Reason Roundup

This Week Confirmed That Control of the Supreme Court Will Be a Critical Part of Trump's Reelection Strategy

Plus: Seattle labor coalition gives cops the boot, supermarkets are a miracle of modern markets, Klobuchar is the last person to realize she won't be Biden's VP, and more...

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After a couple of close losses at the Supreme Court this week, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade demanding "NEW JUSTICES" and joined other conservatives in demanding that the court be even more politicized than it already is.

This venting followed two major rulings announced this week. On Monday, the Supreme Court held that employers cannot fire workers for being gay or transgender. Trump didn't seem to disagree at first, but later changed his tune. And yesterday, the court upheld the Obama-era Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which protects some illegal immigrants who entered the country as children from being deported; Trump has tried to scrap it.

But this Twitter rant is more than that. Trump is also outlining what could be a central campaign issue as he heads into re-election. Four years ago, the promise that he would appoint a conservative to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the main reasons that Trump was able to hold the conservative coalition together despite his obvious shortcomings. It may have been the main reason, to judge from my own conversations with conservatives who were less than enamored with Trump but voted for him anyway.

The stakes were more well-defined in 2016 because there was a vacant seat on the bench. But with the economy in a coronavirus-induced snooze and Trump losing ground in national polls, the president seems eager again to make the Supreme Court a major part of the argument for his re-election.

The idea is re-energize turned-off conservatives: "Vote Trump, or everything you love and value will be gone!"

On the other hand, some conservatives may be less likely to back Trump because Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, authored the majority opinion in the workplace discrimination case. It's not hard to imagine Trump scaring them back into line with the threat of what a Democratic presidency would do to the court. But it is also not necessarily wise for an incumbent to campaign against his own appointees.

Turning every presidential election into a referendum about the future of the federal judiciary—which is supposed to be a mechanism for settling disputes, not a means for owning the libs—seems imprudent, but both major parties have all but abandoned any pretense of seeing the court as neutral or apolitical. Probably the best we could hope for is exactly what the nine justices displayed this week: a willingness to rule with independence from the gale-force political winds constantly whipping around them.


FREE MINDS

A labor council in Seattle that represents 150 unions and more than 100,000 workers voted to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Getting booted from the county-wide labor council means the police union will no longer benefit from typical union solidarity as it heads into its next contract negotiation with the city, The Seattle Times notes. The apparent aim is to weaken police unions' political power, as nationwide protests bring new attention to these unions' role in protecting bad cops.


FREE MARKETS

The modern supermarket is a miracle—one that we might more fully appreciate after the past few months, writes Bianca Bosker for The Atlantic:

Yet in recent months, the supermarket has assumed a new centrality in Americans' lives. Cashiers, stockers, distributors, wholesalers, packers, pickers, and truck drivers have, even in the absence of adequate health safeguards, continued working to ensure that shelves stay stocked. Foodtowns, Nugget Markets, and Piggly Wigglys have emerged as crucial lifelines, spawning a broad reappreciation for one of the most distinctly American institutions. Grocery shopping is no longer one in a long list of mundane errands. For many people, it's the errand—the only one—and it now seems not inevitable, but somewhat amazing to be able to do at all.

The evolution of small-town grocers and city markets into the 50,000-square-foot behemoths of today is an innovation that could only have happened in America, Bosker argues. And what you see on the shelves is the product of massive supply chains, obsessive commitment to efficiency, and careful scrutiny of shoppers' psychology. Bookmark this one for your Saturday morning coffee.


ELECTION UPDATE

She may be the last person to realize it, but Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) announced that she will not be Joe Biden's running mate:

Klobuchar was reportedly on Biden's shortlist for the veep slot, but her time as a prosecutor in Minneapolis has become a major red flag in recent weeks: She declined to prosecute cops involved in a fatal shooting in 2007, even though she'd garnered a reputation for ramping up prosecutions across the board.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is asking for more presidential debates this fall. Three are currently scheduled: September 29 at the University of Notre Dame, October 15 at the University of Michigan, and October 22 at Belmont University.


QUICK HITS

Happy Juneteenth!

• Australia was hit by a massive cyberattack.

• AMC Theaters, the world's largest theater chain, is hoping to re-open some locations by July 15, just in time for the planned releases of Disney's live-action Mulan and Christopher Nolan's Tenet.

• Remember when social distancing mattered?

• When the National Basketball Association resumes playing next month, players will wear smart rings to track their locations monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

The color of money.

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