Good morning ... I had been prepared for weeks for Justice Anthony Kennedy to announce his retirement, but am still a little bit in shock that this is actually happening. His departure is just about the biggest thing that could possibly have happened in American politics, other than a war.
Anthony Kennedy (on right) congratulates new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Kennedy's retirement from the Supreme Court will reverberate for decades — especially in the ongoing legal debate over abortion rights.
The big picture: Kennedy was a true swing vote on abortion rights, upholding the central premise of Roe v. Wade but allowing states to impose at least some restrictions on access to the procedure.
Threat level: We're a long way from Roe being overturned. The more immediate likelihood is that limits on the procedure will be upheld, and that red states will seize that opening to push the envelope on more restrictive policies.
What's next: Some Democrats are trying to tie the Supreme Court vacancy into their health care-focused midterms strategy, but that's a tough sell.
Go deeper: Kennedy's complicated legacy.
The Trump administration yesterday rejected Massachusetts’ proposal to exclude certain drugs from Medicaid coverage — an effort to lower spending on expensive brand-name products.
The other side: Law professors Nick Bagley and Rachel Sachs argued in April that, while the pharmaceutical industry likely would have challenged a Medicaid formulary in court, it probably wouldn't have won.
The Senate health committee doesn't necessarily seem much closer to legislation to reduce health care costs, but members were at least seriously talking about the issue yesterday, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
What to watch: Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray both brought up issues with hospital billing practices — for example, situations where patients go to in-network hospitals but get billed for care from out-of-network physicians.
In the weeks since a suspect in the Golden State Killer case was identified using data from commercial DNA kits, law enforcement has increasingly turned to the samples stored by GEDMatch to track down more suspects in unsolved cases, The New York Times reports.
How it works: In most of these cases, the suspects themselves never provided their own DNA to a testing company.
In one case, DNA matches had stumped the genealogy researcher working on the case. Per NYT:
🤔: "It’s unclear if any of the cousins whose DNA helped lead to arrests have been notified that they played a role," the NYT notes. "Whether they should be told — and whose responsibility that would be — are among the many unresolved questions that have been raised with this new approach."
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