With a boost from the Republican-led Senate, President Trump has now confirmed 200 federal judges. Each one has a life term, representing a legacy that could extend for a generation.

The president often trumpets the achievement in speeches and on Twitter. But the credit belongs as much to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who took a victory lap last week.

Tennessee officials are expected to take the first step toward removing the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the Capitol.

Gov. Bill Lee says he will convene the State Capitol Commission to meet and vote next week.

Tennessee law gives the commission the first say on the bust, but even if it supports removal, there’s no guarantee it would move. It would set up a much lengthier review by the Tennessee Historical Commission — deliberations that Lee says he support.

“This process is the opposite of the mob rule that unfortunately has been dominating the national headlines around historical displays,” he says. “I have confidence that our process here in Tennessee, with the capitol commission, will be fair and representative of Tennesseans.”

President Trump is escalating his fight with Congress over a broad bipartisan effort to rename military installations named for figures from the Confederacy, threatening to veto an annual defense bill if it includes the provision.

The Senate is debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which already includes the provision backed by most members of the Senate panel. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers is looking to add the change as part of ongoing negotiations for its version of the defense legislation.

John Boyle

Indiana has joined more than 20 other states that have banned drivers from using handheld devices while operating a vehicle.

House Bill 1070 goes into effect Wednesday after being signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in March. The legislation means drivers will no longer be allowed to hold cell phones or other devices in their hands while a vehicle is in motion.

In 2011, a similar – though less restrictive law – that banned texting was passed by the Indiana General Assembly. But Sen. Ron Grooms, a sponsor of the new legislation, said it was too difficult to enforce.

Bytemarks via Creative Commons

The state of Kentucky has hired an outside contractor to speed up the processing of unemployment claims. The coronavirus created nearly one million jobless claims in the commonwealth. 

Gov. Andy Beshear's administration has entered into a one-month contract with Ernst and Young to fix the massive backlog of applications. Three hundred of the accounting firm’s employees will begin processing claims on Monday, July 6. During a news conference on Tuesday, Beshear acknowledged the public's frustration with busy phone lines and lack of in-person assistance.

“The reality that we hear is that they can’t get somebody talking to them to fix their claim. We’re quadrupling our workforce," Beshear said. "They’re going to start calling people with the oldest claims first.”

Updated 8:15 p.m. ET

How severe is the spread of COVID-19 in your community? If you're confused, you're not alone. Though state and local dashboards provide lots of numbers, from case counts to deaths, it's often unclear how to interpret them — and hard to compare them to other places.

Becca Schimmel | WKU Public Radio

Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has won Kentucky’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and will take on Mitch McConnell in the fall after a close race with progressive state Rep. Charles Booker.

The results came in a week after Kentucky’s primary election, allowing local election officials to count mail-in ballots, which accounted for about three-quarters of all votes submitted during election.

Booker garnered a majority of votes in the state’s two most populous counties, Jefferson and Fayette, winning by more than 35,000 votes in his hometown of Louisville.

WKU Public Radio

It's one week after Kentucky's delayed primary election, and county clerks' offices across the state are reporting their vote counts to the Kentucky Secretary of State. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every registered voter was allowed to request an absentee ballot that could be returned through the mail. Counting all of those ballots, plus early votes cast at local county clerks' offices, and votes cast at polling places on primary day. 

1:14 p.m.: There were a number of Kentucky House and Senate seats on primary ballots this month, including a Senate district special election to replace a retiring lawmaker. Here are the results:

Senate District 26 Special Election: Karen Berg, a Democrat and a physician, has won the special election for Kentucky’s 26th Senate district, which was vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Ernie Harris, who retired earlier this year.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

A U.S. Supreme Court decision is being described as a “small victory” for abortion rights supporters in Tennessee, and it’s causing a leading anti-abortion group to call for a reset on opponents’ strategy.

The court ruled Monday that doctors do not have admitting privileges at a local hospital, striking down a Louisiana law. Tennessee has had a similar measure on the books since 2012, but it hasn’t been enforced for the past four years, when the Supreme Court struck down the same law in Texas.

Ashley Coffield, the president of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, told WPLN News the decision shows the highest court won’t support extreme measures to ban abortion.

Creative Commons

A U.S. Supreme Court decision is being described as a “small victory” for abortion rights supporters in Tennessee, and it’s causing a leading anti-abortion group to call for a reset on opponents’ strategy.

The court ruled Monday that doctors do not have admitting privileges at a local hospital, striking down a Louisiana law. Tennessee has had a similar measure on the books since 2012, but it hasn’t been enforced for the past four years, when the Supreme Court struck down the same law in Texas.

Ashley Coffield, the president of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, told WPLN News the decision shows the highest court won’t support extreme measures to ban abortion.

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