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The favorites who could replace retiring Justice Kennedy

CNN Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic discusses.

Posted: Jun 28, 2018 7:45 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 8:09 PM

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1. Justice Anthony Kennedy

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn't a total surprise, but it still sent shock waves through Washington and the country that could reverberate for decades. Kennedy, the court's crucial swing vote for years, personally delivered his resignation letter to President Trump at the White House. His retirement means huge changes could be coming on hot-button issues: abortion, same-sex marriage and affirmative action.

The President was downright giddy at the prospect of not only making his second Supreme Court pick in less than two years but also at the dream scenario it presents for him and the GOP: installing a consistently conservative court that can influence American law, life and culture for generations. It's the main reason so many Republicans voted for Trump in 2016.

Democrats, already beaten down by days of SCOTUS rulings, were absolutely deflated. Some hoped to shame Republicans with cries of hypocrisy after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said hearings for Kennedy's replacement would be held this fall. They reminded anyone who would listen that the GOP blocked Barack Obama's high court nominee from a hearing in 2016. But CNN's Chris Cillizza says Senate Dems are powerless to stop Trump's pick. And who will that be? Probably someone off the list of potential picks that Trump put out during the campaign and updated last year.

2. President Trump & President Putin

We'll find out later today the particulars of an upcoming summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. National security adviser John Bolton met with Putin in Moscow to work out the details. Helsinki, Finland, and Vienna, Austria, look like the likely meeting sites. The summit will probably happen next month, after Trump visits Britain and attends a NATO meeting in Belgium. The prospect of a Trump-Putin meeting has sent ripples of consternation through European capitals. Many fear attempts to isolate Moscow for its destabilizing activities could be quickly undone by Trump.

3. North Korea

After his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month, President Trump declared that the North Korean nuclear threat was over. Well, not so fast. New satellite images show the North has made improvements to a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material. Infrastructure upgrades at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center include modifications to the site's plutonium production reactor and construction of several support facilities. North Korea says it "cannot confirm the report," but one observer says this is "still an active site producing plutonium for" the country.

4. Migrant crisis

A ship stranded at sea for days -- and loaded with 233 migrants -- finally docked in Malta. The search and rescue ship, which belongs to German charity Mission Lifeline, was stuck in the Mediterranean for five days while European leaders bickered over the migrants' fate. A deal to let the ship dock in Malta was reached Tuesday. Malta, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and France have all said they'll take in the migrants. How to deal with migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Mideast has become a hot-button issue in Europe, with some nations tightening their borders.

5. Disney & Fox

Disney is one huge step closer to buying most of 21st Century Fox. The Justice Department OK'd a settlement with Disney that would let it purchase most of Fox's assets for $71.3 billion (though Disney would have to sell off 22 of Fox's regional sports networks). But this mega deal isn't done yet. A federal judge still has to sign off, and Fox's shareholders have to vote on it. So, where does this leave Comcast, which made its own $65 billion bid for Fox? We're not sure; Comcast hasn't said yet. 21st Century Fox is the next big prize as the media industry consolidates to survive against competitors like Netflix and Facebook. Last week, a judge signed off on AT&T's purchase of Time Warner.

TODAY'S NUMBERS

132

That's the number of political candidates reportedly killed in Mexico over the last nine months. The country's presidential election is Sunday.

$117,400

The annual earnings of a family of four, now considered low-income in San Francisco

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Safe travels

Looking for a nice, safe place to visit? Try Uzbekistan. No, really. It's listed in a new survey of the safest countries in the world for travelers.

Some kind of hero

He couldn't swim, yet he was the first to jump into a river to save a 5-year-old boy from drowning.

Grease is the word

A new study on interstellar dust made a surprising discovery: Outer space is full of grease.

Football follies

Defending champ Germany crashed out of the World Cup, and now South Koreans in Mexico are being hailed as heroes. Wait, what?

Hypersonic hype

New York to London in just two hours? Boeing's working on a plane to do just that, but it may be a decade or two (or three) before it becomes a reality.

AND FINALLY

Supersize me

You've made paper airplanes before, right? That's cute. Watch this guy step it up and make a giant one. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 31715

Reported Deaths: 1984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9189533
Lake3299167
Cass15826
Allen127766
St. Joseph117034
Hendricks112367
Hamilton109992
Johnson1082104
Elkhart100827
Madison58258
Porter48721
Bartholomew48033
Clark45838
LaPorte40821
Tippecanoe3733
Jackson3611
Howard35618
Delaware35434
Hancock31927
Shelby31421
Floyd31338
Boone28235
Morgan26124
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery22717
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2151
Noble18520
Grant18520
Harrison18521
Dubois1822
Greene16723
Warrick16426
Dearborn16221
Monroe16010
Henry1597
Vigo1477
Lawrence14322
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll922
Kosciusko861
Daviess8216
Steuben792
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne695
Fayette654
Marshall641
LaGrange602
Jasper561
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay430
Jefferson411
Randolph403
Pulaski390
Clay391
Whitley392
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
Owen311
DeKalb291
Perry270
Huntington262
Benton250
Knox240
Crawford230
Wells230
Tipton221
Blackford201
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer161
Gibson142
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0152

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 112017

Reported Deaths: 4885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook730973324
Lake7723250
DuPage7207340
Kane5761152
Will5188258
Winnebago195351
McHenry142767
St. Clair99172
Kankakee79942
Kendall71419
Rock Island63622
Champaign5647
Madison53954
Boone39716
Sangamon33126
DeKalb3253
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21110
Ogle1922
Stephenson1902
Macon18819
Peoria1797
Clinton17716
Out of IL1641
Union1417
LaSalle14012
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1304
Coles1169
Warren1140
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee771
Cass670
Henry670
Tazewell673
Williamson551
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin411
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas270
Jo Daviess270
Fayette202
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Mason170
Menard170
Woodford172
Shelby161
Bureau151
Mercer150
Carroll132
Hancock130
Franklin120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Piatt110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
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