The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Howdy, Pardoner

President Trump pardoned Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers in Oregon who were sentenced to prison for arson on public lands.

Rick Bowmer / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump pardoned Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers in Oregon who were sentenced to prison for arson on public lands, and whose imprisonment inspired the 41-day occupation of a wildlife refuge in 2016.

  • Trump is reportedly preparing to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

  • Dozens of children will be released from government custody and reunited with their parents after being separated at the U.S. border, according to the administration. On Monday, the Trump administration said they would only be able to reunite about half of the children under age 5 by Tuesday, the court-imposed deadline.

  • All 12 members of a boys’ soccer team and their coach have been rescued after spending 18 days trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

  • Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, began meeting with Senate leaders on Capitol Hill.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Breaking Precedent: Supreme Court nominees never discuss how they feel about specific court cases. But Democratic leaders believe President Trump’s pick has an obligation to share his personal views. (Russell Berman)

  • The Case That Broke America: Five years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, it’s clear that an era of white hegemony has begun, writes Vann R. Newkirk II.

  • Staying Loyal: President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has earned him a wave of praise from establishment conservatives—a sign the party and its donors will remain loyal to Trump. (Elaina Plott)

  • Moment of Truth: At some point, American and South Korean leaders will have to decide whether the denuclearization of North Korea is really achievable. That time is coming soon. (Uri Friedman)


Vice President Mike Pence, right, speaks about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, center, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  listens during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington. Susan Walsh / AP

What We’re Reading

Congratulations to Brett Kavanaugh: From enforcing the Second Amendment to protecting religious liberty, Ed Whelan lays out the Supreme Court nominee’s strong, conservative judicial record. (National Review)

The End of Roe: Americans should expect Brett Kavanaugh to gut Roe v. Wade. Here’s how he’ll do it. (Mark Joseph Stern, Slate)

A Band-Aid for the Problem: Heather Mac Donald argues that the Trump administration was right to ask colleges to stop considering race in the admissions process: “Preferences are not the most effective way to create diverse classrooms,” she writes. “Raising the academic competitiveness of minority students is.” (City Journal)

Campaign in Poetry, Govern in Prose: The left’s push to “Abolish ICE” is more symbolic than practical, writes Matthew Yglesias. But it represents a broader trend of politicians campaigning on aspirational ideas. (Vox)


The Path to Confirmation: Here’s what happens next for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. (The Washington Post)