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11:10 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 …
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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.”
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Don't want a right-wing Supreme Court?  Do everything you can to stop it.  —  Our constitutional system of “checks and balances” works only if those in a position to operate the levers of checking and balancing do their job.  It is clear that a Republican Congress and Republican appointees …
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 …
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
Mitch McConnell Has Already Won
Discussion: HuffPost, Salon and Vox
Mike Allen / Axios:
Trump takes over America
Discussion: The Week, Chuck Grassley and Mediaite
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Uncertain Political Ramifications of Justice Kennedy's Exit
Discussion: ABC News
Weekly Standard:   Exit Kennedy  —  Yes, elections have consequences.
Chris Taylor / Mashable:
After Kennedy's retirement, are we entering 'Handmaid's Tale' territory?
Discussion: The Federalist
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The Republican Court and the Era of Minority Rule
David Harsanyi / The Federalist:
Was Gorsuch Worth A Trump Presidency? It's Starting To Look That Way
Discussion: Betsy's Page
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 …
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.
Daniella Greenbaum / Business Insider:
Democrats need to choose: Are they the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the party of Michael Bloomberg?
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
Why Trump Shouldn't Meet Putin  —  Americans should worry when the two men are in any kind of one-on-one negotiation.  —  After announcing that there will indeed be a U.S.-Russia summit in the coming weeks, National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a challenge to the skeptical scrum of reporters at his Moscow press conference.
RELATED:
Axios:
Trump to meet Putin in Finland next month
Reuters:
Manafort had $10 million loan from Russian oligarch: court filing
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
The Daily Beast:
Jeff Flake Shopping Around for a Possible Post-Senate Cable News Gig … When Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) leaves his current job at the beginning of 2019, he could already have a new one lined up: cable-news pundit.  —  Over the past several days, the Arizona Republican—who is not seeking re-election amid …
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Ronald J. Hansen / Arizona Republic:
Jeff Flake says he won't stall Supreme Court pick over tariff dispute  —  U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake said Wednesday he would not try to strong-arm the Trump administration on tariffs — or other issues — by withholding his support from a Supreme Court nominee.  —  The outgoing Arizona Republican …
Discussion: Political Wire
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 …
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 …
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.
Abbie Bennett / The Charlotte Observer:
‘God is racist,’ Jewish people ‘all descend from Satan,’ NC candidate says  —  RALEIGH  —  A website tied to a candidate for the North Carolina General Assembly says God is a racist white supremacist and that Jews are descended from Satan.  —  Russell Walker is a Republican candidate running …
RELATED:
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
What Do The Teens Know About This Tweet That We Don't?  —  Eighty-thousand retweets for, uh, this.  —  On the evening of June 22, 21-year-old Karter Machen decided to tweet.  —  “I'm not a party guy,” he wrote, “but I'd be down if someone threw a real roaring 20's party for 2020.
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 …
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
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: Front Page Magazine, Daily Wire and CNN
 
 
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 More Items: 
James Randerson / Politico:
Leo Varadkar: No plans for hard border post Brexit
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
President Trump announces a major U.S. Steel expansion — that isn't happening
Discussion: Mother Jones
Dana Rubinstein / Politico:
State ethics board opened the door to Lhota's many jobs
Will Wilkinson / New York Times:
Why Do We Value Country Folk More Than City People?
Discussion: BloombergQuint
Bloomberg:
Prison Operators Could Cash In on ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy
Patrick Kingsley / New York Times:
Migration to Europe Is Down Sharply. So Is It Still a ‘Crisis’?
Discussion: Mother Jones
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Dem Has Slight Edge in CD11
Discussion: Roll Call and Washington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Kim Hjelmgaard / USA Today:
North Korea upgrades nuclear facility despite Trump-Kim summit, satellite images show
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
Daily Mail:
'When you aggressively f*** with people's lives, you should not be surprised when they decide …
Aaron Lorenzo / Politico:
Trump's IRS nominee didn't disclose properties were at Trump-branded hotel
Discussion: Raw Story
Heather Murphy / New York Times:
Genealogists Turn to Cousins' DNA and Family Trees to Crack Five More Cold Cases
Will Oremus / Slate:
The Great Facebook Crash