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Today’s Headlines: Another Obamacare challenge defeated

The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 vote, rejected a third major attempt to strike down the Affordable Care Act.
(Associated Press)

The Supreme Court turned aside a third major attempt to void the Affordable Care Act.

TOP STORIES

Another Obamacare challenge defeated

The Supreme Court has rejected a third sweeping challenge to Obamacare, this time pressed by Republican state attorneys and backed by former President Trump. The court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the plaintiffs had no standing to complain about a law imposing penalties on no one.

The decision in California vs. Texas preserves health insurance subsidies for more than 20 million Americans and protections for tens of millions more whose preexisting medical conditions could otherwise prevent them from obtaining coverage.

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And this time, the court did not sharply split along ideological lines.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and his colleagues kept the decision narrowly focused, avoiding the usual 5-4 decision that has often divided the bench. The justices avoided dealing again with the constitutionality of the 2010 law and instead said simply said that the suit should have been dismissed at the start.

More Politics

— With President Biden’s support, the House passed a resolution repealing the nearly 20-year-old authorization for the use of military force against Iraq, which presidents have ever since invoked to justify military action in the Middle East without consulting Congress.

— The Supreme Court ruled unanimously for Catholic Social Services in its fight over foster care in Philadelphia, holding city officials discriminated against the church group because of its religious views.

For more news and analysis, sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter, sent to your inbox three days a week.

Unemployment changes for Californians

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With the pandemic waning, Californians who receive unemployment benefits will have to show next month that they are looking for work, a requirement that the state waived last year when COVID-19 led to economic upheaval.

Claimants for unemployment benefits must start job hunting on July 11 to attest that they are doing so when certifying their eligibility a week later with the state Employment Development Department, the agency announced.

The new policy comes as the EDD reports a backlog of 1.12 million claims that have seen approval delayed by more than 21 days. More than 222,500 of those claims are awaiting action by the EDD, an increase from earlier in the month.

For those who are gig workers or are self-employed and benefit from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the EDD provides other ways to show they are searching for work. Options include submitting bids for contracts, attending networking events and workshops on expanding businesses, and participating in training. EDD officials said claimants can still ask for exemptions if they certify that they are not available for work for reasons including providing primary child care for their family.

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More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— According to an official briefed on the matter, the United States is devoting more than $3 billion to advance the development of antiviral pills for COVID-19.

— A state board ends physical distancing requirements for California workers and says many fully vaccinated employees can stop wearing masks.

— California has hit another major turning point in the fight against the pandemic: More than 40 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered across the state.

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For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

Angelenos celebrate Juneteenth

Biden has signed legislation into law to make June 19, or Juneteenth, the 12th federal holiday. Commemorating the day Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

But for many Black Angelenos, Juneteenth has long been a reason to celebrate, to remember.

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In 1948, businessman and Texas native Jonathan Leonard moved to Los Angeles. “Come June 19th of 1949 I asked, ‘Why is everybody going to work? Why are the banks open?’” Leonard told The Times in 1997. “I couldn’t believe it.” His family joined with others in the community to start hosting Juneteenth celebrations in Leimert Park.

We couldn’t do much to celebrate Juneteenth 2020 due to the pandemic. We’re making up for it now. This year’s festivities are timed with a vaxxed summer that’s already surging with a sense of liberation. In other words, Angelenos are going all out.

You can celebrate with local arts and culture events, virtual or in-person, across Southern California. There are also real-life events to choose from, from remembrances of an early civil rights activist to community parades and rallies to celebrations involving music, food and drink.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

A brawl marred the Father’s Day 1977 Dodgers-Cubs baseball game. Los Angeles Times staff writer Mal Florence reported the following day:

On an otherwise calm Father’s Day at Dodger Stadium, Reggie Smith became enraged after being hit on the right ankle by a pitch thrown by Chicago’s Rick Reuschel in the third inning ... It triggered a wild brawl in which Smith, Cubs Manager Herman Franks, catcher George Mitterwald and Reuschel were ejected.

Dodger Reggie Smith lands a punch on Chicago Cubs pitcher Rick Reuschel after Reuschel hit him with a pitch at Dodger Stadium
June 19, 1977: Dodger Reggie Smith lands a punch on Chicago Cubs pitcher Rick Reuschel after Reuschel hit Smith in the ankle with a pitch in the third inning at Dodger Stadium.
(Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times)

YOUR WEEKEND

— If your father figure prefers watching Hilton Carter and Monty Don plant makeovers, here are some of the best houseplants for the plant dad in your life.

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— The 10 best gifts you can find in L.A. in time for Father’s Day.

— Lessons on dealing with fathers and barbecue, from pitmaster Rodney Scott.

— Get ready to cry a little: Here are our 12 best L.A. Affairs columns about fathers and family.

CALIFORNIA

— The Thacher School, among California’s most elite private schools, has acknowledged decades of allegations of student sexual misconduct, harassment and “boundary crossing” by faculty members in an extraordinary public disclosure.

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— Home security company Ring offered LAPD officers free cameras. A Times review finds that some accepted the gifts and even endorsed Ring products to colleagues and the communities they police.

— Trash, needles and fire — the consequences of growing homelessness are spreading to the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve in Playa del Rey and damaging the environment, writes columnist Erika D. Smith.

— It’s been almost two decades since Californians ousted then-Gov. Gray Davis in a historic recall election. While the rules of the recall have stayed the same, much about the state has changed since the 2003 vote.

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NATION-WORLD

— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that he will use $250 million in state money and crowdsourced financing to build more barriers along the U.S. border with Mexico, part of an emerging proposal that extends his political fight over immigration with the White House.

— The Supreme Court sided with food giants Nestle and Cargill in a lawsuit that claimed they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor.

— A Chinese spaceship carrying a three-person crew docked with China’s new space station at the start of a three-month mission, marking a milestone in the country’s ambitious space program.

— When Iranians head to the polls Friday, they’ll be participating in a presidential contest that few seem excited about. Apathy is looking like the big winner.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— Calling the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. “toxic” and its reform efforts “window dressing,” two members of the group that votes on the Golden Globe Awards resigned in protest.

— Wake up the members of my nation because the original influencer is back. Here’s what to know about the “iCarly” revival.

— When Bo Burnham first broke out on YouTube, his music rarely felt like more than a vehicle designed to carry his comedy. With his Netflix special “Inside,” it now might be the other way around, writes pop music critic Mikael Wood.

Rita Moreno has walked back her “dismissive” stance on the colorism controversy surrounding “In the Heights” after her recent late-night interview ignited a swift backlash.

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— If you don’t know the band Sparks, you’re not alone. An exhaustive, enormously entertaining new documentary from longtime fan and director Edgar Wright aims to change that.

BUSINESS

— The Standard & Poor’s 500 ended Thursday barely changed after stocks sloshed around in mixed trading, as investors make preparations for a future in which the Federal Reserve is no longer doing everything it can to keep interest rates super low.

— The FDA’s hasty approval of a new Alzheimer’s drug is looking worse than ever, writes columnist Michael Hiltzik. The latest evidence? A sky-high average price.

SPORTS

— For the first time this season, Staples Center will be at maximum seating capacity for a Clippers game on Friday. A win in Game 6 against top-seeded Utah would clinch their first appearance in the conference finals.

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Naomi Osaka, the No.-2 ranked female tennis player globally, has withdrawn from Wimbledon but intends to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, her representatives said in a statement.

Shohei Ohtani’s strong start and Taylor Ward’s grand slam lifted the Angels to a 7-5 win over the Tigers.

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Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

OPINION

— For women in science, “visibility” isn’t always good, writes epidemiologist and professor Margaret Handley.

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— The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act breaks no new legal ground. But in surviving another conservative challenge, it has enormous practical significance, writes Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

Global warming has been heating up and drying out the American West for years. Now the region is broiling under a combination of a drought that is the worst in two decades and a record-breaking heat wave. (New York Times)

— Much of our slang comes from the Black community’s African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Not acknowledging that perpetuates racism. (USA Today)

ONLY IN L.A.

It’s a fowl topic that has pitted neighbor versus neighbor over some brilliantly plumed invaders: peacocks. To some, they’re a cultural treasure worthy of being fed and tended and allowed to run free in the western San Gabriel Valley. But critics say they block traffic, destroy gardens and screech incessantly — not to mention the poop. And now, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is ready to flip peacocks the bird with a feeding ban.

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A mail carrier walks to a front door while a peacock is on the lawn
Jose Andrade walks past a peacock while delivering the mail to a home on Mountain View Avenue in Pasadena.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Today’s newsletter was curated by Laura Blasey and Daric L. Cottingham. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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