The latest from the Supreme Court: The US Supreme Court, a famously good and just institution, ruled against affirmative action in colleges this morning. This means schools can no longer expressly consider race in their admissions process, a practice that usually benefited Black and Latino students. Here's how the conservative majority framed their decision:

The result of today’s decision is that a person’s skin color may play a role in assessing individualized suspicion, but it cannot play a role in assessing that person’s individualized contributions to a diverse learning environment. That indefensible reading of the Constitution is not grounded in law and subverts the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

And here's what Justice Sotomayor said in dissent: 

Ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal. What was true in the 1860s, and again in 1954, is true today: Equality requires acknowledgment of inequality.

But wait there's more: The Court is expected to drop many other big decisions in the final days of its term. They are expected to rule on challenges to Biden's student loan program, religious accommodations for postal workers, gay wedding cakes, and more.

Wouldn’t you like to know, weather boy: Do not let the morning clouds fool you, Seattle. You are in for a gorgeous day. For the morning, you can expect clouds and temperatures in the mid 60s, but after the clock strikes 12 pm–game over. It's gonna be HOT. Temperatures will soar into the upper 70s and the clouds will part and the angels will sing and I will get sunburned and it will be the most beautiful thing you can conceive of in your tiny, tiny mind. Enjoy

What’s the Mayor up to? I’ll give you more details later, but yesterday the Mayor got incredibly flustered over a small group of protesters who distracted from his mostly pointless press conference. Even though everyone was looking at him, listening to him, and clapping for him, Harrell struggled to ignore the protesters. That’s some beta behavior, tbh.

FYI: The protesters picked a good press conference to interrupt because he shared very little new information about his plan to revitalize downtown. Here’s the latest on that plan from the Seattle Times.

Free my man, Josh: A Snohomish County Superior Court Judge gave the green light to the recall campaign against Josh Binda, a young, Black Lynnwood City Council member who made national (and far-right) headlines earlier this year. Lynnwoodians are mad because he made a few rookie mistakes and he’s slightly in love with himself. Some of the ethics concerns may be legitimate, but since other council members make the same mistakes, and since accused racists get to keep their jobs, then it is hard to believe that Binda’s Blackness has nothing to do with the recall effort. I've written about it before, so trust me. 

Capitol Hill hostages: Last night a man pulled out a gun at the old Gold’s Gym above QFC where he held at least eight people hostage for almost an hour. Cops shut down the complex, threw a flash bang, and eventually took the suspect into custody. I am sure we will hear more throughout the day, probably from friend of the blog jseattle.

Theo Chocolate to close factory, cut jobs, merge with American Licorice Company: The store in Fremont will remain open and selling sweets, but the company will lay off 60 workers later this year. The company offered those workers "severance packages, including COBRA medical coverage and payouts of PTO balances, as well as access to mental health and job search resources," according to the Seattle Times

Just so you know: According to KOMO, Washington State Ferries may issue last-minute schedule changes over the upcoming holiday weekend. The ferry is not funded enough to have solid staffing. If a worker calls out sick, it could mean huge delays for travelers. The worst days to travel on the ferry will be Saturdays July 1 and July 8, when a projected 80,000 passengers will ride. July 4 will be the least hectic day, with only about 50,000 passengers expected to take the ferry. Plan accordingly!

Just so you know Part II: The Seattle Times reported that the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the northbound lanes of I-5 between Yesler Way and Highway 520 and the Interstate 90 collector and distributor ramp again tonight. If you’re traveling that way,  please plan ahead and exercise patience. 

And now, Vivian has some drama to share: 

Turning the last page: The Book-It Repertory Theatre is closing after 33 years of adapting novels into plays. The final curtain falls on its current production of Solaris July 9. Book-It laid off most of its 18 permanent staff yesterday. A few employees will stay on to close the business over the next three to six months. Tough break.

The theater’s board of directors unanimously voted to can production planning
for next season because Book-It didn’t have the money. Board member Christine Stepherson said it would have needed to double ticket sales and donations just to survive. “It sounds really different when you say it out loud,” she said. “This is not a hail mary. This is not a come save us. I wouldn’t be a volunteer in theater if I didn’t have an insane amount of optimism. But people’s lives are at stake and optimism only takes you so far.”

The closure is a hit to the local drama scene. Three-hundred actors, designers, directors, writers, technicians and other artists relied on Book-It for work, and six other theaters, including the Seattle Shakespeare Company, ArtsWest, and Seattle Musical Theatre used its shop for set construction. Stepherson said closing a business is expensive, and theater-lovers can help by attending Book-It's final shows this week and next. 

Thanks, Vivian. Now back to me :) 

Huge W for pedestrians: Seattleites who like a lil stroll through Pike Place Market have been begging on their knees for the City to pedestrianize the area. Good news! The City will banish cars from one block of Pike Street, between First and Second Avenue in a year-long pilot program. We give Mayor Bruce Harrell a lot of shit for his downtown makeover montage, but this is truly one of those moments where he metaphorically took Ms. Downtown’s glasses off, pulled her hair out of a ponytail, and revealed an absolute babe in iconic 2000s movie style. [Eds note: To be clear, no part of the market itself will be pedestrianized, just that little stretch in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.]

Democracy is dead: The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce invited some council members and candidates to a networking happy hour earlier this week. I thought this would be really fun for me to attend because I love a little drinky drink, I love to gossip, and I love to make these dorks uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I was not allowed a press pass, so I did not go. I heard that the event was boring as fuck anyway, but as a believer in the free press, I think I should have been allowed to come and write some jokes. Damn snowflakes. 

We fucked up: A new study shows that 99% of Southern Resident orcas show signs of skin lesions, and it sounds like it's our fault. Okay, so we don’t know if it's our fault, but the Seattle Times is HEAVILY implying that people need to change their shitty behavior to help. One scientist said the lesions call for increased efforts to protect salmon and limit boat disturbance to improve whale wellbeing.

Oh! The US Coast Guard announced yesterday that it recovered debris and what may be human remains on the seafloor related to the submersible that imploded on its way to the Titanic wreck last week. I know I should not believe everything I see on TikTok or whatever, but I was under the impression that when the submersible imploded, it basically ceased to exist and the people on board liquified, so this is very surprising and slightly horrifying to me! 

Temporary good news in a constant anti-trans doom spiral: A judge blocked some of Tennessee’s horrific ban on gender affirming care for trans kids that is set to go into effect July 1. The ban would have prohibited puberty blockers, hormone therapy medications, and surgeries, but the judge decided trans kids could keep getting blockers and hormones until the ban gets a full trial next year. 

Bigger picture: Judges have temporarily or totally blocked anti-trans laws in several states, including Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, and Alabama. In fact, more than 20 states passed laws restricting or banning care for trans kids, and most already face lawsuits, so we may see judges continue to delay or scrap these bills in the coming months. 

RIP Nahel: Earlier this week a French cop shot and killed a 17-year-old boy in a Paris suburb. The cops claim he was evading a traffic stop, but, as seen in a viral video, the cop said “I’ll put a bullet in your head” to the kid in a stationary car. Protest erupted in response to the killing, and cops have arrested around 150 in two nights of civil unrest. Today, President Emmanuel Macron called top French officials into an earlier morning meeting because he’s so disgusted by the people’s reaction to police violence. He said protesters' attacks against government institutions are “unjustifiable” and tried to distinguish the state from the police in an effort to shift blame. The government spokesperson said: "It's not the French Republic that killed this youngster, it was a man who will be judged."

I’m down bad: