Supreme Court Warnings From a Key Republican, a Dutch Visit and a New Mexican President
- Good morning, and Happy Independence Day week! Congress is on vacation, the president will travel to West Virginia and Montana, and the Supreme Court is wherever Supreme Court justices go for the summer. The most exciting action in town this week will be at Nationals Park, where the Boston Red Sox are visiting for a three-game set. Behind the scenes, there will be plenty of activity, however, as both Republicans and Democrats prepare for a Supreme Court nomination.
- President Trump said he will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court on July 9, a week from today. But most eyes will be on the Senate, where the president can afford to lose only a couple of Republican votes to maintain a single-party majority to confirm his choice. On Sunday, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she would not vote for any nominee who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade – something the president has said he wants the court to do.
- The president hasn’t said whether he will raise the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election when he meets with Vladimir Putin later this month, but his national security adviser, John Bolton, on Sunday vowed that the president would do so. Bolton said on Sunday that he had asked Putin about the charge last week when the two met, and Putin denied state interference, leaving open the possibility that other actors were involved.
- With less than two weeks to go before a NATO summit meeting in Brussels, President Trump again lashed out at the U.S.’s European allies over trade and their contributions to NATO. Speaking to Fox News, he said the European Union was “possibly as bad as China” on trade. Trump added that he is “not happy” with the revised NAFTA deal that his administration has been forging and that he didn’t want to sign any agreement until after the midterm elections.
- President Trump also shed light on his trade strategy when he told Fox News that global auto tariffs are his most potent weapon with which to threaten trading partners. The administration in May began a study of whether to impose a 20 percent tariff on imported cars to protect national security, and it is expected to make a decision before the midterm elections in November.
- In the midst of that hostility to the E.U. and NATO, President Trump on Monday will receive a visit from Dutch President Mark Rutte. The two are expected to discuss trade and investment between the United States and the Netherlands. The visit comes less than two weeks before the July 11-12 NATO summit.
- Some Democrats have been calling loudly for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency know as ICE, and President Trump hopes that the calls only become louder. “I think they’ll never win another election,” Trump said of the Democrats, if they continue to embrace the demands to dissolve ICE. Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested around the country Saturday in opposition to the administration’s immigration enforcement policy, many of them calling for the dismantling of ICE.
- Who is the most popular man in Mexico? This morning, it looks to be Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the man known as AMLO, who secured the nation’s presidency with a resounding victory on Sunday. But it could soon be Chicharito – the futbol star Javier Hernandez – who today will lead El Tri, as Mexico’s soccer team is known, against Brazil in the second round of World Cup play, a stage where Mexico has lost and been eliminated six times in a row.
- The Mexico elections could prove to be a signal victory for AMLO’s new leftist party, known as Morena, or the National Regeneration Movement. Only one other party besides PRI, the longstanding Institutional Revolutionary Party, has held the presidency in modern times. The effects of the Mexican election are the subject of two think-tank sessions this week. First, the Wilson center presents “Mexico’s 2018 Election: Parsing the Results” on Monday, while on Tuesday the Hudson Institute hosts “Mexican Ambassador Discusses the Evolving U.S.-Mexico Relationship.”
- Gun dealers who violate rules and fail inspections regularly get to keep their licenses, even after they were previously warned to follow the regulations, a New York Times investigation found. Senior officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regularly overrule their own inspectors, the Times said, reporting that of the 11,000 inspections in the year ended October 2017, more than half resulted in citations for rule violations but less than 1 percent resulted in the loss of a license.