Hello and welcome to the Top 5 by Sam Jenkins. The Top 5 consists of the top five things happening right now in politics. Be sure to click that like button, leave a comment, or let me know if I’m #FakeNews. Thank you for reading!
1 Big Thing: SCOTUS Nominee
On Monday, President Trump interviewed four candidates for his nomination to the United States Supreme Court: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, and Amul Thapar. Trump says he plans to announce the nominee soon, which would officially start the confirmation battle that is already underway.
- It is reported Trump will pick the nominee "who he feels most comfortable within a personal setting." Despite Trump’s final personal test, the initial list of candidates were vetted for their conservative credentials long before.
- On one hand, the Republicans are researching the nominee as well as reaching out to key Republican and Democratic votes alike to confirm the nominee.
- On the other hand, in an effort to block the confirmation, Democrats have changed their argument from “the Senate must adhere to McConnell Rule” to explaining the impact Trump’s nominee could have on the Court like overturning Roe v. Wade and removing health care protections.
Pruitt Resigns, Finally
Image credit: [Esther Addy/Flickr](https://www.flickr.com/photos/154596038@N08/41737663341/in/photolist-26Adrcc-U6Xtx3-HexYTP-ma6Wfp-T4dJDC-WR35Db-QY3q4v-SspigN-Shfo7o-Rh23mB-Sspgdj-Sw4Aqx-RWewNS-ShfsKm-WjmgD6-ma7MBD-Ka7mUo-RNqgWX-ma8FNo-23iz86k-YXmPR3-23skYoG-RBaAay-8sGwmo-249s1rU-27orpfW-25RPAmr-mf9Vne-Wu3BJ6-dGhV7f-24yf6Z9-78vZ9-Vjp31v-RSGkq7-8sGwrC-r7XXvH-ecFCmJ-X3jZVY-ma8ywu-V7JDmR-eckZQC-ma7Sdx-VcsmBa-282g3nw-EdHXX-8vGwz2-HJhG2E-Reo2JG-T3o2LB-8JU9AL)
On Thursday, Scott Pruitt resigned as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. President Trump announced the decision on Twitter along with Pruitt’s replacement, Andrew Wheeler.
- Pruitt has a wide and deep range of ethical controversies. For example, he ran up extravagant travel and securities expenses that were paid for by the taxpayers. Furthermore, as a public official, he often had inappropriate business relationships with lobbyists.
- Pruitt rolled back or changed many environmental regulations like the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule. While these policies drew the ire of Democrats, Republicans applauded them.
- As the interim leader of the EPA, Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will pursue similar policies to Pruitt. However, he differentiates himself from Pruitt as he is known as a Washington insider and a person that follows the rules.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the World Trade Organization because the global trade order isn’t fair and reciprocal for the U.S. Because of the unfair trade, the White House even drafted a bill a while back that would have effectively removed the U.S. from the organization. In similar news, Trump’s trade war rages on with several different battles:
- The U.S. will officially impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods starting July 6th. China says they will respond with their own tariffs on U.S. goods, including many agriculture products.
- On Sunday, Canada imposed tariffs on $12.5 billion of U.S. goods, which they said were proportional to the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
- Last week, the European Union also retaliated with tariffs on $3.4 billion of U.S. products in response to the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Capital Gazette Shooting
Source: [The Hill](http://thehill.com/homenews/media/394781-capital-gazette-leaves-opinion-page-blank-day-after-shooting-today-we-are)
Last Thursday, five people, who worked at the Capital Gazette newspaper, were killed in another shooting. President Trump ordered the flags to be lowered at half-staff in honor of the victims.
- The shooter targeted the newspaper and their journalists because of their coverage of a 2011 court case, which he was involved in. He had a history of mental health problems and violent threats, including online death threats.
- However, despite the shooter’s history, neither the court system nor law enforcement could detain him because of one’s civil liberties.
- This shooting was a literal and figurative attack on the press, which exacerbated the political situation.
You know when you have to delete old Instagram photos of an ex? Last year, President Trump posed for photos behind Harley-Davidson motorcycles on the White House lawn. He also praised the company for “building things in America.”
Yeah, well, they might have to delete those photos. Now, Trump is tweeting his disdain for the American motorcycle company because they announced they were moving their manufacturing production overseas. Harley-Davidson blamed Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum for the move. However, Trump argued the tariffs were just an excuse to move overseas and told the company to be patient.