Supreme fight / 'Straight' away / Heat alert

Supreme fight. A momentous battle’s taking shape over the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The AP: “If Republicans unite behind Trump’s selection, there’s little that Democrats can do to stop it.”
… but the Republicans’ two abortion-rights senators make that a not-small if.
Tribune columnist Steve Chapman: The fate of women’s right to abortion “lies with Chief Justice John Roberts.”
FiveThirtyEight: “The most important fight over this nomination will likely be during Trump’s selection process.”
The Washington Post: Five times Kennedy was the Supreme Court’s decider.
National Review: Good Riddance, Justice Kennedy.”

‘A terrible week to be a Democratic Party boss.’ Trib columnist John Kass reflects on Kennedy’s retirement, the Supreme Court ruling striking down mandatory government worker payments to unions, and the defeat of a veteran New York Democrat in Congress.
The president of the wretchedly excessively named organization that won the union case, the Liberty Justice Center, calls it “the biggest victory for workers’ rights in a generation.”
Gov. Rauner, also a winner in that case, has launched a website to help government workers change their status and stop paying union dues.
Rauner takes a victory lap on WGN Radio: “I am pro-worker and I am pro-taxpayer, and the Supreme Court ruling is pro-worker and pro-taxpayer.”
Columnist Neil Steinberg: “The union faithful, the American patriots, have suffered worse defeats.”
Daily Beast: Trump’s EPA chief reportedly is personally “ratf__king” former aides by whom he feels betrayed.
A Trump-Putin summit is set for July 16 in Helsinki.
Updating coverage: President Trump and an array of protesters representing students, environmentalists, civil rights advocates, teachers and union workers are on collision courses in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, where the president arrives today for groundbreaking of a $10 billion electronics manufacturing plant.

Cold calls. A protest at Portland’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters early today was disrupted by federal officers in riot gear.
A CBS News interview with a former ICE spokesperson blowing the whistle on practices under Presidents Obama and Trump was disrupted by a surprise visit from people who identified themselves as Homeland Security agents.

‘Straight’ away. After 45 years and 3,400 explanatory columns, the Chicago Reader’s “Straight Dope” feature is signing off. (Cartoon: Slug Signorino.)
The Washington Post says it’s fired an ex-Tribune reporter “for inadequately attributing material … from other publications.”

Pixar’s sexist ‘boys’ club.’ A woman who worked for five years at Disney’s computer animation studio says dismantling ex-chief creative officer John Lasseter’s legacy will “take more than just replacing a single executive.”
Disney’s won quicker-than-expected Justice Department approval to buy Fox’s entertainment assets—including The Simpsons—putting Comcast at a disadvantage.
Consumer Reports is launching a campaign to clarify cable TV’s “sneaky” billing practices.

Anchor away. After 28 years with WLS-Ch. 7, Kathy Brock signed off last night.
Video of her farewell.

Heat alert. Chicago faces heat indices in the 105- to 115-degree range Friday and Saturday.
Tom Skilling: Chicago’s temperature and rainfall totals are jumping.
Yeah, those were tornadoes in the suburbs Tuesday.

Boom. Fireworks shows around the Chicago area through the long holiday weekend begin as early as Friday night.
Fireworks and more within Chicago.
The Coast Guard warns Chicago’s summer tourists: Beware of illegal charter boats.
The job market is so tight, Kohl’s is hiring its Christmas help now.

Announcements.
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(Cartoon: Keith Taylor.)