June 26

• Today, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law providing a 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics so women could enter without being harassed. Amanda Marcotte argues that the court may have emboldened anti-abortion activists to get more in women’s faces. “One reason the areas around Massachusetts clinics are relatively peaceful is because protesters had to stand back a little. Ironically, it’s that peacefulness that allowed the court to argue that the buffer zone is an overkill.”

• Supreme Court watchers believe that Justice Samuel Alito is writing the opinion in Harris v. Quinn, which will be released Monday. Andy Kroll describes it as “a blockbuster case that could, in a worst-case scenario, wipe public-employee unions such as SEIU and AFSCME off the map,” and if Alito’s the one writing the decision, it well might.

• President Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to train and equip “vetted members of the Syran opposition.” Let’s hope the vetting is comprehensive.

• A new Civitas Institute poll shows Sen. Kay Hagan holding a narrow 47-43 lead over Thom Tillis in North Carolina.

• Fernando Espuelas says Republicans are doing themselves untold harm by killing immigration reform:

Many commentators in the right-wing media bubble write and speak about immigration and Latinos like scientists trying to understand some obscure species. They roll out polls that show Latinos are more interested in the economy than immigration. Is that different from any other voter group?

These pundocrats go terribly astray when they extrapolate Latino preoccupation with American economic growth as nullifying Hispanics’ deep passion for immigration reform. This is self-delusion on a titanic scale.

It’s one thing to speak to people about their most important issues, but if you’ve also communicated your contempt for them, no message will be easy to deliver.

• Steve Benen shares with us the bizarre story of Virginia Republicans breaking into Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office over Father’s Day weekend to deliver the budget, in order to give him less time to deal with it. Classy!

• The Hill looks at the transcript of Hillary Clinton’s interview with the Guardian that got her in some trouble to see whether her remarks were unfairly taken out of context. It seems Clinton has a strong case — when she said of herself and her husband “we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off,” there’s really no reason to assume she wasn’t including them in that group. But it’s interesting that even in this article, the Hill misquotes her in the first paragraph, saying “Hillary Clinton said she and her husband were ‘unlike the truly well off’.’” If you’re going to write a piece on whether someone was being taken out of context, you really ought to get their words right.

• Brian Beutler looks at the increasingly desperate conspiracy theorizing over former IRS official Lois Lerner’s missing e-mails. Among her other nefarious powers, Lerner apparently is able to travel back in time, which she did to make her computer crash in 2011, two years before the scandal broke. “By sheer coincidence, pretty much every Republican in Congress who’s ‘not a scientist’ turns out to be an IT expert,” Beutler writes, “and they’ve rendered a unanimous judgment: The official explanation of the missing Lois Lerner emails is a lie, and the IRS is perpetrating a coverup.”

• Republicans, strong 10th Amendment advocates that they are, just love messing around with the District of Columbia’s laws. But something odd happened today: the House Appropriations Committee, in seeking to nullify a law passed by the D.C. City Council decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, may have inadvertently legalized pot in the District. What were those Republicans smoking?

• Linda Greenhouse has the best explanation of why the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the police need a warrant to search your phone: justices have cellphones, too.

• Over at the American Prospect, I asked whether there’s anything the United States can do to stop drones from making it a more dangerous world and argued that John Boehner’s lawsuit against the Obama administration is just one more iteration of Republicans’ unwillingness to accept the legitimacy of the Obama presidency.

• And finally, here’s something to make you feel smug: Only 40 percent of Americans know that Republicans control the House and Democrats control the Senate, and 28 percent have no idea about either.