JUDGE BLOCKS CENSUS CITIZENSHIP QUESTION LAWYERS’ REMOVAL… A federal judge has blocked the Justice Department’s move to replace the legal team handling the administration’s effort to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said in a filing yesterday that the government gave “no reasons, let alone satisfactory reasons,” to replace the lawyers with new ones. The judge ruled that only two lawyers who have since departed from the DOJ and its Civil Division will be allowed to leave.
ALEX ACOSTA DISCUSSES EPSTEIN CASE… Amid mounting criticism over his secret 2007 plea deal with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta said on Twitter yesterday that he is “pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence.” Acosta said the case against Epstein offers “an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York have called on Acosta to resign over his brokering of a deal in 2007 that allowed Epstein to avoid federal prosecution.
TOM STEYER TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT... Tom Steyer reversed course yesterday by declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. The billionaire plans to spend at least $100 million of his own money on his campaign and has reportedly purchased more than $1 million in TV advertising in the first four primary and caucus states. Steyer has become politically active the past couple years and supports such causes as impeachment, engaging young voters and fighting climate change.
AMY McGRATH ANNOUNCES SENATE RUN… Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath, who unsuccessfully ran for a House seat in Kentucky last November, announced yesterday that she will oppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2020 election. The 44-year-old McGrath sees McConnell as vulnerable because of his lengthy tenure in Washington, his stance on health care and his allegiance to President Trump. She has attacked McConnell as the embodiment of a dysfunctional Washington.
ROSS PEROT DIES… Texas billionaire and former third-party presidential candidate H. Ross Perot died of leukemia yesterday. He was 89. Perot tallied 19 percent of the vote during his 1992 presidential run. He amassed his fortune as the founder of Electronic Data Systems Corporation.
WOODSTOCK 50 STILL TROUBLED… Woodstock 50 festival continues to face an uphill battle after organizers have been denied a permit to stage the event in the Upstate New York town of Vernon. Promoters have five days to appeal the decision, but an Oneida County administrator called their chances for success “highly unlikely.” The event is scheduled for the weekend of August 16-18, but has no venue and hasn’t started selling tickets.
RIP TORN DIES… Actor Rip Torn, whose career spanned six decades, died at his Lakeville, Connecticut, home yesterday. He was 88. Torn appeared in more than 80 feature films and made dozens of television appearances. He was also in the cast of 10 Broadway plays. Among his most popular roles were Artie on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show” and Zed in “Men in Black.”
MLB ALL-STAR GAME…
AMERICAN LEAGUE 4 – National League 3… Joey Gallo’s solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning proved to be the difference as the American League edged the National League in last night’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. The victory was the AL’s seventh straight in the Midsummer Classic. Pitcher Shane Bieber came on in the fifth inning and struck out the side in order on his way to becoming the first player in 20 years to win MVP in his home park.