So It Begins: Mississippi Guv Leaves Door Open For Birth Control Ban

INSIDE: Raffensperger ... Jill Biden ... Shark Infestation
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves delivers a televised address prior to signing a bill retiring the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem during a ceremony at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Mis... Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves delivers a televised address prior to signing a bill retiring the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem during a ceremony at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Mississippi, on June 30, 2020. Upon signing the bill, the flag looses its official status. - Lawmakers in Mississippi voted June 28 to remove the Confederate battle standard from the state flag, after nationwide protests drew renewed attention to symbols of the United States' racist past. The measure passed with a 91-23 majority vote in the House of Representatives, triggering cheers in the Senate gallery. A few hours later, the Senate voted 37-14 for the bill. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Floodgates Ready Burst Open

With the Supreme Court’s conservative majority poised to tear down Roe v. Wade thanks to his state’s 15-week abortion ban, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signaled on Sunday that a ban on contraceptives wasn’t off the table, telling CNN only that his state wasn’t focused on such a ban “at this time.”

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  • The GOP governor similarly hedged later on Sunday when asked if he’d sign a birth control ban, saying during a “Meet the Press” interview that while “I don’t think that’s going to happen in Mississippi,” he refused to say for sure that he wouldn’t.
  • “I believe that clearly a life begins at conception,” Reeves told “Meet the Press.”

GOP Senate Candidate Wants States To Be Able To Ban Birth Control

Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters (R) declared on his campaign website that if elected, he would vote “only for federal judges who understand that” Griswold v. Connecticut, the landmark Supreme Court case that established the right to contraception, was “wrongly decided.”

  • The candidate’s pledge dispels any illusion that the GOP will stop attacking reproductive rights once the conservative majority on the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade
  • Masters apparently missed the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) new memo urging its candidates to tell voters that Republicans “DO NOT want to take away contraception.”

Raffensperger Throws Cold Water On MTG Disqualification Bid

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) sided with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Friday in the effort by a group of Georgia voters to remove her from the ballot over her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

  • Raffensperger, who is facing a primary challenge from another pro-Trump member of Congress who sought (and continues to seek) to undermine the 2020 election, asserted that Greene’s eligibility for elected office “is rightfully a question for the voters of” her district.
  • Raffensperger’s decision upholds an administrative law judge’s decision against the voters’ challenge, during which Greene’s main defense was that she couldn’t remember whether or not she tried to help Trump steal the election.
  • Nonprofit good governance group Free Speech For People, which is leading the disqualification effort, pledged to appeal Raffensperger’s decision in the Georgia Superior Court.

McConnell Acknowledges Possibility Of GOP Federal Abortion Ban

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whose Supreme Court hijacking paved the way for the high court’s upcoming dismantling of Roe v. Wade, said during a USA Today interview that it was “possible” that Republican senators will take aim at abortion access nationwide.

  • However, McConnell insisted that he wouldn’t end the filibuster or create a filibuster carveout for the potential abortion ban.

First Lady Makes Surprise Visit To Ukraine

First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday made an unannounced trip to Ukraine for the first time since the Russian invasion, where she met with Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska.

Clarence Thomas Whines About SCOTUS Judges Being ‘Bullied’

Amid the uproar sparked by a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said during a judicial conference on Friday that the high court “can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want,” an interesting point coming from Thomas in particular:

  • During the conference on Friday, Thomas wasn’t asked about his wife’s involvement in Trump’s 2020 election steal plot and the justice’s refusal to recuse himself from cases on said plot.
  • Thomas’ complaints ring similar to a speech he gave last September lamenting about him being accused of being a partisan hack, especially when it comes to abortion.

Judge Tosses Out Trump’s Twitter Ban Lawsuit

A federal judge shot down the ex-president’s bid to force Twitter to lift his ban on Friday.

  • Which ought to suit Trump just fine, given how he claimed last month that he wouldn’t return to Twitter even if Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently made a $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant, allowed him back on the platform. Instead, Trump insisted, he’ll be sticking to his off-brand Twitter app, TRUTH Social.

Hawaii Dem Rep Launches Gubernatorial Bid

Rep. Kai Kahele (D-HI) announced on Saturday that he was running for governor in his state.

  • That puts the total number of House Democrats who are leaving at the end of their term at just over 30.
  • Kahele has recently come under scrutiny over his absences from Congress amid his part-time work as a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines.

A Shark Infestation In Florida

Cue the “Jaws” theme:

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