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Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

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Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight
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Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

2024-06-15 09:39 Last Updated At:09:40

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in a ruling that threw firearms back into the nation's political spotlight.

The high court's conservative majority found that the Trump administration overstepped when it changed course from predecessors and banned bump stocks, which allow a rate of fire comparable to machine guns. The decision came after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with semiautomatic rifles equipped with the accessories.

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FILE - Personal belongings and debris litters the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas, on Oct. 3, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in a ruling that threw firearms back into the nation's political spotlight.

FILE - This photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report, shows the interior of Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas after a mass shooting. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - This photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report, shows the interior of Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas after a mass shooting. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Police run toward the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Police run toward the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that a rifle fitted with a rapid-fire accessory known as a bump stock is not an illegal machine gun. (AP Graphic)

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that a rifle fitted with a rapid-fire accessory known as a bump stock is not an illegal machine gun. (AP Graphic)

The Supreme Court building is seen on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Supreme Court building is seen on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

FILE - A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 15, 2019. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

FILE - A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 15, 2019. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

The gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds into the crowd in 11 minutes, sending thousands of people fleeing in terror as hundreds were wounded and dozens killed.

The ruling thrust guns back into the center of the political conversation with an unusual twist as Democrats decried the reversal of a GOP administration’s action and many Republicans backed the ruling.

The 6-3 majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas found the Justice Department was wrong to declare that bump stocks transformed semiautomatic rifles into illegal machine guns because, he wrote, each trigger depression in rapid succession still only releases one shot.

The ruling reinforced the limits of executive reach and two justices — conservative Samuel Alito and liberal Sonia Sotomayor — separately highlighted how action in Congress could potentially provide a more lasting policy, if there was political will to act in a bipartisan fashion.

Originally, imposing a ban through regulation rather than legislation during Donald Trump’s presidency took pressure off Republicans to act following the massacre and another mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Prospects for passing gun restrictions in the current divided Congress are dim.

President Joe Biden, who supports gun restrictions, called on Congress to reinstate the ban imposed under his political foe. Trump's campaign team meanwhile, expressed respect for the ruling before quickly pivoting to his endorsement by the National Rifle Association.

As Trump courts gun owners while running to retake the presidency, he has appeared to play down his own administration’s actions on bump stocks, telling NRA members in February that “nothing happened” on guns during his presidency despite “great pressure.” He told the group that if he is elected again, “No one will lay a finger on your firearms.”

The 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas was carried out by a high-stakes gambler who killed himself, leaving his exact motive a mystery. A total of 60 people were killed in the shooting, including Christiana Duarte, whose family called Friday’s ruling tragic.

“The ruling is really just another way of inviting people to have another mass shooting,” said Danette Meyers, a family friend and spokesperson. “It’s unfortunate that they have to relive this again. They’re really unhappy.”

Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, the former county sheriff in Las Vegas who has refused to sign multiple gun control measures the Democrat-controlled Legislature has sent to his desk, said in a statement Friday, “While I have always been a supporter of the Second Amendment, I have been a vocal opponent of bump stocks since my time in law enforcement, and I’m disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today.”

The opinion comes after the same Supreme Court conservative supermajority handed down a landmark decision expanding gun rights in 2022. The high court is also expected to rule in another gun case in the coming weeks, challenging a federal law intended to keep guns away from people under domestic violence restraining orders.

The arguments in the bump stock case, though, were less about Second Amendment rights and more about whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a Justice Department agency, had overstepped its authority.

Bump stocks are accessories that replace a rifle’s stock, the part that rests against the shoulder. Invented in the 2000s, they harness the gun’s recoil energy so that the trigger bumps against the shooter’s stationary finger, allowing the gun to fire at a similar speed as an automatic weapon.

The Supreme Court majority found that the 1934 law against machine guns defined them as weapons that could automatically fire more than one shot by a single function of the trigger. Bump stocks don't fit that definition because “the trigger must still be released and reengaged to fire each additional shot,” Thomas wrote. He also pointed to over a decade of ATF's findings that claimed bump stocks weren't automatic weapons.

The plaintiff, Texas gun shop owner and military veteran Michael Cargill, applauded the ruling in a video posted online, predicting the case would have ripple effects by hampering other ATF gun restrictions. “I’m glad I stood up and fought,” he said.

In a dissent joined by her liberal colleagues, Justice Sotomayor said that bump stocks fit under the ordinary meaning of the law: “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck,” she wrote. The ruling, she said, could hamstring the ATF and have “deadly consequences."

ATF Director Steve Dettelbach echoed the sentiment, saying that bump stocks “pose an unacceptable level of risk to public safety.”

The high court took up the case after a split among lower courts. Under Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, the ATF decided that bump stocks didn’t transform semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. The agency reversed those decisions at Trump’s urging. That was after the Las Vegas massacre and the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 dead.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have their own bans on bump stocks that aren't expected to be affected by the ruling, though four state bans may no longer cover bump stocks in the wake of the ruling, according to the gun-control group Everytown.

Cargill was represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a group funded by conservative donors like the Koch network. His attorneys acknowledged that bump stocks allow for rapid fire but argued that they are different because the shooter has to put in more effort to keep the gun firing.

The Biden administration had argued that effort was minimal, and said the ATF came to the right conclusion on bump stocks after doing a more in-depth examination spurred by the Las Vegas shooting.

There were about 520,000 bump stocks in circulation when the ban went into effect in 2019, requiring people to either surrender or destroy them at a combined estimated loss of $100 million, the plaintiffs said in court documents.

Associated Press writers Mark Sherman and Lisa Mascaro in Washington, Jill Colvin in New York, Mike Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey, Jim Salter in St. Louis, Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, and Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

This story has been updated to correct a reference assault rifle rather than semiautomatic rifle.

Follow the AP’s coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court at https://apnews.com/hub/us-supreme-court.

FILE - Personal belongings and debris litters the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas, on Oct. 3, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - Personal belongings and debris litters the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas, on Oct. 3, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - This photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report, shows the interior of Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas after a mass shooting. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - This photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report, shows the interior of Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas after a mass shooting. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Police run toward the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Police run toward the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. They were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The high court Friday found the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival with assault rifles in 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The U.S Supreme Court is seen on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that a rifle fitted with a rapid-fire accessory known as a bump stock is not an illegal machine gun. (AP Graphic)

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that a rifle fitted with a rapid-fire accessory known as a bump stock is not an illegal machine gun. (AP Graphic)

The Supreme Court building is seen on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Supreme Court building is seen on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

FILE - A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 15, 2019. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

FILE - A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 15, 2019. The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

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The Latest: Trump is expected to announce his VP pick as RNC begins

2024-07-16 02:34 Last Updated At:02:40

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week, with delegates and officials descending on Wisconsin amid the tumult that follows a Saturday assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump as he prepares to become the GOP’s official nominee.

The quadrennial event takes place not only as Trump leads a party in lockstep behind him, but also as Democrats roil over President Joe Biden’s viability and if they should replace him as their nominee.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024

Here's the Latest:

Donald Trump has made his decision on his vice presidential pick, according to a person familiar with his thinking who spoke Monday on the condition of anonymity.

Trump’s pick is expected to appear at the Republican National convention later this afternoon as the vice president is formally nominated.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been informed that he's not Trump’s vice presidential pick, according to a person familiar with their conversation. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also has been told he won't be chosen as Trump’s running mate, AP sources said.

— Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller

And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been told he will not be chosen as former President Donald Trump’s running mate, an AP source says.

— Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller

Just at the edge of the RNC security perimeter, the conservative Heritage Foundation held a gathering of center-right celebrities called “Policy Fest” that amounted to a daylong flex for its Project 2025.

The project is one of the thinktank’s regular attempts to draw up a governing agenda for a new Republican president, but it’s become a flashpoint in the presidential race. Democrats have tried to use it and some of its more aggressive proposals – such as a wholesale reorganization of the federal workforce to ensure it is loyal to the president – against Trump. For his part, Trump has distanced himself from the effort, which is run by some of his closest allies and members of his last administration.

Two of those former members – Trump’s prior acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homans and Trump’s ex-head of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan – contended the project’s role has been overblown. The two spoke onstage with former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah about the border, urging reimplementation of Trump policies like the border wall and remain in Mexico that ended under the Biden administration.

Afterwards they scoffed at the worries over Project 2025, even though both men contributed to its immigration policy.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says a direct line of sight like the one the shooter had to Trump “should not occur.”

Mayorkas was asked during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos how the gunman could have gotten into such a position.

The secretary says that’s why an independent review is being done.

He also denied reports that the agency rebuffed requests for more resources for Trump’s detail, saying it was “unequivocally false.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s waiting like everyone else at the Republican National Convention to find out who will be Donald Trump’s running mate.

But he put in a strong word for Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the contender who’s from his home state. Vance, 39, is significantly younger than most of the other Republicans who’ve been mentioned as possibilities for the ticket.

“He’s very articulate. He’s got a great life story,” DeWine said. “And he can articulate President Trump’s positions very effectively and articulately. He’s the appropriate age, and represents the next generation. He’s the next generation of the party.”

Donald Trump is said to have narrowed his list of potential running mates to three top candidates: Ohio Sen. JD Vance, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

All come with different benefits and vulnerabilities. Vance is perhaps most ideologically aligned with the former president and would energize his base. At 39, he would add a millennial contrast to the older men at the top of their parties’ tickets. But he’s served in the Senate for less than two years.

Burgum would bring business acumen and a steady hand, though Trump has noted his signing of a highly restrictive abortion law could be a drawback.

Rubio is seen in the party as a respected voice on policy and his background — as the son of Cuban immigrants and a Spanish speaker — could help Trump appeal to Latino voters. He could also help draw more moderate and establishment-minded voters and donors turned off by Trump’s coarse rhetoric. But Rubio’s candidacy is complicated by the fact that he lives in Florida, like Trump.

Hundreds of activists gathered in a downtown Milwaukee park Monday as they prepared to spend the day protesting outside the Republican National Convention, saying the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the site.

A wide range of organizations and demonstrators gathered in the park blocks from the Fiserv Forum to listen to speakers and then began marching Monday afternoon. The Coalition to March on the RNC, comprised largely of local groups, was protesting for access to abortion rights, for immigrant rights, and against the war in Gaza among other issues.

Organizers said the rally was on despite the attempt on Trump’s life Saturday during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

After being hurt in a weekend assassination attempt, former President Donald Trump is calling for another presidential candidate to get Secret Service protection.

“In light of what is going on in the world today, I believe it is imperative that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. receive Secret Service protection — immediately,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. “Given the history of the Kennedy Family, this is the obvious right thing to do!”

Kennedy’s father, Robert F. Kennedy, was shot and killed while campaigning for president and his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated while in office.

Donald Trump is expected to announce his vice presidential pick on the first day of the Republican National Convention, he said in an interview Monday.

It remains unclear whether the shooting Saturday at his Pennsylvania rally has changed the former president’s thinking about his potential second-in-command. But he told Fox News Channel host Bret Baier in a call that he planned to make his pick Monday.

The roll call vote to nominate Trump’s pick is expected Monday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity. The person cautioned that Trump could always change his mind.

— Jill Colvin and Steve Peoples

Vivek Ramaswamy, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and political novice who ran in the GOP presidential primary, has distinguished himself as an aggressive voice on the right, saying often that the country is already at war with itself.

So it was notable that in remarks at an event run by the conservative Heritage Institute at the RNC on Monday he was toning down his rhetoric and urging the country to come together.

“The enemy is not the Democrats, it is an ideology,” Ramaswamy told the crowd at the Heritage Institute’s “Policy Fest” event.

Ramaswamy compared the assassination attempt on Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, telling reporters after his speech that “Donald Trump, in some ways, has been given the chance now, the second chance that Abraham Lincoln didn’t have to unite a country that, this time, didn’t have to fight a civil war but avoids one.”

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are getting an updated briefing from homeland security and law enforcement officials on the investigation into the attempted assassination of Donald Trump.

The briefing is taking place in the Situation Room, the White House says.

The attorney general, homeland security secretary, FBI director and the director and deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service are among those briefing Biden and Harris.

When U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump, she pointed several times to a concurrence written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The concurrence was part of the high court’s ruling that former presidents have broad immunity from criminal prosecution, a finding that all but ended the prospects Trump could be tried on election-interference charges in Washington before the election.

No other justice signed onto Thomas’s concurrence. He questioned whether special counsel Jack Smith had been legally appointed and called on lower court judges to weigh the question.

The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case of former President Donald Trump in Florida has dismissed the prosecution because of concerns over the appointment of the prosecutor who brought the case.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the defense motion to dismiss the case Monday.

Lawyers for Trump had argued that special counsel Jack Smith was illicitly appointed and that his office was improperly funded by the Justice Department.

First lady Jill Biden has spoken to Melania Trump following an attempted assassination of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The first lady’s office confirmed they spoke Sunday afternoon but have not released any details on the conversation. President Joe Biden spoke with Donald Trump following the attack at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump is attending the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week.

Milwaukee’s mayor says he knows Americans will have questions about security at the Republican National Convention after Saturday’s assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump, but the event has the highest security level possible “so I feel pretty confident.”

“The folks on the ground here have confidence in the work that they’ve put in over the last 18 months,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said at a Monday morning briefing. “And I have faith and confidence as well in the Secret Service and the police and fire departments and other agencies providing security today.”

The director of the U.S. Secret Service says she’s confident in the plan to secure the Republican National Convention that begins Monday in the wake of an attempt on the life of presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In a statement, Kim Cheatle said Monday the security plans for the event are “designed to be flexible.”

“The Secret Service will continuously adapt our operations as necessary to ensure the highest level of safety,” she said.

Cheatle says the plan will change as necessary to ensure the continued safety of attendees at the Milwaukee event.

A man shot at Trump from a rooftop near a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday. Trump is recovering and will attend the convention. President Joe Biden ordered a national security review of the incident over the weekend.

King Charles III has written to Donald Trump after the assassination attempt at a rally in Pennsylvania, Buckingham Palace said.

The palace did not disclose the contents of the monarch’s private message, which was delivered on Sunday through the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The message follows a call to Trump on Sunday by British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, who condemned the violence, expressed condolences for the victims and their families and wished a quick recovery for the former president and those injured.

Donald Trump spent much of Sunday on the phone with friends, news hosts and local and foreign officials the day after he was injured in an assassination attempt.

Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott, a longtime ally, said Trump “was in great spirits” when they spoke Sunday morning, hours after the shooting.

“He was great, like he always is. He didn’t even make a big deal of it,” Scott said. “He was actually trying to downplay it somewhat, asking how I was doing.”

Former RNC chair Reince Priebus, who also served as Trump’s White House chief of staff, told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump was “grateful for the miracle of what happened, in his case. ... One quarter inch turned the other direction and we’re obviously talking about something very different this morning.”

Tony Perkins, among the most influential Christian conservatives in the Republican Party, was preparing to mount a confrontation with convention planners over his disdain for how debate during the RNC’s platform committee was shut down on Monday, all but eliminating objections to the Trump campaign’s desire to soften language on abortion.

The attempted assassination changed all that, Perkins told The Associated Press after a prayer service in suburban Milwaukee Sunday evening.

“We live in a violent society. And we run the risk of becoming callous to it. And if we become callous to it, we’re going to have more of it,” Perkins said. “I’m hoping and praying it’s a wake-up call in many ways.”

“So, as a result, I’m stepping back from forcing the issue on the platform,” he added. “More divisiveness would not be healthy.”

Perkins called social media “a contagion” for toxic rhetoric passed along by people who do not feel that they’re heard by their government or leaders, and attributed the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in part to the notion of overheated online rage.

“We need to stop,” he said.

And while thanking God during the service for Trump’s survival, Perkins told more than 100 in the Pewaukee church, “Lord, I believe that our nation is at such a volatile moment that yesterday could have torn this nation right in half.”

The 20-year-old man who tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump first came to law enforcement’s attention at Saturday’s rally when spectators noticed him acting strangely outside the campaign event. The tip sparked a frantic search, but officers were unable to find him before he managed to get on a roof, where he opened fire.

In the wake of the shooting that killed one spectator, investigators are hunting for any clues about what may have drove Thomas Matthew Crooks, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, to carry out the shocking attack. The FBI said they were investigating it as a potential act of domestic terrorism, but the absence of a clear ideological motive by the man shot dead by Secret Service allowed conspiracy theories to flourish.

The FBI said it believes Crooks, who had bomb-making materials in the car he drove to the rally, acted alone. Investigators have found no threatening comments on social media accounts or ideological positions that could help explain what led him to target Trump.

Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. His senior year, Crooks was among several students given an award for math and science, according to a Tribune-Review story at the time.

He tried out for the school’s rifle team but was turned away because he was a bad shooter, said Frederick Mach, a current captain of the team who was a few years behind Crooks at the school.

Jason Kohler, who said he attended the same high school but did not share any classes with Crooks, said Crooks was bullied at school and sat alone at lunch time. Other students mocked him for the clothes he wore, which included hunting outfits, Kohler said.

Former President Donald Trump told The Washington Examiner that he has rewritten the speech he was set to deliver at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday after being the target of an attempted assassination at his rally Saturday.

“The speech I was going to give on Thursday was going to be a humdinger,” he told the news outlet in an article posted Sunday evening.

In the interview, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee says he will now call for a new effort at national unity, noting that people from different political views have called him.

“This is a chance to bring the whole country, even the whole world, together. The speech will be a lot different, a lot different than it would’ve been two days ago,” he said.

Trump also reflected on the moment a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. He said he was saved from death because he turned from the crowd to look at a screen showing off a chart he was referring to.

“That reality is just setting in,” he told the news outlet as he boarded his plane in Bedminster, New Jersey, for Milwaukee. “I rarely look away from the crowd. Had I not done that in that moment, well, we would not be talking today, would we?”

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Missouri State Trooper Cpl. Piccinino, right, is reflected in a mylar wall as he stands his post at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Missouri State Trooper Cpl. Piccinino, right, is reflected in a mylar wall as he stands his post at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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