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Supreme Court Dials Up Privacy Rights on Cellphone Records
Government must get a warrant to access a cellphone user’s location data

Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said the location information collected by companies is “an entirely different species of business record.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday boosted protections for cellphone records that reveal a user’s location and movements over extended periods of time, in a major privacy decision for the internet age.

The majority, in a 5-4 opinion, required the government in most cases to obtain a warrant to get a cellphone user’s location data from phone providers because it is a search under the Fourth Amendment. The decision highlights modern-day concerns about how much personal information can be gleaned from such data.

Supreme Court Overturns 1992 Sales Tax Ruling
Decision will ripple through the economy, lawmakers and business groups say

The Supreme Court overturned a 26-year-old tax ruling on Thursday, citing online sales. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A divided Supreme Court on Thursday accomplished something that Congress couldn’t in the past 26 years — overturn a 1992 ruling that barred states from collecting sales tax from out-of-state vendors.

Business groups and lawmakers expect the decision to reverberate throughout the economy, affecting online retail giants, small businesses and brick-and-mortar stores, and that could build pressure for congressional action.

Opinion: Back to the Future With Party ID
Spike in the generic ballot? Calm down and carry on

A voter casts his ballot in the Virginia primary at the Hillsboro Old Stone School in the Old Dominion State’s 10th District on June 12. More voters now identify as independents — not a positive trend for either party, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s morning again in America. You grab your first cup of coffee, click to your favorite news site and are greeted by a new poll with a huge generic ballot spike in the congressional vote. What should your reaction be? Is it time to freak out, or calm down and assume the poll is an outlier?

The answer is neither. When a particular survey suddenly shows a significant shift in one direction or the other, political and media analysts and the public need to approach the data with caution. Before assuming there was a change in voter preference, we need to ask whether party identification in the survey also changed significantly, and if so, why. 

Opinion: Trump May Have American Carnage, but Biden Has American Corny
As the president flexes muscles as the border, ‘Uncle Joe’ offers a different vision of strength

Former Vice President Joe Biden is drawing eager crowds on his book tour. His optimism may be corny, Curtis writes, but it may yet counter scenes at the border. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You know the lights may be dimming on the American experiment when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resurrects an abbreviated Bible passage that slaveholders once used to justify selling children away from parents to justify separating children from parents on America’s Southern border and then parses the difference between his “zero tolerance” plans and Nazi tactics — as a defense. Leaving aside that using any interpretation of the Bible (or the Koran or any holy book) in setting government policy slides awfully close to a theocracy, this is strong stuff.

And don’t forget the 2018 version of the Pips — Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen — singing backup to their official and unofficial leader on immigration, with special guest Corey Lewandowski adding his signature mocking “womp, womp” refrain.

Irish Interns Learn About Bridging Gaps in Divided US
Political students learning to ‘stand up and lead’

Boniface Odoemene, right, is New York Rep. Peter T. King's 19th intern from the Washington Ireland Program. (Courtesy Rep. Peter T. King’s office)

During a pivotal time in U.S. politics, students from Ireland are learning how things work — and don’t work — in Washington, and how to apply that knowledge to their studies back home.

The Washington Ireland Program, or WIP, has been a coveted student development program for more than 20 years. Alumni include Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, former Northern Ireland Justice Minister Claire Sugden and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister.

Court’s Gerrymandering Punt Looks to Land in North Carolina
Current House map was drawn by partisan greed, its author says. Is that unconstitutional?

Gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 28 as the court prepares to hear the a Maryland partisan gerrymandering case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it sidestepped an opening to decide the future of partisan gerrymandering this week, the Supreme Court may have turned a tobacco grower and farm equipment dealer into one of the most important people in American politics.

The farmer and John Deere salesman, 47-year-old David Lewis, is also an influential state legislator who represents the rural geographic center of North Carolina — the state that will now be Ground Zero in the three-decadeslong debate over whether electoral boundaries can ever be drawn with so much partisan motivation that they’re unconstitutional.

Opinion: When Even Ted Cruz Balks at Trump’s Excesses
Children’s screams are now the soundtrack of the Trump era

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Mission, Texas, on June 12. (John Moore/Getty Images)

If the arc of history does indeed bend toward justice, then we know what soundtrack will greet future visitors to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Golf Resort.

It will be the eight-minute audio recording, obtained and authenticated by ProPublica, of children in a Border Patrol detention facility screaming for their parents.

Take Five: Al Green
Texas Democrat never thought he would be the leading voice on impeachment of a president

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, measures holidays in his district in pounds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green, 70, is the loudest voice in Congress calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. He talks to HOH about bad dating advice from a friend and who in the House he would leave a million dollars with.

Q: Compared to when you first came to Congress almost 15 years ago, what has changed?

Here Are the Republicans Opposing Migrant Family Separation
A growing number of GOP legislators are breaking with the Trump administration’s policy

Activists protest against the policy of separating migrant children from their families on Monday in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Legislators from both parties are raising their voices against the Trump administration policy separating undocumented migrant children from their parents when they cross the southern border.

The policy has garnered intense and unified Democratic opposition, with all 48 of the party’s senators endorsing a bill, proposed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to reverse the policy. A growing number of Republicans also have come out against the current conditions on the border, while largely avoiding placing blame directly on President Donald Trump or his administration.

Trump Heads to Hill After Sowing Confusion on Immigration
President, Democrats in war of words over family separation policy

President Donald Trump will huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday afternoon to discuss two immigration overhaul bills. After signaling his opposition last week, he says he supports both. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senior White House officials say Democrats enraged by the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families should negotiate with Donald Trump. Yet when the president heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, he will see only Republican faces.

White House aides want to use the meeting to allow the president, in his own words, to clear up confusion he sowed in the House GOP conference late last week over its dueling immigration bills. He is expected to endorse both measures, with senior administration officials contending both would address the migrant separation issue.