In it, but not of it. TPM DC

If there is one clear message that could be derived from a unanimous but unsigned Supreme Court opinion on a major contraceptive case, it is this: Everyone is just going to need to get along and keep the Supreme Court out of it.

The short, three-page opinion in the closely watched case of Zubik v. Burwell was riddled with ambiguity, uncertainty and even contradiction. The Supreme Court's non-decision to punt the issue reflects not just its intractability, exacerbated by the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, but also hints of trouble to come when the case goes back down to lower courts.

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In a surprise move Monday, the Supreme Court punted on a major Obamacare case challenging the law's contraceptive mandate, and specifically, how it accommodates religious nonprofits that object to birth control. The Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts to examine an alternative accommodation to the mandate that the court had been briefed on by both parties in the case after the oral arguments.

The move -- which comes as the Supreme Court is down a justice with Justice Antonin Scalia's death -- allowed the court to avoid what looked like a split decision after March's oral arguments. The Supreme Court was able to stay away from the thorny trade-offs between health care policy and religious freedom, a legal landscape that got much more complicated after the Supreme Court's ruling in 2014's Hobby Lobby case.

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After Donald Trump's much-ballyhooed trip Thursday to Capitol Hill, some Republican senators present in his meeting with GOP Senate leadership praised him for his willingness to "listen" behind closed doors.

"He was like I've always known: very straightforward ... very open about what he believes, very cordial," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) -- the most-senior Republican senator and one of those present at the meeting -- told reporters in the Capitol Thursday afternoon.

"I've always been impressed, but I was really impressed today," Hatch said.

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Donald Trump treated the 2016 primary cycle like a WWE wrestling match. So, when it comes to uniting Republicans around him -- let alone Americans -- he's in a steel cage death match against ... himself.

The Donald Trump “make nice” tour makes a stop Thursday on Capitol Hill, where the presumptive GOP nominee will attempt to mend fences with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other Republican leaders he spent most of the last year needling. For months on end, he has ran a campaign fueled by insults and Twitter beefs, antagonizing some of the very people he will depend on in his general election battle.

There's a lot of talk about Trump making the so-called pivot to the general election -- and a lot of disagreement about whether he can or even wants to. But to put it in pro wrestling argot, Trump must execute the pivot from "heel" to "face." From bad boy villain to pretty boy hero. Here is look at who Trump must convince that he has given up his villainous ways.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) returned to Washington this week after dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, and all eyes are watching to see whether he will take the opportunity to work with his colleagues after years of obstruction.

After he led a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Cruz was viewed by many leaders in his party as a destructive and reckless force. Now, he's got a fresh reputation as one of the last men standing against Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee who makes a lot of senators queasy.

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While avoiding saying Donald Trump's name out loud, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that "the early indications are that our nominee is likely to be very competitive."

"We know that Hillary Clinton will be four more years of Barack Obama. I think that's in the end going to be enough to unify Republicans across the country," McConnell said in a press conference after the GOP caucus lunch, the first official gathering of Republican senators since Trump emerged as the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

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Thanks to North Carolina, major legal questions about how civil rights law applies to transgender people will be hashed out in a case about their access to bathrooms.

“Transgender rights still are very much an open question in American law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “It’s going to take a law like the North Carolina bathroom bill to bring the question of transgender rights to the courts for final resolution.”

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