Good morning, Chicago.

On this Independence Day when many are still looking to find a fireworks show to attend or planning their outdoor cookouts around a neighborhood parade, two big stories from the past week are still resonating.

One is the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade. To get an idea of how Chicago-area Catholics are processing the end of Roe v. Wade, consider two statements issued just after the ruling.

The first came from Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision that found abortion is not a constitutionally protected right. Echoing the church hierarchy, he said it offers the chance for “a national conversation on protecting human life in the womb and promoting dignity at all stages of life.”

The second came from the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a priest who leads St. Sabina Catholic Parish on Chicago’s South Side.

“The Supreme Court has made it clear of their future direction,” he tweeted. “Biden needs to expand the court NOW.”

And the analysis of the June 28 Illinois primary election continues. But with one exception, six Chicago aldermen who tried to leave their jobs on the City Council for other elected gigs failed in Tuesday’s primary, leaving them to reexamine their political aspirations while remaining in a job that many privately grumble isn’t fun anymore.

The circumstances of each race varied, but the losses and the attempted exits raise questions: Are aldermanic power and the ward organization waning? Are the aldermen part of a post-pandemic reshuffling of professional priorities? Or simply unhappy working with Lightfoot’s administration? And is the job title more sullied with voters than in years past?

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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Ernest Willingham testified before the U.S. Senate last month about growing up in Chicago with gun violence literally surrounding him. His father, brother and cousin have all been shot and his best friend killed. He’s been to “more funerals than weddings,” he said.

Now, a niece and another close friend have been shot since his June 15 testimony. The shootings have begun to feel like falling dominoes, Willingham said.

Members of minority faith and belief communities had mixed reactions after the recent Supreme Court ruling that said the Constitution protected a high school football coach in Washington who prayed on the field after games.

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Some worried the high court’s ruling isn’t necessarily inclusive of all backgrounds and others said it could lead to more inclusivity in the future.

Bremerton High School football coach Joseph Kennedy lost his job after the 2015 season when he continuously knelt and prayed on the football field despite objections from the school district. The Supreme Court’s backing of the football coach could have unforeseen long-term impacts on the public school arena, religious leaders said.

Tracy Swartz’s great-grandfather, Irving, followed in his older brother’s footsteps when he emigrated from Poland to Chicago a century ago. This was a crucial move for the brothers because three of their siblings who stayed behind in Europe later died in the Holocaust.

But Irving would meet his own untimely death in Chicago. What happened on that warm night in 1935 led Swartz, a Tribune reporter, on a very personal hunt through Cook County public records and the Waldheim Cemetery, west of Chicago, for clues.

Paul Sullivan writes that Thursday’s news of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten Conference as early as 2024 stunned the college sports world. What it means for the college football landscape will be the subject of intense speculation the next several weeks and months leading into September.

One of the biggest questions is what happens with Notre Dame, the only college football program that doesn’t need to share with the others because it’s freaking Notre Dame.

Don’t let their name fool you, writes critic Britt Julious. Soft and Dumb are neither soft nor dumb. Just listen to their newest music, including “never wanna,” which propels this Chicago via Urbana duo (comprised of Elena Buenrostro and Travis Newgren) to gritty, guttural musical depths. The track is the lead single from their self-titled debut album, out Sept. 2 on Bandcamp.

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