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Manic Monday Markup 6/27/16…

You Brexit, You Bought It:

We begin today in Britain, roiled still by the shock of voters’ decision to leave the European Union, where political and economic chaos reigns. Pound sterling has fallen and rating agenceis have downgraded the nation’s creditworthiness. While in the immediate aftermath concerns the vote would dissolve the union—leaders in both Northern Ireland and Scotland called for independence votes, technically a reunification vote the former’s case—a leadership vacuum has taken hold at Westminster Palace and beyond.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party, announced his intent to resign come Fall, sparking a leadership election in his party. Former London mayor, current MP and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson is expected to seek the leadership and with it the premiership. Therese May, the Home Secretary and a low-profile Remain supporter, may also mount a bid, perhaps becoming the stop-Boris choice. Others may step forward too although Conservative party members will ultimately choose from one of two names forwarded by parliamentary Tories.

The vote has also dropped a bomb on the Labour party, prompting its leader Jeremy Corbyn to scramble and fill seats in the Shadow (opposition) cabinet left open by resigning Labour MPs. Labour broadly supported remain, but many  MPs felt Corbyn’s efforts to keep the country “IN” were half-baked. Former shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn told Corbyn he had lost confidence in the leader—and Corbyn fired him. A wave of shadow cabinet resignations followed. With the prospect of new elections following selection of a new prime minister and given how well Brexit did in Labour strongholds, many MPs fear Corbyn would steer the party toward near-annihilation in a snap election. After a “despairing” meeting today, Labour MPs will vote tomorrow on a motion of no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership, likely prompting new leadership elections from which Corbyn is showin no sign of backing down.

Add to that Johnson, Michael Gove and other Brexit supporters have largely walked back all of their promises about what leaving the EU would do for Britain. Nor do they have a plan moving forward. Cameron will leave invoking Article 50, the part of the EU treaty that starts a two-year clock on nations’ leaving the union, to his successor. Many European leaders want the process to begin as soon as possible. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is cool with giving Britain some space to invoke Article 50, but does not want the Brits to take forever either. All this has in turn prompted questions of whether Brexit will ever happen.

…And the World:

On Saturday, Australia will hold general elections, just a few months short of the expiration of Parliament’s three year term. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal/Coalition leader, triggered a double dissolution—the full Senate will also be up for election—to call early elections. However, Labor and its leader Bill Shorten have proven to be a stiffer challenge than expected, though may have faded recently. Turnbull had plucked the premiership from unpopular Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a fellow Liberal, partly on the basis of his being better able to maintain control of Canberra after six years of Labor governments. Add to that a prominent independet Australian pol may drive Saturday’s outcome.

In Spanish Elections, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s party won more seats than it did after last year’s inconclusive elections—no party won a majority leading to months of fruitless negotiations and new elections held this weekend. But Rajoy still lacks a majority needed to govern on his party’s own. Negotiations begin anew.

The Pope says Christians should ask gays, among other groups mistreated over the years, for forgiveness.

Israel and Turkey normalize relations after a six-year rift over the killing of Turkish activists during the Gaza flotilla in 2010. Though newly-minted Isareli Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman is expected to vote against the deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being credited with finally making a deal with one-time ally Turkey. It may even help diffuse the risk of another war in Gaza, Haaretz reasons.

Activist Edward Snowden criticized a Big Brother measure—in Russia, the country hosting him during exile.

The first ships pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal.

The Feds:

On this side of the Pond, the White House has emphasized that Brexit will not end the US’s special relationship with the United Kingdom. However, it does complicate things even as Secretary of State John Kerry said the bond remaind strong while visiting Europe today.

The US Supreme Court capped off its term with several significant decisions. Wading into the abortion debate for the first time in nine years in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a 5-3 majority, struck down restrictive laws passed in Texas that would have (or already did) shut down well more than half of the state’s abortion clinics. The case was hailed as a huge win for pro-choice advocates.

Passed under the guise of protecting women’s health, the law ordered abortion clinics to meet the same standard as ambulatory surgical center and required doctors providing abortions to have admitting privileges with a local hospital. Joined by justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the rules created an undue burden, as established under Planned Parenthood v. Casey, on Texas women’s right to access abortion services. Nor were the rules backed by medical evidence, which might have justified them. Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

The Court also unanimously vacated the conviction of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell saying that federal law (and impliedly the Constitution) only prohibited official actions in exchange for gifts or other remunerations. It likely complicates future such corruption prosecution. Things like holding meetings or making phones call on an individuals behalf may not meet that standard. Roberts took a dim view of McDonnell’s behavior, but said it may not have been illegal. The case will be sent back to the lower courts for further review.

Polls show real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, cratering against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee. While the ABC/Washington Post and NBC/Wall Street Journal polls show different results—the latter shows a smaller gap between the two—both show the Donald going limp. Republicans are not rallying to him amid fresh doubts and prominent GOPers from Ford and Bush I national security advisor Brent Scowcroft to Bush II Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen backing Clinton.

Virginia’s junior Senator Timothy Kaine’s stock at Clinton’s VP is rising. Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren campaign alongside Clinton in Cincinnati. But Politico ponders whether Clinton needs Warren as her running mate—certainly she’s still a key surrogate—and the Post poll would seem to bolster that notion as Bernie Sanders move to Clinton.

The State of Things:

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says the deficit in the budget beginning July 1 is likely as much as $1 billion following market volatility in the aftermath of Brexit.

A federal judge threw out MGM’s lawsuit to strike down a Connecticut law that could allow the Native American tribes there to open a casino to compete with MGM Springfield. Meanwhile, MGM tried, but failed to get Congress to pass legislation that would forbid the Mohegan and Pequot tribes efforts to open a casino off of their federally designated reservations.

Four Mass Dems top a New York Times list of Democrats to watch.

Former Westfield State Senator Michael Knapik has a new job: running Baker’s office in the 413.

State Rep Garrett Bradley of Hingham, a close ally of Speaker Robert DeLeo, will resign at the end of next month when the legislative session concludes.

Candidates for Western Massachusetts’s Governor’s Council traded views in Wilbraham last week.

The Fourth Estatements:

Longtime ScotusBlog correspondent Lyle Denniston moves on from the famous Supreme Court-centric outlet to take a job with the National Constitutional Center.

It’s Working:

Nurses and management at Brigham and Women’s Hospital reach a deal to avert a strike.

City Slickers:

The former home of the defunct Massachusetts Career Development Institute has caught fire.

The Forest Park Zoo is making the most of Dizzy’s escape as an animal rights group files a complaint against the facility over the monkey’s escape.

Twitter Chatter:

Brexit will dominate the headlines for some time, but the news from the Supreme Court cannot be underplayed. It was a culmination of a battle that began three years ago in the Texas legislature, but ended with a significant affirmation of Supreme Court jurisprudence on reproductive health. That arc is important to critical to understanding today’s decision. It came amid great fear that the reverse would happen. Both pro-choice and pro-life activists feared, but especially the former avoided the Court for this reason. Today we award the tweet prize to Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards, whose tweet that harkened back to protests in Austin three years ago, connected the broader narrative of today’s decision. While this blog is fiercely pro-choice, anybody can appreciate the history behind today’s ruling as Richards did.

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