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Quote of the Day

"I call him Brick Wall Paul"

— Pedro Pascal, on co-star Paul Mescal's transformation for “Gladiator II” (trust us, you’ll want to take a peek). We just found our new Roman Empire.

 

What's Happening

Former President Trump at a rally
Politics

The Supreme Court Handed Former President Trump a Big Win

What's going on: In a groundbreaking decision yesterday, the Supreme Court granted former President Trump broad immunity from prosecution for his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. The 6-3 decision, which came on the last day of the court’s term, significantly expands presidential authority and sets a precedent for future cases involving executive power. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote presidents have “absolute” immunity when exercising their “constitutional powers.” How far can a president go without being held criminally responsible? Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it this way: “Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

What it means: The high court has now tasked US District Judge Tanya Chutkan with examining the special counsel’s allegations against Trump to determine what charges can be used against the former president. The process is likely to significantly delay the case — ultimately pushing any trial well past Election Day. To put it bluntly: If Trump wins in November, he could order the Justice Department to drop the charges. President Biden said the ruling “undermined the rule of law” and sets a “dangerous precedent.” Meanwhile, Trump called the ruling on Truth Social a “big win for our constitution and democracy” and used it as an opportunity to fundraise. As for what legal experts have to say, more on that below.

Related: Can Supreme Court Justices Be Impeached? (Axios)

 
International

The Far Right Is Making Major Gains in France

What's going on: French President Emmanuel Macron bet big when he called for snap elections in France, and it might be backfiring on him. The far-right National Rally party easily won the first round of the elections earlier this week, taking home one-third of the votes. A group of left-wing parties, called the New Popular Front, claimed second place. In dead last: Macron’s centrist Renaissance party. Now, leftist and centrist politicians in France are scrambling to prevent the National Rally from gaining a majority and seizing control of the government before the elections end on July 7.

What it means: If the National Rally party keeps up its winning streak, France could see its first far-right government since World War II. That means Macron would need to find a way to work with far-right lawmakers until his term ends in 2027. It comes as a number of Western countries have seen a recent rise in far-right and conservative parties amid growing immigration and inflation. Meanwhile, the opposite could be true in the UK, which is holding its first elections in five years on America’s birthday.

Related: The 28-Year-Old Leading France’s Far-Right National Rally (AP)

 
US News

Was Your Drink Spiked? A New California Law Is Making It Easier to Find Out

What's going on: A new law in the Golden State now requires bars and clubs to offer drink-spiking drug tests to help protect customers from sexual assault. The test kits come in the form of straws, stickers, or strips and can detect so-called “date rape drugs,” including ketamine and GHB, which has no taste or smell once mixed into a drink. Approximately 2,400 venues across the state must have test kits on hand for free or sell them at a reasonable price. They’re also required to put up signage that says, “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.”

What it means: The new law, which is reportedly the first of its kind in the country, doesn’t address the elephant in the room: Women make up a majority of rape victims. 91% of rape and sexual assault victims from 2005 to 2010 in the US were women, according to the Justice Department. There isn’t a clear picture of the prevalence of sexual assault against women who’ve had their drink spiked, but surveys in recent years have offered a glimpse. Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), a 2016 survey reported women were more likely to have substances slipped into their drinks.

Related: Because a Law Might Not Be Enough, Here Are the Warning Signs Your Drink Has Been Roofied (The Guardian)

 

Quick Hits

⚖️ A new form of punishment for certain sex crimes in Louisiana is sparking debate.


👀 Divisive or deserving? Not everyone thinks Prince Harry should get this latest award.


🤔 We all know a narcissist. But do you know a “covert narcissist”?


🥣 We’re patiently waiting for someone to taste test the new Cup Noodles flavor.


✨ The latest accessory of choice: a Kindle. But these aren’t your ordinary e-readers.

 

Let's Unpack This

theSkimm checked in with Caroline Polisi, legal analyst and lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, to break down the Supreme Court’s decision on presidential immunity. Here’s what she had to say...

People hold anti Trump signs in front of the US Supreme Court on July 1, 2024, in Washington, DC.

What's something that stood out to you in the decision?

I was surprised that the court held not only that a president enjoys absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his constitutional authority, but it went a step further and said that a president is entitled to presumptive immunity for all official acts. This means that for much of the conduct alleged in former President Trump’s indictment, special counsel Jack Smith’s team will have to rebut this presumptive immunity by showing that the conduct was purely personal in nature. That is a very high bar. The decision today has severely hamstrung the special counsel’s prosecution.

What are some of the dangers of SCOTUS' decision? 

The dangers are obviously future presidents who cynically use the ruling to cloak otherwise criminal conduct in the trappings of official presidential acts. For example: taking bribes in exchange for official appointments, or taking official action against political enemies. The results really could be disastrous.

What are your thoughts on the dissents? 

The dissents were blistering and really show just how divided this court is politically and ideologically. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who read her dissent from the bench, noted her belief that the long-term effects of insulating the president from criminal prosecution will be stark. She warned that future presidents will be able to “exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain” and “use his official power for evil ends.” She also noted that under the majority opinion, “the President is now a king above the law.”

Where do we go from here?

The court has explicitly left many fact-finding issues to Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing Trump’s January 6th prosecution in the District of Columbia. Those decisions can also be appealed back up to the Supreme Court for review. If there were any question at all as to whether this case could possibly get back on track and be tried before the election, we now know that it cannot. There simply won’t be enough time between now and November 5th. The best the American public can hope for now is an evidentiary hearing in which some of the special counsel’s evidence will be previewed in order for the court to decide which conduct described in the indictment is purely personal, and therefore chargeable criminal conduct outside the scope of the immunity granted. However, that is a very poor substitute for the accountability much of the American electorate wanted to take place prior to election day.

PS: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Read more:

 

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Skimm Picks

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Extra Credit

Strawberry Shortcake recipe

Eat

What would you get if you crossed strawberry cake with strawberry cobbler? Brooklyn Supper’s Strawberry Spoon Cake. Perfect for the final days of strawberry season, this unfussy, impossible-to-mess-up dessert includes a little bit of simple cake batter and a lot of freshly muddled strawberries on top. When baked, the two meld together, creating a dessert that contains multitudes — tender cake, crisp golden edges, a jammy, pudding-like center — and, as the name implies, is best served with a spoon.

 

Settle This

Close up shot of an unrecognisable woman's hand while holding a phone in an airplane

A woman went viral for recording a man on a plane who was allegedly cheating on his partner. What would you have done?

 

Game Time

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Start your Tuesday off right with Typeshift, a fun new game that challenges you to create words from a set number of letters. Warning: It’s very addicting. Start playing.

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