the White House announced
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Joe.My.God.
The Texas Tribune:
Immigrant toddlers ordered to appear in court alone  —  As the White House faces court orders to reunite families separated at the border, immigrant children as young as three years old are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in Texas, California and Washington, D.C.
Discussion: The Week and Splinter
Rachael Bade / Politico:
‘I thought you were my friend’: Immigration meltdown exposes GOP hostilities  —  A seven-week effort to pass immigration reform ends in anger and distrust across the House Republican Conference.  —  Moderate House Republicans suspected they were being played.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
The Daily Beast:
Scott Pruitt Personally Involved in ‘Ratf*cking’ Ex-Aides Who He Feels Betrayed Him … On May 18, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt testified to a congressional committee that she had been tasked with procuring her boss a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel …
Discussion: Mediaite
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
A Half-Dozen House Ratings Changes in Favor of Democrats  —  And the fall of Joe Crowley in New York  —  KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE  — Rep. Joe Crowley's (D, NY-14) primary loss represents a changing of the guard in a diverse district.  It does not necessarily suggest we should expect …
Associated Press:
North Carolina GOP ends nominee's support over racist posts  —  RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Republican Party has withdrawn support from a legislative nominee after a website connected to him said God is a racist white supremacist and Jews are descended from Satan.
RELATED:
KGW-TV:
Federal cops move in on ICE protest in SW Portland  —  Federal officers in riot gear moved into the protest siege of ICE headquarters in Southwest Portland at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.  —  PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal officers in riot gear moved into the protest siege of ICE headquarters in Southwest Portland at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
Ben Kamisar / The Hill:
Poll: Trump approval rating ticks up to 47 percent  —  's approval rating has ticked up to 47 percent in the new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill, a 2 point hike from last month.  —  Trump's approval rating was lifted in part by a 10 point climb among Hispanic voters.
Discussion: Daily Wire, Front Page Magazine and CNN
Aaron Lorenzo / Politico:
Trump's IRS nominee didn't disclose properties were at Trump-branded hotel  —  President Donald Trump's pick to run the IRS, tax lawyer Chuck Rettig, owns properties at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki and Tower.  —  He'd previously disclosed his 50 percent stake in a pair of Honolulu rental units …
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Bloomberg:   Trump's IRS Nominee Has Stake in Units at Trump-Branded Resort
Kim Hjelmgaard / USA Today:
North Korea upgrades nuclear facility despite Trump-Kim summit, satellite images show  —  North Korea is upgrading a major nuclear research facility despite President Donald Trump's claim that leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to disarm, according to new satellite images and a research paper published by a North Korea monitoring group.
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Goodlatte: FBI Lawyers Instructed Strzok Not To Answer ‘Many, Many’ Questions In Deposition  —  FBI lawyers instructed Peter Strzok during a congressional deposition on Wednesday not to answer “many, many questions” about his involvement in the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations …
Jason Schwartz / Politico:
New Fox chief cracks down on inflammatory statements  —  CEO Suzanne Scott summoned producers to a meeting to direct them to take more control over hosts and panelists.  —  Amid growing backlash against inflammatory statements by Fox News commentators, network CEO Suzanne Scott summoned top show producers …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Prigg / Daily Mail:
An illustration of Skull racks or tzompantli is shown
Washington Post:
White House wants to cut this public health service corps by nearly 40 percent
Matthew Lee / Star Tribune:
US begins to dismantle Iran nuclear deal sanctions relief
Discussion: Instapundit and CNBC
Daily Mail:
'When you aggressively f*** with people's lives, you should not be surprised when they decide …
Heather Murphy / New York Times:
Genealogists Turn to Cousins' DNA and Family Trees to Crack Five More Cold Cases
 Earlier Items: 
Will Oremus / Slate:
The Great Facebook Crash
Reuters:
Manafort had $10 million loan from Russian oligarch: court filing
Meena Venkataramanan / ABC News:
Trump is the ‘most effective uprooter of liberalism’: Newt Gingrich talks GOP, midterms, space
Discussion: Politico and Mediaite
Harron Walker / Jezebel:
Private Messages Reveal the Cis Journalist Groupthink Behind Trans Media Narratives
Rasmussen Reports:
31% Think U.S. Civil War Likely Soon