Daily Skimm·

Supreme Court Justices Caught In Secret Recordings

What's Happening

United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (L) and Associate Justice Samuel Alito (R) pose for an official portrait


Supreme Court Justices Caught In Secret Recordings

What's going on: New audio recordings dropped on social media appear to tell the public how Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts really feel about the country’s polarization and religion. Liberal documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor secretly taped the justices at an annual dinner earlier this month, posing as a Catholic conservative. At one point, Alito appeared to endorse returning “our country to a place of godliness” and said “one side or the other is going to win” when asked about the country’s polarized politics. As for Roberts, when asked whether the court should guide America "toward a more moral path,” he quickly responded with “I think the role for the court is deciding the cases.”

What it means: Alito’s comments in the audio recordings come as questions over the justice’s impartiality have been front and center (see: the controversy over his flags). It’s left many wondering how he can be fair when it comes to high-profile (and potentially life-altering) cases on abortion, guns, and former President Trump’s immunity claims — rulings which are expected later this month. Meanwhile, Windsor — who’s known for approaching high-profile conservatives — defended the secret recordings amid criticism, saying the court is “shrouded in secrecy” and has been unaccountable.

Related: Justice Alito’s Wife Was Also Recorded. Here's What She Said (The Hill)

French President Emmanuel Macron


Oh Snap: France’s Macron Called For Surprise Elections

What's going on: French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the lower house of parliament over the weekend and called for snap elections in a bid to keep the far-right from taking control of France. The unexpected decision came after his party suffered a humiliating defeat to conservative Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in the elections for the European Parliament (the law-making body in the European Union). Yes, that’s the same anti-immigration Le Pen who lost the presidency to Macron in 2022. The elections, which were supposed to happen in three years, will now take place just weeks before the Summer Olympics kick off in Paris.

What it means: It appears that Macron is banking on voters banding together against the far-right in national elections, but early reports predict conservatives will take a majority of the seats. However, some analysts say Macron has 2027 vision: He could be hoping the French grow unhappy with their far-right lawmakers by the time the next presidential elections come around, driving them to go against a Le Pen presidency. Still, it comes as Europe sees a far-right surge. The European Parliament elections handed conservatives a win in Germany, Italy, and Austria.

Related: A List of Some of Marine Le Pen's Controversial Quotes (Politico)

An image of a woman holding a cell phone in front of the Siri logo.


Apple (Finally) Enters the AI Race

What's going on: Apple shared its plans yesterday to get generative artificial intelligence into its iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers by the end of the year, marketing it as “Apple Intelligence.” Creative. Apple is making all of its AI dreams come true by working with OpenAI and ChatGPT. Users will be able to use generative AI to write texts, create images from scratch, and prioritize notifications (no more excuses that you didn’t see your boss’s text). There’s also Genmoji, which uses AI to create new emojis on command. Call us when Siri can do the laundry.

What it means: The introduction of AI into its core products could be one of Apple’s largest software overhauls in years. It comes as other companies like Microsoft and Meta are making major strides with the tech. Still, experts, including former and current OpenAI employees, have raised concerns about the safety of artificial intelligence if it continues to develop rapidly and go unchecked. Apple did emphasize privacy and security during the presentation, saying that users’ data will not be stored or shared.

Related: Congress Wants Scarlett Johansson to Weigh In on OpenAI (Axios)

Quick Hits

👀 This city is apparently the “nation’s future.”

🍽️ Forget no shoes, no shirt, no service. There’s a restaurant that doesn’t serve anyone under the age of 30.

🍻 The newest wellness trend on the rise? “Beer bathing.”

💙 Amy Poehler got honest about being a boy mom.

🪄 Get ready for some midnight margaritas. “Practical Magic 2” could be coming soon.

Let's Unpack This

Why is segregation in public schools increasing?

Desks and chairs arranged in classroom at high school - stock photo

70 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of education ruling, one analysis found that segregation has increased drastically over the last three decades. Data from public schools shows segregation between white and Black students went up by 64% since 1988 in the 100 largest districts. US government data has found similar results in the past, noting racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic divisions. There is more racial and ethnic diversity in America than ever before, so why the increase in segregation? 

Experts have pointed to many reasons. See: School district boundaries and historical practices like redlining. Bruce Fuller, a sociologist and professor at UC Berkeley, told theSkimm that growing inequality in family income also plays a role. How? It can allow higher-income families the ability to move their children to better-funded schools, which can be less diverse. 

Segregated schools tend to have less access to resources and funding, with high-poverty schools generally being less effective in part because of a lack of experienced teachers. It all trickles down to hurt the student body, disproportionately affecting Black and Latino students. One analysis found higher poverty rates in schools whose student populations were made up of more than 90% of under-represented minority students (Black, Latino, multiracial). And that can have long-term implications.

“If we just keep isolating white kids and upper-middle-class kids in the same schools, we’re not going to generate a well-educated and diverse workforce,” Fuller said.

Extra Credit

All Fours book cover


Although pop culture would have you believe otherwise, coming-of-age stories can happen at all ages. In Miranda July’s second novel, "All Fours," we follow a 45-year-old unnamed narrator and her supposed road trip between California and New York. Her plans go awry when she takes a slight detour to a motel where she has an affair. Fear not: This is not your typical “affair novel.” Instead, expect substantial yet comedic commentary on childbirth, daughterhood, motherhood, aging, death, and every other complicated layer of female middle age.

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